LEED-targeted McDonald's opens in California

by Bryan Salvage
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RIVERSIDE, Calif. – A rebuilt McDonald's restaurant in Riverside, Calif., became the first McDonald's west of the Mississippi and the fourth in the US to seek LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold certification.

Owned and operated by Tom and Candace Spiel, the building has stood as a McDonald's restaurant for 44 years and recently reopened with new features including:

  • Light-colored hardscape to reduce heat emissions from site.
  • Native drought-tolerant plants to reduce water consumption by landscape.
  • Low-flow plumbing fixtures to reduce water usage.
  • 294 photovoltaic panels to generate a percentage of the restaurant's power consumption.
  • Recycled denim insulation inside the building.

Also featured is an interactive touch-screen display for visitors to learn about the building, environmental sustainability and how individuals can reduce their carbon footprint.

Other LEED-certified McDonald's restaurants are located in Cary, N.C., Savannah, Ga., and Chicago. The Riverside restaurant expects to receive LEED certification within one year.

"We were inspired to build a McDonald's restaurant that highlights the green focus of Riverside: California's first Emerald City," said Candace Spiel, McDonald's owner/operator. "We are so proud of this restaurant and its possibilities to encourage and educate our customers and community on the importance of environmental sustainability." 

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