How the green-building model can work for quick-serves nationwide.
At a glance, thereâ€™s not much different about the McDonaldâ€™s restaurant in Savannah, Georgia – except maybe that white roof.
But look a little closer, and youâ€™ll see subtle signs that this particular McDonaldâ€™s is a little unusual – revolutionary, in fact – in the quick-serve world.
There are lots and lots of windows, for starters, along with bike racks and parking lot signs that give low-emission vehicles preferred spaces.
The standalone McDonaldâ€™s and a nearby Paneraâ€™s outlet are part of one of the nationâ€™s first green-certified shopping centers, Savannahâ€™s Abercorn Common, an environmentally friendly development where stormwater seeps through porous pavement into soil, rooftops reflect heat to keep things cool inside, and the sun serves as primary lighting most days.
‘Itâ€™s a beautiful McDonaldâ€™s,’ says owner Gary Dodd, who operates 12 McDonaldâ€™s in the Savannah area. ‘And this one, because itâ€™s green – itâ€™s special. And itâ€™s going to save us some energy costs as well.’
Dodd had the option of relocating an existing restaurant or becoming part of Abercornâ€™s green-built reconstruction, and he decided to stay put.
‘We wanted to be part of the entire concept,’ Dodd says. ‘I would be open to another green store anywhere. Itâ€™s almost like youâ€™re in the right location at the right time. If I had an opportunity to do it again, yes, Iâ€™d do it again.’