Home furnishings retailer IKEA’s Midwest distribution center under construction in Joliet, Illinois, has been awarded the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification from the United States Green Building Council (USGBC), a first for IKEA properties in the U.S.
“At IKEA, we value the importance of having a positive impact on the communities we are a part of,” said Lars Petersson, IKEA U.S. president. “Having our distribution center in Joliet certified LEED Gold is a prime example of how IKEA believes it can do good business while minimizing impacts on the environment. It is consistent with our goal of being energy independent by 2020.”
LEED is the preeminent program for the design, construction, maintenance and operations of high-performance green buildings. The certification is a globally recognized symbol of sustainability achievement. IKEA distribution center project designer and builder, Gray Construction, along with Vertegy L.L.C., worked together with IKEA to pursue the LEED Gold certification for the Joliet location. Vertegy L.L.C. provided counsel throughout the project.
“Gray is proud to be part of the LEED Gold achievement with IKEA,” said Stephen Gray, president and CEO of Gray Construction. “Having worked with IKEA for nearly 20 years, the strong partnership between the companies truly speaks to being able to meet this great accomplishment.”
Under construction on 72 acres at the Laraway Crossings Business Park, the future 1.25-million-square-foot distribution center in Joliet will enhance the IKEA distribution network with a central location. This will allow for goods to be received at coastal ports from both Asia and Europe and then transported inland to the Joliet facility. The proximity to a nearby railroad intermodal will represent additional long-term transportation options too.
One of the environmental highlights is the distribution center’s 268,920-square-foot solar array built with 9,036 solar panels. The array, currently the largest in Illinois, will produce approximately 3,377,000 kWh of electricity annually for the facility, the equivalent of reducing 2,513 tons of carbon dioxide which is equal to the emissions of 538 cars or providing electricity for 377 homes yearly.