Mountain Equipment Co-op, the popular Canadian outdoor retailer founded over 40 years ago, has announced it is building a new head office in False Creek Flats, Vancouver.
To be completed by next summer, the 112,000-square-foot energy-efficient building will be one of Vancouver’s newest environmentally responsible business headquarters and “will stand as a landmark green development,” according to an MEC press release.
The new facility, which will employ around 300 people, is designed to maximize daylight and fresh air, collect and manage rainwater, and will be made largely from B.C. timber.
It is projected to be 70 percent more energy-efficient than conventional buildings, which would exceed the City of Vancouver’s requirement that commercial developments achieve Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold Certification.
“Mountain Equipment Co-op is a great local and national success story, and it’s fantastic to see MEC continue its growth from a new landmark head office in Vancouver,” Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson said in the release.
“MEC’s new expanded head office is another big boost for Vancouver’s False Creek Flats, creating new green jobs in a district that is emerging as a hub for innovation and sustainable enterprise.”
The new building won’t be all business, however. The head office will boast employee amenities such as a room for 128 bikes, shower and change facilities, a yoga studio, and an indoor climbing wall, as well as dedicated spaces to socialize and relax.
“MEC’s business is to support our members to lead active outdoor lifestyles, and that mission extends to our employees,” said CFO Sandy Treagus.
“Providing employees with a physical workplace that is fun, healthy, and inspiring increases their engagement and willingness to serve our members.”
The new facility is designed by Proscenium Architecture and Interiors, whose notable projects include the Queen Elizabeth Theatre, the David Suzuki Foundation’s head office, and the Orpheum Theatre.
MEC’s reputation for environmental awareness and passion for the outdoors has followed the company since it first opened in 1971, and not only in its building design.
With its wide range of outdoor activity equipment and apparel, from clothing to gear and activity services, MEC has become known as Canada’s leading retailer in the field.
In its early stages, the initial four founders of MEC ran the business without a paid staff, even distributing equipment from the back of a van the first year.
As the company established more success it gradually expanded across Canada, and now has 16 stores in 6 provinces.
In addition to the stores, MEC has 3.5 million members who are served through its www.mec.ca website.
As MEC is a co-operative business, anyone can join and become a part owner by purchasing a $5 lifetime individual membership—the initial investment of each of its founding members back in 1971.
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