This is an ongoing series to help our clients reap the benefits of going green. Yes, when done correctly, setting a balanced environmental mentality can actually save you money. Yes, one can go overboard on such things and it becomes counterproductive. However, the right mix of ecology can profit a restaurant business handsomely.
Your EEQ — Energy Efficiency Quotient
Keep your restaurant business EEQ (energy efficiency quotient) in mind as you remodel or build. Use green-smart materials and green strategies that save energy inside and out.
- Recyclables — Use recycled hardwood flooring, bricks, stones and paving materials.
- Non-wood and wood products — Use wood composites made of agricultural waste and non-wood materials.
- Insulation — Insulate exterior walls, floors, and ceilings to maximize heating and cooling. Put insulation batting and caulk around windows and doors.
- Natural light — Install skylights and windows where possible to save on lighting and heating costs. To control window lighting, use blinds.
- Roofing — A reflective roof can lower roof temperatures by up to 100 degrees and in some cases qualify you for tax credits. Or if you go with a traditional roof, use light colored roofing materials.
- Efficient lighting — Use high-efficiency lighting inside and out. Control light use with dimmable switches, timers and motion detectors.
- Heating & cooling — Make sure the heating/cooling system is properly sized. Too big a system is wasteful and expensive to operate. Systems too small struggle to maintain temperatures.
- Alternative energy — Consider using solar panels as an energy source. Look for products with photovoltaics and fuel cells. Most alternative energy-operations come with tax rebates and incentives.
- Smart windows — Place windows in areas that offer natural ventilation to take advantage of winds and thermal convention. Install double-paned windows to insulate against heat and cold.
Landscaping — Add greenery around your restaurant business to absorb heat and lower temperatures around your building. Plant drought resistant native or adapted trees and plants so you water less. Use recycled mulch to retain water around plants. Create a green roof of plants to insulate against cold and hot temperatures, absorb energy and reduce water flow.
There are many things you can do and still have a great looking facility.
To Your Success…
Dean Small and Danny Bendas