McDonald’s earns coveted LEED Platinum status

Oak Brook, Ill. McDonald’s celebrated Earth Day on Wednesday by announcing that its corporate headquarters in Oak Brook, Ill., had attained Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Platinum certification by the U.S. Green Building Council. Less than 210 building projects worldwide have achieved the LEED Platinum certification, the highest certification level in the LEED program.

McDonald’s headquarters broke new ground when it opened in 1998, with its space- and land-saving underground parking, landscaping with native plants and open-office environment with generous daylighting. Since then, the company has added numerous green features, including recycling and waste programs, the recapturing of rainwater for irrigation and green vehicle parking designations. The facility also converts used fry oil into biodiesel.

Forty-five percent of the total building energy consumption is procured from offsite renewable-energy sources (solar and wind). During 2008, the headquarters achieved an 8.3% (1.2M kWh) reduction in electrical consumption, which McDonald’s attributed to positive occupant behaviors, building re-commissioning, and sound operating practices.

Other eco-friendly components include the use of enhanced metering to monitor building systems efficiencies and low-mercury, energy-efficient interior lighting throughout the building. Also, the exterior lighting has been designed to minimize light pollution.

“By working through the LEED certification process, we were able to document that an environmentally friendly workplace can be cost effective. The benefits associated with this effort are ongoing, with positive impacts on our employees, our budgets and the environment. This third-party certification by the U.S. Green Building Council was a great validation for our workplace sustainability efforts,” said Joseph Endress, VP facilities and systems, McDonald’s.

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