Industry News | January 16, 2012

LEED Puts the "Gold" in Riverside Golden Arches

McDonald's restaurant in Riverside, California, today was awarded LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold certification.

The restaurant, located at 2242 University Ave., became the first McDonald's west of the Mississippi, and only the fourth in the U.S., to receive the prestigious designation.

Other LEED-certified McDonald's restaurants are located in Cary, North Carolina; Savannah, Georgia; and Chicago. 

LEED is the U.S. Green Building Council's rating system for designing and constructing the world's greenest, most energy efficient and high performing buildings.

LEED is a point-based system where building projects earn LEED points for satisfying specific green building criteria. The five categories include sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, and indoor environmental quality.

"We are honored to receive this gold certification from LEED, which underscores our rigorous sustainability initiatives," says Candace Spiel, McDonald's owner/operator.

"We are proud of the many eco-friendly features included in our restaurant and the shining example of environmental stewardship it provides to the Riverside community."

This 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, the restaurant was completely rebuilt and reopened Oct. 14, 2010 containing a host of "green" features such as 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 also includes an interactive touch screen display for visitors to learn about the building's features, environmental sustainability, and how individuals can reduce their carbon footprint.  

With the installation of these features, the University Avenue McDonald's restaurant has achieved the following water and energy-savings:

  • The restaurant's solar array has generated electrical energy that saves approximately 8,950 kWH per month of utility usage, which is equal to the power usage of 13 average Riverside homes for one month. Increased efficiencies such as low-E glass windows and LED lighting helped realize an additional energy savings of 2,870 kWH per month, which is equal to an additional four Riverside homes.
  • Saved approximately 250,000 gallons of water, which is equal to the water of eight 20 ft x 40 ft swimming pools.
  • Due to permeable pavers, about 283,000 gallons of rainfall water is diverted from storm water system per year which is equal to the water of nine 20 ft x 40 ft swimming pools.

"The City of Riverside and its residents take pride in having one of only four LEED certified McDonald's restaurants in our community," says Ron Loveridge, mayor of Riverside. 

"We are delighted that this local McDonald's has taken such significant measures to conserve our natural resources while educating residents about the importance of energy conservation. We congratulate the Spiels and McDonald's for this meaningful accomplishment."

Beginning as manager trainee and crewperson, respectively, over the last 40 years Tom and Candace have risen within the ranks of the McDonald's system to own and operate nine McDonald's restaurants in the Inland Empire located in Chino, Ontario, Montclair, Pomona, Riverside, and Rubidoux.

Both Tom and Candace are members of the McDonald's Operators' Association of Southern California, which is comprised of more than 120 small business owners who operate more than 600 McDonald's restaurants in the counties of Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, and Ventura.