The hallmark of a great company is the internal desire to adapt to the changing tides of technology and environmental responsibility. The new River North McDonald's is a shining example of McDonald's renewable initiatives as they apply to become LEED® (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) certified.
This flagship location is the most recent McDonald's restaurant to undergo renovations as part of the company's "Experience of the Future" campaign. McDonald's EOTF restaurants leverage technology, such as kiosk ordering and mobile app integration. McDonald's estimates all of its US freestanding locations will undergo renovations to become EOTF restaurants by 2020.
This restaurant, designed by architect Carol Ross Barney, incorporated many eco-friendly features including: trees planted at ground level, vegetated roof space, floating glass garden, exterior LED lighting, an energy efficient kitchen, and HVAC equipment. One of the most visible components is mounted 40 feet above ground level. An impressive structure of 1,062 photovoltaic panels on a tiered solar canopy offer shade to the plaza around the entrances and is expected to generate a significant percentage of the building's electricity needs. Solar panels have become a widely recognized statement of environmental consciousness.
Michael Ceferin, from McDonald's Global Development Group, worked closely with Bob Eaton, Managing Partner for Day & Night Solar, in selecting solar products best suited for the geographical area and application. With the goal set to reach the highest output per square foot, the Panasonic high efficiency HIT™ panel, with a 25-year, 90% production warranty, was chosen to be coupled with no maintenance HiQ NEMA 6 rated AC Inverters. This combination of products allows Day & Night to provide an overall 95% system availability guarantee. In keeping with McDonalds goals of "Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction," a revenue grade monitoring system was also installed to accurately track the system's production. The monitoring provides real-time communication and alerts for system power variations, further strengthening the long-term viability of the array. It is anticipated that the solar array will provide approximately 60% of the store's annual power needs for decades.
"Working with Day & Night Solar on this project was an amazing experience," says Ceferin. "They were able to take and develop a concept and execute it effectively within a very short construction schedule."
Day & Night Solar provided a turnkey process, creating local jobs as part of their national supplier relationship with National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) by choosing member contractor, Kelso-Burnett Company, high quality electrical professionals handling the necessary manpower for system installation.
McDonald's is an environmental leader and the Chicago stage is a phenomenal place to highlight a focus on community and sustainability. The future has arrived and the power of solar is shining bright in River North.
Day & Night Solar is a proud partner of McDonald's and provider of the solar renewable energy design and equipment incorporated into the recently opened Flagship restaurant in downtown Chicago. For more information contact Day & Night Solar at http://www.dayandnightsolar.com
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