McDonald’s hoping for LEED Gold for Cary, N.C., location

New York City McDonald’s is hoping to be awarded LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold certification for its unit in Cary, N.C.

The restaurant, which opened in July, replaced a 25-year-old McDonald’s on the same spot. The original building was torn down and rebuilt (with materials that feature a high recycled content) to achieve LEED certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.

“My efforts in building this store are two fold: to be economically sound with energy-efficient methods and, at the same time, to provide a modern space for the enjoyment of customers, “ said Rica Richards, McDonald’s franchise owner/operator.

Similar to McDonald’s other green restaurant projects, the Cary location will serve as learning lab to provide a better understanding of green technologies and how they could be applied to new and existing restaurant designs. It features a daylighting system that utilizes tubular daylighting devices (from Solatube, Vista, Calif.), and is lit 97% with LED lights (from Cree, Durham, N.C.). The LEDs are featured throughout the space, including dining areas, kitchen, and restrooms as well as the drive-thru.

The Cary McDonald’s has a fully automated, intelligent lighting-control system that combines light from the high-efficiency LEDs and daylighting from the Solatube skylights with a photo sensor to maintain the proper light levels on work surfaces.

Compared with the standard lighting packages, the restaurant consumes 78% less electricity for lighting.

The building also uses water conservation measures such as low-flow toilets and landscaping consisting of native and adaptive plants and trees requiring little or no irrigation. Richards expects this will allow the restaurant to save 550,000 gallons of water annually.

In other green measures, the table and wall decor incorporate rapidly renewable materials such as sunflower seed board, wheat board, bamboo and kirei board. An educational touch screen in the dining room is designed to inform guests about the building and its environmental benefits.

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