A Chick-fil-A restaurant at Montgomery Plaza in Ft. Worth, Texas was the company’s first effort to design and build a sustainable restaurant—a building that is environmentally friendly and saves operating costs through energy efficiency. It was the first in the chain to be built to the standards of the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification program.
“Our Montgomery Plaza location was the city’s first restaurant to earn LEED Gold certification, and only the second in Texas,” said Chick-fil-A Vice President David Farmer. “An environmentally designed store has long been in the company’s plans, but the chance to build one hadn’t arisen until now. Montgomery Plaza is a redeveloped urban site, earning points toward LEED certification.”
Designers focused on energy and water conservation, recycling, and packaging when planning the restaurant. In order to reduce energy use by about 14%, skylights were installed in the 132-seat dining area and windows were used in the kitchen to let in natural light. All appliances are energy efficient, and the ventilation system will pump in about 30% more fresh air than a typical vent hood.
For water efficiency, low-flow fixtures were installed in the kitchen and restrooms. Engineers went a step further by harvesting rainwater to reuse onsite for irrigation. With limited available space on this redeveloped urban site, they utilized an underground system.
Chick-fil-A officials cooperated with Burger Engineering, LLC to find a cistern to meet their needs and chose a 35,000-gallon DuroMaxx Steel Reinforced Polyethylene (SRPE) cistern from Contech Engineered Solutions. Comprised of three 60-in. cistern sections that are each 80-ft long, the system was installed below grade and was backfilled in just one day.
“We chose the DuroMaxx cistern because of its superior joint quality; it will hold water for extended periods of time,” said Bryan Burger with Burger Engineering, LLC. “It was also preferred because of its cost effectiveness when compared to concrete pipe. Concrete is more expensive and is not watertight.”
The SRPE cisterns use welded couplers, which are manufactured using high-density polyethylene, pressure rated resins, and flat steel-bands. By implementing these water-efficiency features, the restaurant will reduce water usage by approximately 40%.
Recycling is also a major concern for the company. Most wood used in building the restaurant is Forest Stewardship Council certified or reclaimed. The interior trim was made from a material created from recycled Chick-fil-A cups, wall medallions were made from the company’s own decommissioned stainless-steel fryers and recycled tires were used to make the flooring in the indoor play area.
The Montgomery Plaza Chick-fil-A serves as a testing ground to evaluate the company’s ongoing environmental stewardship efforts. In December 2011 the restaurant was LEED Gold certified and was the first restaurant in Fort Worth to receive this designation.