Environment friendly green building products and construction methods is a growing segment within the construction trade and focuses on products and techniques that promote health, safety, energy conservation, waste management and recycling. Businesses of all sizes are discovering the financial, personal and community benefits of being green. Needless of say the type of businesses includes restaurants too. There are two main ways how restaurants can claim to be green in their operation: construction & maintenance, and food supply. The first is the reduction in energy consumption and using environment friendly construction products.
The second is the food itself as the present world is seeing that the food is increasingly becoming processed and removed from its origins. A restaurant planning to be green has to focus its energy on both these areas. There are guidelines helping business owners in their efforts to go green. This paper focuses on the various aspects of green restaurant design. The paper is divided into three parts. The first part deals with the various ways in which restaurant owners can go green concentrating on the energy saving and food supply aspects.
This part will also mention the various organizations that facilitate the designing of green restaurants and their corresponding guidelines. The second part deals with the various popular certifications available that would prove that a restaurant is indeed green. The third part gives a personalized restaurant plan focusing on the ‘green’ aspects. PART I Design and operation of Green Restaurants Going green for restaurant initially meant that there would be only organic dumplings available on the menu. This is not the case presently. Food can be eco-friendly in other formats as well.
Vaughan Lazar and Michael Gordon have developed Pizza Fusion of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, as an organic green pizza restaurant. In addition to pizzas, the menu features sandwiches, salads and other food from organic components. Lazar and Gordon are making the operation as green as possible to build a solid green brand from the start. It is not just food either. Their buildings are certified by LEED, their delivery vehicles are hybrid, their power is wind, their utensils are bio plastic, and their countertops are made from recycled materials. The restaurant is so successful that they have now started selling franchises (Croston2008, p. 197).
A major part of the green restaurants is however the food itself. The strategies used above are just some which the restaurants can use to boost their sales and at the same time maintain a clean operation that is eco friendly and also healthy This section deals with the entire set of operations that a commercial green kitchen can have to make their operations cleaner. The health issue is tackled first, then the organic food option is reviewed, and finally the equipments and other accessories that can be used in the green restaurants are examined in detail.
The section also has tips which restaurants can use to keep their operations eco-friendly. Greening of the Kitchen Kitchen is the heart of any restaurant. The use of organic products is one of the aspects of greening the kitchen, which is discussed in the next section. However, there are many other issues that need to taken care of inside the kitchen itself to make the restaurant green. There is no sustainable definition of a eco-friendly green restaurant. Some of the strategies that can be used are choosing low VOC paints, replacing incandescent with fluorescent light bulbs and selecting energy efficient appliances.
The other strategies are capital intensive such as using only FSC certified wood or reclaimed wood, consciously choosing to simplify or downsize and using a professional green architect for the purpose. This section presents some of the basic principles of a green kitchen which restaurants can use as a basic guideline: Choosing high performance windows – If possible, the windows should be good quality insulation, typically double pane or triple pane. They must have an appropriate low e-coating for the climate to kept inside the kitchen the winder and keep sun’s heat ou tin the summers.
The Efficient Windows collaboration has helpful information in this regard Good Insulation – The insulation of perimeter walls and ceiling must be good. Some options are using batts made from denim and other textile scrap, spray-in or loose-fill cellulose insulation made from recycled newspapers and recycled content fiberglass batts with not added formaldehyde. Prevent air leaks that waste energy – This can be done with easy to install weather-stripping products. Cracks around the windows must be caulked and heating and cooling systems must be checked to make sure all joints of the ductwork are connected and well sealed with a mastic sealant.
Choose energy and water efficient appliances – Since the kitchen accounts for the maximum portion of energy consumption in a restaurant, the appliances used must be extremely efficient. They must have rating such as ENERGY STAR Provide good day lighting – The kitchen must be well illuminated by daylight even on the cloudiest days as it will save the electricity used during the day time Choose energy efficient lighting – Effective kitchen lighting is paramount for comfortably and safely preparing food and also saves energy. High quality fluorescent lighting for general lighting and task lighting must be chosen
Provide summer shade – The hot summer sun striking west or south facing windows can drive air conditioning costs through the roof. Hence it is best to plant shades on the west and south sides with awnings or overhangs. Conserve water – Protect freshwater supplies and reduce stress on wastewater treating systems by reducing water consumption. Either wash dishes by hand or use water-efficient dish washer and low-flow faucets and consider reusing gray water. Some of the methods of water conservation are given in the figure below