Yum! opens their first environmentally-friendly restaurant

Posted by James Ferre on 24th March 2009

Yum! Brands the world’s largest restaurant company and parent of Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, KFC, has opened an environmentally-friendly KFC-Taco Bell restaurant in Massachusetts. The restaurant is the Company’s first effort to pursue certification under the United States Green Building Council’s LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) program. With the assistance of some of the leading sustainability and restaurant experts, Yum! Brands has carefully studied the environmental performance of the existing KFC-Taco Bell restaurant design in order to improve their green credentials.

“The Northampton KFC-Taco Bell is part of our E3 Initiative focusing on the Energy, Environment and Economics of our buildings,” said Jonathan Balas, AIA, LEED AP, KFC Project Architect, the architect who spearheaded and coordinated the project.

The restaurant is designed to use 30 per cent less energy and water than a conventional building, cut CO2 emissions, reduce waste going to landfills/incinerators and educate visitors and employees on sustainable design, according to the fast-food chain.

In order to reduce its carbon footprint, the restaurant uses solar energy to preheat fresh air coming into the building and reduce the use of natural gas. Additionally, the restaurant is using a sophisticated lighting control system that maximizes the use of natural light and has used some recycled content during building construction. LED lights, the most energy-efficient available today, were utilised where feasible both inside the restaurant, in the parking lot and on signage, Yum! reported. Utilising more energy efficient kitchen and building equipment, and purchasing renewable energy credits are also expected to limit the restaurant’s carbon footprint.

To reduce water wastage, harvested rainwater will be used for irrigation, while fixtures with lower water consumption rates, and a rain garden with filters that improve storm water quality, will also be used.