Interior design

Sustainable Design Practices for Retail Spaces

March 12, 2024

How can retailers and building owners reduce their footprint across the design of their brick-and-mortar spaces? Discover some of the best practices across energy use, water use, material sourcing, construction processes, and design for disassembly – and see how green building certifications can assist in meeting and measuring targets.

Sustainable Design Practices for Retail Spaces

La Samaritaine Department Store in Paris, France

Property developers are increasingly focusing on achieving sustainable building and net zero emission targets across retail buildings like malls and shopping complexes, while smaller businesses are taking measures of their own to reduce their footprints.

Besides environmental benefits, sustainable practices across retail can provide significant savings – especially when it comes to energy and water efficiency.

In this guide, discover both building and interior design elements that can help drive sustainable retail design and discover the ways retailers are reducing their overall footprint across areas such as energy use, construction processes, and more. Plus, explore case studies in sustainable retail design from around the world.

Until the distribution of costs across the retail value chain is resolved, retailers that act early will help to shape the landscape and have the potential to create more value for their customers, their investors, and the planet.

McKinsey & Company: Climate sustainability in retail: Who will pay?[1]

Energy efficiency in the built environment is a triple win – socially, economically, and environmentally.

Jens Birgersson, ROCKWOOL CEO, Sustainability Report

La Samaritaine

Paris, France

27 percent of the LVMH-owned department store's energy needs are covered by renewable energy, mainly through heating solutions that range from geothermal energy to solar thermal hot water in combination with natural ventilation. Following project completion, La Samaritaine was awarded LEED "Gold", BREEAM "Excellent", and HQE green building certification.

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Shopping Centre in La Samaritaine in Paris France with Rockfon Mono Acoustic.

Tripla Mall

Helsinki, Finland

The Finnish mall consumes approximately 40 percent less energy and clean water when compared to similar new buildings, which helped it achieve LEED certification at the Platinum level. A stormwater system allows water to either be absorbed into the ground or recycled for areas such as the car wash. A green roof area takes up approximately 40 percent of the entire roof area.

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FI, Tripla, Helsinki, Arkkitehdit Soini & Horto, Sweco Architects Oy, Retail, Rockfon Mono Acoustic, D-edge, 1800x1200, White

Volkswagen Showroom

Copenhagen, Denmark

The decommissioned Rockfon ceilings at the Volkswagen Showroom in Copenhagen were sent to ROCKWOOL to be upcycled into new wall and ceiling products.

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VW Showroom in Copenhagen with Rockfon Color-all Black in X-edge

Samsung KX

London, England

Samsung KX, Samsung’s experiential showroom in King’s Cross, received a 72 percent "Excellent" score from BREEAM thanks to efforts such as the standardisation of materials and the prefabrication of certain elements to reduce project waste.

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UK, SamsungKX, London, KSS, Retail, Rockfon Mono Acoustic, 1800x1200, White, Showrooms

What Does Sustainable Retail Design Sound Like?

Acoustic wall and ceiling solutions contribute to the retail experience by absorbing the excess noise that make customers feel uncomfortable, improving the indoor environmental quality and overall customer experience.

Like all other products used across retail outlets, their contribution to environmental efforts should be set as priority.

Rockfon, part of the ROCKWOOL Group, uses volcanic rock as the core material – one of nature's most abundant resources. Each year, the Earth produces 38 000 times more volcanic rock than ROCKWOOL uses in a year.