BE GREEN FROM THE GROUND UP!
The following links have resources for green building certification, construction materials, heating, ventilation, and air conditioning, and everything else you need to make your restaurant green from the foundations to the roof.
The U.S. Green Building Council provides a comprehensive database of LEED Certification requirements by region. The site allows you to choose your certification level and then displays all applicable regulations for your region. A great resource for those just getting into “green” building.
It is often not possible to start from scratch and create a fully green building to house your restaurant. But improvements made to the building’s shell, such as insulated walls and weather-proof windows, can serve to reduce your energy usage and improve your building’s efficiency. Energy Star provides a series of guidebooks on various aspects of building shell improvement.
Proper heating, ventilation, and air conditioning are crucial to maintain a comfortable and healthy environment in your restaurant. The more efficient your HVAC system, the lower your energy bills and impact on the environment. Check out Energy Star’s page for Small Business HVAC systems, full of information on improving and upgrading your system.
Lighting is crucial to the success of your business, but can use a huge chunk of energy- it can account for 20%-50% of the energy costs of your business! You can save significant money on electric bills by ensuring that your lighting is energy efficient; the Energy Star Lighting Guide states that major lighting upgrades usually provide the highest return-on-investment.
Inefficient POS modules and older office computers not only use more energy than newer models, but also tend to run hotter, increasing your cooling costs as well! Energy Star’s guide is full of certified equipment, along with simple suggestions to reduce everyday energy usage.