McDonald’s has opened a new and sustainable flagship restaurant in Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. With this pilot restaurant, McDonald’s aims to be the very first energy-neutral fastfoodrestaurant in the world. To contribute to cleaner air, stimulate biodiversity and lower the ambient temperature, Ross Barney Architects chose to have almost 185 sqm. of SemperGreenwall living walls installed.
Green the whole year round
The plant assortment of the walls has been created in collaboration with Ross Barney Architects and Florida-based architectural and engineering firm CPH. It has also been tailored to the subtropical climate of Orlando. To keep the facades green the whole year round, they have been equipped with the unique Plant Care System. This web-based system ensures that the plants are provided with the correct amount of water and nutrients. The walls are monitored remotely, so the quantities can be adjusted if necessary.
Learning hub for sustainable solutions
McDonald’s ambition with this pilot restaurant is to receive a zero energy certification from the International Living Future Institute (ILFI). This certification is a goal for McDonald’s within the Scale for Good sustainability program. To live up to these sustainability ambitions, 1.000 solar panels have also been installed on the V-shaped roof in addition to the SemperGreenwalls. To share the knowledge that is gained with this pilot project, the building will be used as a learning hub. In this manner, McDonald’s wants to greatly reduce the energy- and wateruse of all restaurants.
The fastfood chain also wants to inform its customers about the importance of sustainability. Therefore, the restaurant offers fun and ‘green’ amenities, like bikes which customers can use to generate electricity and light up the McDonald’s logo on the restaurant. The lit arches of the ‘M’ create a beautiful contrast with the green walls surrounding them. Visitors can also play games which help them discover more about sustainable energy.
Photo credits: Kate Joyce/Ross Barney