Moe’s Southwest Grill announced that the location in Williston, Vermont, has been awarded LEED Silver certification, making it the first restaurant in the chain and in the state of Vermont to earn this high honor.
LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is the nation’s preeminent program for the design, construction, and operation of high performance green buildings established by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and verified by the Green Building Certification Institute (
“The green building movement offers an unprecedented opportunity to respond to the most-important challenges of our time, including global climate change, dependence on non-sustainable and expensive sources of energy, and threats to human health,” says Rick Fedrizzi, president, CEO, and founding chair, U.S. Green Building Council. “The work of innovative building projects such as Moe’s Southwest Grill is a fundamental driving force in the green building movement.”
By using less energy and water, LEED certified buildings save money for families, businesses, and taxpayers; reduce greenhouse gas emissions; and contribute to a healthier environment for residents, workers, and the larger community.
Local franchise partners Sueayn and Philip Wood set out to build a restaurant and achieve LEED certification two and a half years ago.
Some of the green design and construction features that positively impacted the project itself and the broader community include LED lighting, energy efficient cooking equipment, and a technologically advanced air control system that they anticipate will reduce energy consumption by 22 percent.
In compliance with LEED standards, the building materials were locally sourced and the laminates, paint, and adhesives are all low-emission to help enhance the air quality of the restaurant.
In addition, this new location features low-flow sink aerators, low-flow toilets, and waterless urinals.
Finally, a unique regional feature is the Freeaire management system for the walk-in cooler that overrides the condensers and evaporators once the outside air reaches a temperature that is equal to or cooler than the desired walk-in temperature.
“It has been an amazing experience building a green restaurant from the ground up,” Sueayn Wood says. “We’re proud to offer our guests a well-rounded, eco-friendly dining experience, from the building design to our sustainable ingredients like grass-fed steak, grain-fed pork, and organic tofu.”