Kohler Signature Store Receives LEED Gold Certification

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First retail space in U.S. to be recognized under new guidelines.

Kohler showroom first to earn USGBC LEED Gold certification

The Kohler Signature Store by First Supply has become the first retail space in the U.S. to receive Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification under the new LEED v4 guidelines. The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) awarded the 5,800 square-foot showroom located in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, LEED Gold v4 for Interior Design & Construction Retail.

“This project demonstrates the progress made toward recognizing the value of the environment and the buildings where we work, shop and live,” said Joe Azzarello, senior staff engineer, sustainability for Kohler. “The three legs of sustainability — people, planet and profit — were incorporated into the store design, resulting in a beautiful and functional space that has a much smaller environmental footprint than similar spaces.”

Mahesh Ramanujam, president and CEO, USGBC added, “LEED v4 was created so that projects could obtain higher levels of environmental sustainability in order to continue to revolutionize the built environment. Kohler’s achievement of becoming the fourth project in Wisconsin to certify using LEED v4, demonstrates tremendous green building leadership and commitment to making the world a better place. Market transformation happens one building at a time and Kohler's project is a prime example of how innovative projects can use local solutions to make a global impact on generations to come.”

Kohler and First Supply partnered with MSI General Corporation to design the building that is only the second retail site in the world to earn LEED Gold for LEED v4. LEED Gold certified buildings can reduce energy use by up to 50 percent, carbon dioxide emissions by more than 30 percent, water use by 40 percent, and solid waste by 70 percent.

“For the Kohler Signature Store by First Supply, seeking LEED certification was about creating a space that presses the boundaries of kitchen and bath retail both from an inspirational design and community standpoint,” said Kathryn Poehling, chief operating officer – kitchen & bath showrooms, First Supply LLC. “LEED is all about challenging our buildings to be smarter, healthier and more sustainable.”

The LEED certification process takes into consideration several factors:

  •     Location of the facility in relation to public transportation and local services
  •     Pre-planning for waste management throughout the construction process
  •     Recycling protocols during operation
  •     Reduced parking footprint and bicycle facilities
  •     Use of energy-efficient windows, lighting, fixtures, and heating and cooling systems
  •     Indoor air quality for employee and visitor health and comfort

“We are honored to have partnered with Kohler Co. and First Supply on this project,” said Dirk Debbink, chairman and chief executive officer of MSI General. “It shows what can be accomplished on behalf of businesses and communities that embrace energy-efficient, high-performance construction.”

In addition to the Wauwatosa showroom earning the first LEED Gold for LEED v4, the Kohler Signature by Expressions Home Gallery, in Culver City, California, was the first retail space to receive overall LEED v4 certification. The latest version of LEED, v4 incorporates a more comprehensive approach to water efficiency and an expanded focus on the impact of materials on human health.

About Kohler Co.

Founded in 1873 and headquartered in Kohler, Wisconsin, Kohler Co. is one of America’s oldest and largest privately held companies comprised of 35,000 associates. With more than 50 manufacturing locations worldwide, Kohler is a global leader in the manufacture of kitchen and bath products; engines and power systems; cabinetry and tile; and owner/operator of two of the world’s finest five-star hospitality and golf resort destinations in Kohler, Wisconsin, and St Andrews, Scotland. For more details, please visit KOHLER.com.

About First Supply

Established in La Crosse, Wis., First Supply LLC is a regional wholesale distributor with 34 locations in the Midwest including 16 kitchen and bath stores. Founded in 1897, First Supply, employing over 600 people, is a family-owned provider of HVAC-R, builder, plumbing, waterworks, industrial PVF, and pump/well and septic supplies. The Kitchen and Bath Store division of First Supply including The Kohler Signature Stores by First Supply in Edina, Minn., and Wauwatosa, Wis., along with 14 Gerhard’s Kitchen & Bath Stores in Minn., Wis., and Iowa are the largest and most versatile kitchen and bath stores in the upper Midwest. For more information, visit http://www.1supply.com and http://www.gerhardsstore.com.

About MSI General Corporation

MSI General, located in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin, is a privately held company that offers architectural design and building construction services to customers throughout Wisconsin. The company was founded in 1957 by Claude Debbink under the name of Metal Structures, Inc. In 1976, the firm became MSI General Corporation. The firm, one of the first fully integrated design / build companies in the state, continues to offer that value to customers through the Life of the Project Management (LOPM) process, which guarantees a timely completion and accurate outcomes through Single Source Responsibility ™ and accountable decision making. Dirk J. Debbink, the company’s current chairman and CEO, is the third generation family member to own and operate MSI General Corporation. For more information, please visit MSIGeneral.com.

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Anne M. Smith
Kohler Co.
+1 (920) 451-4468
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