North Carolina’s first stand-alone LEED-certified restaurant—Subway on Market Street in Chapel Hill—will be officially recognized in a ceremony on Monday, June 29. Opened by franchisee Mike Abdallat, it will be only the second LEED-certified store in the entire Subway system (which totals more than 30,000 stores) and the first of some 740 Subways in North Carolina.

LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is a third-party certification program for the design, construction, and operation of high-performance green buildings. LEED serves as a benchmark for rating environmental performance and occupant satisfaction for several building scenarios.

“All of us at NC Subway Group are excited with the recent opening of the first Subway restaurant in North Carolina to be built and operated in accordance with LEED standards,” said Tim Mann, chief operating officer, North Carolina Subway Group Inc. “We are especially appreciative to Subway franchisee Mike Abdallat, who understood the importance of this initiative early on in the process. Subway looks forward to many more LEED restaurants throughout North Carolina in the near future.”

Abdallat owns two other Subways, in Carrboro and Raleigh. He said his ‘green’ investment was already paying dividends—his utility bills have been reduced by at least half. “I am sold on ‘green’ and will definitely do another eco-friendly store.”

Since September 2008, Subway and Abdallat have been working with Cary, North Carolina-based Green Tech Consulting Inc. to earn a LEED certification for the Chapel Hill store.

GreenTech worked with the U.S. Green Building Council to obtain the certification, complete the entire submittal application for review by the USGBC, and respond to comments and accept the final rating following USGBC’s review.
“We look forward to sharing what we have learned about applying sustainable principles and practices to the Subway franchise to more Subway locations,” said Liz Bowen, LEED AP, GreenTech Consulting Inc. “Subway is extending its concept of healthier lifestyle choices from the customer’s standpoint to the health and well being of the environment as a whole. We are happy to be a part of this concept transformation.”

Designed to have an overall smaller environmental footprint by requiring less energy and consuming less water, the eco-store elements for the Subway restaurant include recycled floor tile, high-efficiency Energy Star-rated HVAC systems, low flow and flush fixtures in public restrooms, less lighting power, and more natural light for seated customers. Overall, the new Subway store was renovated within its existing shell, thus avoiding a new building footprint.

Other eco-friendly elements include: building materials used from sustainable sources and extensive use of recycled products and furnishings; LED interior and exterior signage; remote condensing units for refrigeration and ice-making equipment; Energy Star-rated kitchen equipment; low VOC adhesives, sealants, paints and coatings; recycling collection of post-consumer recyclable waste generated in-store; and Forest Stewardship Certified (FSC) wood.

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