Wow, another week has flown by. It is Friday, which means it is time for my weekly LEED roundup.  

KFC/Taco Bell - Northampton, Massachusetts

KFC was recently featured on a segment of the Oprah show.  The “unfried” chicken has been making news since the feature.  Now, one KFC location in Northampton, Massachusetts is making news for a different reason – LEED Gold certification.

The building actually houses both a KFC and a Taco Bell, two of the Yum! Brands restaurants.   “The restaurant provides a testing lab to study the performance of green technologies and approaches to reduce the Company’s environmental impact. The design at the LEED certified KFC-Taco Bell is categorized by several key aspects including reducing carbon footprint, water conservation and quality, and sensible material use. The restaurant is designed to use 30 percent less energy and water than a conventional building, cut CO2 emissions, reduce waste going to landfills/incinerators and educating visitors and employees on sustainable design.”  Source: Business Wire

Eco-friendly design and construction features include counter tops with recycled content, sustainably harvested wood, cooking oil reclamation, and the use of purchased renewable energy credits.

LaFontaine Automotive Group – Highland, Michigan

Although General Motors is in bankruptcy and the economy in Michigan is hurting, one company decided to build a green automotive dealership.  The LaFontaine Automotive Group’s Buick, Pontiac, GMC, and Cadillac facility in Highland, Michigan was awarded LEED Gold certification in February.  The 63,000 square foot facility is the first GM dealership in the nation to receive LEED certification.

One of the big changes that the dealership made, when compared to non-green facilities, was a car wash system that recycles 85% of the water used.  Car dealerships all have car wash systems and they can be a huge source of water waste.  The new system cuts back on this, significantly, and helped contribute to the facility’s LEED Gold certification.

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