Archive for January, 2008

Takeout Containers01.30.08

From Elizabeth Gillian over at Chow, an exploration of the “greenness” takeout/takeaway containers.

Posted in 4000 Waste Mitigation, Handling and Disposa, 4500 Packagingwith No Comments →

Waipahu School Cafeteria (Waipahu, HI) [LEED-NC Certified]01.29.08

The 19, 2000 square-foot, $5.7 million school cafeteria for the Flying Eagles, includes kitchen, stage, dressing rooms, restrooms, a 750-person capacity dining hall and separate faculty dining room. The facility, designed by Ferraro Choi and Associates, is described in great detail in the case studies from the firm. Extensive analysis and modeling results in a dining hall that operates without any electric lighting or ceiling fans.

The facility is LEED-NC Certified [pdf], achieves a 16% energy savings, and a 63% water savings. Sources indicate a $3000/year energy savings.

The project is discussed in the Honolulu Star-Bulletin, the Honolulu Advertiser, the American Council of Engineering Companies of Hawai’i, and in a press release from the school district.

Posted in 7100 LEED, Construction, Dining Hall, LEED-Certified, LEED-NCwith No Comments →

Presentation Center Welcome Center (Los Gatos, CA) [LEED-NC Gold]01.29.08

A new 10, 170 square-foot straw bale welcome center and dining facility for the Presentation Center includes a kitchen and three dining areas with enough room to serve 200. The facility includes photovoltaics, solar thermal, straw-bale construction, a living roof, graywater use for landscaping, and extensive use of recycled construction materials.

Results include LEED-NC Gold [pdf], 50% reduction in energy consumption and 30% reduction in water consumption.

Tags: ,

Posted in 2700 Greywater, 4200 Recycling, 7100 LEED, Construction, Dining Hall, LEED-Gold, Photovoltaic, Solar Thermalwith No Comments →

Cleveland Foodbank (Cleveland, OH) [LEED-NC Certified]01.29.08

A 120, 000 square-foot, $10 million warehouse and distribution facility in Cleveland, operated by the Cleveland Foodbank is certified [pdf] under the LEED-NC standard. The new sustainable building contributed to Cleveland Foodbank’s selection by America’s Second Harvest as their 2006 Member of the Year.

More information on the facility is available from Builders Exchange and the Cleveland Green Building Coalition [pdf].

If you’re in the are and hurry (deadline February 15, 2008), you can catch a tour.

Posted in 7100 LEED, Construction, LEED-Certified, LEED-NCwith No Comments →

Betting on a vertical farm… or not01.24.08

Widely reported around the net a couple weeks ago, some sources indicate that development has begun on a $200 million vertical farm facility in the desert of Nevada. Or maybe not. The city and county apparently don’t know anything about it. The design apparently originates with one Chris Jacobs – but it’s just that, a design. So, the whole story may be bogus, but it raises some interesting questions. If we can’t trust the headline, we probably can’t trust the numbers (and there are only a few available), but for the sake of exercise…

As reported, the 30-story facility is large enough to feed 72,000 people. That’s about 13% of the population of Las Vegas – 8 of these (for $1.6 billion) is enough to feed the city (feeding the tourists is another problem). It would take about 4200 of these to feed the country (303,300,000 / 72,000). They’re anticipating $25 million from produce and $15 million from tourists. Presumably the tourist revenue will drop off as these things spring up like weeds. Ignoring tourists and pesky things like inflation, and with a stated annual operating cost of $6 million, the farm complex would break even in about 10.5 years ($200M / $19M net/year).

The most-often-cited source (Next Energy News) reports that “Revenue from the 30 story Vertical Farm would approach $40 Annually” – an obvious typo. At Restaurant Reformer we’re sure that’s supposed to be $40 million.

For those counting food-miles as a measure of sustainability, building a farm near the city could be a very good thing. As a contained environment, things like pests are excluded physically and seasons are irrelevant. There’s a lot to be said for farming in a building, but what’s the real story?

For that, the Restaurant Reformer follows the breadcrumbs to Dr. Dickson Despommier’s vertical farm site, where we find an economic analysis that appears to have a bit more research behind it (thanks to Jackie Baumgartner, Locky Chambers, Alexis Harman, Jun Mitsumoto and Jordana Rothschild). This material is the basis for some more-respectable stories on the subject, including New York Magazine, CNN, Wired, and the BBC.

Despommier’s numbers are a bit different – a 21-story building that costs $84 million to build, $13.5 million/year in pre-tax revenue from lettuce. That gets into the black a lot faster than the Vegas theory (84 / 13.5 = 6.25 years).

They’ve done all the heavy lifting over at Despommier’s vertical farm site, so we’ll leave the expertise to the experts. The story got picked up and carried around the net, so that suggests there’s some interest in the idea – even if it’s not happening in Vegas today.

Posted in 1100 Agriculture, Localwith No Comments →

Megenity, Mercury Cafe (Denver, CO)01.13.08

Far out on the edge of sustainability in food service, we find a place in Denver, Colorado. Featuring a living wall, greywater recycling, two wind turbines, no air conditioning, 99% organic, 80% local food sourcing, Marilyn Megenity at the Mercury Café is pushing hard on the sustainability front, with a specific goal of being completely off-grid.

More on the Mercury Café at the BBC, the Denver Post, and Greenprint Denver.

Posted in 2700 Greywater, 3000 Energy, Air Conditioning, Local, Organic, People, Restaurants, Windwith No Comments →

AskPablo: Electric Hand Dryer or Paper Towel?01.13.08

Pablo takes a crack at the Electric Hand Dryer or Paper Towel question from a CO2 perspective. Conclusion: pant leg.

Others have taken a spin through this material – the Portland Tribune, Saving Energy (blog). It’s a common question, with lots of manufacturers weighing in on their respective sides. Anyone know of a truly independent study on the matter?

Of course, your local codes may vary. Your pants might too.


Posted in 3100 Electricity, 4000 Waste Mitigation, Handling and Disposa, Efficiencywith No Comments →

Bartmann: Red Stag Supper Club (Minneapolis, MN) [LEED-CI]01.11.08

Opened in 2007 by Kim and Kari Bartmann, the Red Stag Supper Club is the first restaurant in Minnesota registered under the LEED-CI 2.0 standard.

Posted in 7100 LEED, LEED-CI, Restaurantswith No Comments →

Frasier and Gaier: Summer Winter (Burlington, MA)01.11.08

Located in the Burlington Marriott, chefs Clark Frasier and Mark Gaier present New England cuisine at Summer Winter (opened in 2007). With food sourced locally, and grown in their own greenhouse, they eschew large food suppliers.

Posted in Local, Restaurantswith No Comments →

Ask a Sustainable Agriculture Expert01.10.08

Food service doesn’t happen without agriculture, so it’s probably worth investigating the links in the food chain to see if there’s something useful. Fortunately, the US Federal Government appropriated funds to let the National Center for Appropriate Technology continue to operate the National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service.

This means you still have an opportunity to ask an expert.

Previous answers discuss turkey, quail, mushrooms, dairy, hogs, persimmon, cherries, sugarcane, cheese making, pomegranate, alligator and much, much more.

If you are trying to source sustainable and/or organic food, the National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service has a vast library of material available.

Posted in 1100 Agriculture, Organicwith No Comments →

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