Riverside, Calif. -- A McDonald's restaurant in Riverside, Calif., has been LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold certified. It is the chain’s first location west of the Mississippi, and only the fourth in the United States, to receive the prestigious designation. Other LEED-certified McDonald's restaurants are located in Cary, N.C., Savannah, Ga. and Chicago.
The restaurant, the first LEED Gold certified restaurant in the city of Riverside, is owned and operated by Tom and Candace Spiel and stood as a McDonald's for 44 years. In August 2010, it was completely rebuilt and subsequently reopened with a host of "green" features, including low-flow plumbing fixtures, recycled denim insulation inside the building, native drought tolerant plants to reduce water consumption by landscape and solar panels.
The restaurant's solar array has generated electrical energy, which saves approximately 8,950 kWH per month of utility usage. Increased efficiencies such as low-E glass windows and LED lighting helped realize an additional energy savings of 2,870 kWH per month.
Due to permeable pavers, about 283,000 gallons of rainfall water is diverted from storm water system per year.
The restaurant also includes an interactive touchscreen display for visitors to learn about the building's features, environmental sustainability, and how individuals can reduce their carbon footprint.