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Retailers Putting Green Into Their Blueprints

building.jpgRetailers are putting green into their blueprints across the country, racing to gain awareness with consumers and to lower operating costs. Most retailers are currently focusing on prototypes, but the trend could eventually change the look and function of thousands of stores, New York Times reports.

One of the latest participants is McDonald’s, which recently opened a restaurant on the South Side of Chicago that includes green features such as energy- and water-saving gadgets, pavement that filters rainwater, tables and chairs made out of recycled material, and a green roof.

McDonald’s plans to take the most successful features of its Chicago restaurant and roll them out at new restaurants across the country.

Although customers may like the idea of green buildings, Neil Z. Stern, a retail consultant for McMillianDoolittle in Chicago, told The New York Times that “ultimately, the reason you [become green] is it’s a better way to run your business.”

Other fast food chains such as Chipotle  and Subway have also installed green features like wind turbines or high efficiency HVAC systems at its stores.

Supermarkets are also shifting to greener buildings, with companies like Cub Food, Giant Eagle, Jewel-Osco , and Wal-Mart also installing energy efficient gadgets.

Other retailers such as Best Buy, Kohl’s, Office Depot, Staples and Timberland have also been greening up their acts.

The numerous green buildings appearing across the nation have also driven up demand for green building professionals, according to the National Association of Home Builders.

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