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A.R.E. Awards – Sustainability – Project of the Year

Proving that commitment can overcome lack of experience in sustainable design, this project was designed to LEED Silver standards by designers with no prior LEED project involvement. Key to the endeavor was the integration of a multidisciplinary team early on with an independent commissioning agent. Innovative features offer not only environmental benefits, but also operational savings. And demonstrating good design rather than just green design, the store evolves the brand in its first mall concept to an upscale fast-casual restaurant catering to discerning, affluent shoppers.

The 40 to 100 percent cost increases for sustainable equipment are offset by two- to five-year paybacks through energy and waste savings. In lieu of a gas-fired heating unit to heat make-up air, two exhaust hoods transfer heat from the char-boiler and fryers using a variable-speed fan.

Calculated CO2 emission reductions are 18.6 tons annually from the four high-efficiency fryers alone. An air-cooled ice machine saves 264,000 gallons of water annually. Also contributing to the store‘s low water usage rate (70 percent below EPAct) are low-flow toilets, faucets with sensors and aerators, and low-flow, pre-rinse spray valves.

While regional sourcing of building materials is not always feasible for retail projects,the strategy fit with the brand‘s practice of sourcing its food ingredients locally. For this store‘s building materials, 32 percent were manufactured within 800 kilometers (nearly 500 miles) of the project site and 12 percent were both extracted and manufactured within that range. Building materials feature 85 percent FSC-certified wood, 38 percent recycled content, all low-VOC adhesives and coatings, no added urea formaldehyde, and reclaimed wood.

Purchased renewable energy offsets all of the store‘s energy usage. In addition, energy-reducing strategies include Energy Star ratings on 93.9 percent of equipment and LEDs for 85 percent of lighting, including all signage illumination. Ventilation is 30 percent above ASHRAE 62.1-2004, and 10 cubic meters of construction waste was diverted.

Ongoing sustainability measures include a thermal comfort monitoring program and used cooking oil management. Consumers can learn about the store‘s green features via prominent in-store signage, table toppers, and online strategy explanations.

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