Fast Company -“McDonald’s new restaurant is 100% solar powered”

July 11, 2020
Mc Donalds Global Flagship 17

At a new McDonald’s restau­rant that just opened at Walt Dis­ney World Resort in Flori­da (with COVID-19 pro­tec­tion mea­sures in place), solar pan­els cov­er­ing the roof — and solar glass pan­els through­out the build­ing — are designed to gen­er­ate enough ener­gy that the restau­rant can run on 100% renew­able power.

Run­ning ful­ly on renew­able pow­er, or reach­ing a goal of net zero’ ener­gy use, is still sort of at the tech­no­log­i­cal edge for build­ings,’ says Car­ol Ross Bar­ney, prin­ci­pal at Ross Bar­ney Archi­tects, the firm that led the design of the new restau­rant. But it’s def­i­nite­ly the future.’ This restau­rant will serve as a lab for McDonald’s to test sus­tain­abil­i­ty solu­tions that the com­pa­ny can lat­er repli­cate else­where, includ­ing new kitchen equip­ment that can help shrink ener­gy use. For a restau­rant, the biggest ener­gy use is in cook­ing, espe­cial­ly in a high-vol­ume restau­rant like this one at Dis­ney World,’ she says. The com­pa­ny will test new equip­ment for cook­ing burg­ers that can go on stand­by when there are few­er cus­tomers (old­er equip­ment had to keep run­ning) and new cool­ers and freez­ers that are as effi­cient as possible.

In the net-zero-ener­gy McDonald’s din­ing room, a pas­sive ven­ti­la­tion sys­tem cir­cu­lates the air to keeps the space com­fort­able with­out hav­ing the air con­di­tion­ing on most of the time. We were real­ly inter­est­ed in tak­ing advan­tage of the cli­mate in Flori­da, which is most of the year is fan­tas­tic,’ Ross Bar­ney says. You real­ly don’t need to con­di­tion the air. You could sit out­side, and in most cas­es inside, with­out any air con­di­tion­ing or heat­ing.’ Win­dows tied to the building’s ener­gy sys­tem auto­mat­i­cal­ly open when the tem­per­a­ture and humid­i­ty are com­fort­able, and fans auto­mat­i­cal­ly turn on. A large out­door eat­ing porch, not a com­mon fea­ture for a fast-food restau­rant, has as many seats out­side as the indoor din­ing space. (The restau­rant is cur­rent­ly offer­ing only dri­ve-thru and deliv­ery options, but it will open for , car­ry out and dine-in ser­vice at a lat­er date.) We’re hop­ing that that’ll give peo­ple the impe­tus to eat out­side and we’ll learn how not to use ener­gy,’ she says.“

Read more at fast​com​pa​ny​.com.

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