Chipotle Mexican Grill announced that it has been awarded Platinum level LEED® certification by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) for its Gurnee, Ill. restaurant. The restaurant was built in 2008 under the LEED for Retail pilot program and is the first restaurant to receive Platinum level certification, the USGBC’s highest LEED certification level.
“Part of changing the way the world thinks about and eats fast food is designing and building restaurants in more environmentally friendly ways,” said Steve Ells, founder, chairman and co-CEO of Chipotle. “Our team worked hard to ensure that sustainable elements that made sense for this location were seamlessly incorporated into the design of the restaurant, while still giving it the iconic look of a Chipotle.”
The Gurnee, Ill. Chipotle restaurant opened in the fall of 2008 and was designed to achieve LEED certification for energy use, lighting, water and material use. The planning and construction process was carefully managed by Chipotle in conjunction with the USGBC.
“Chipotle’s commitment to the LEED certification process has demonstrated a passionate commitment to green building leadership,” said Rick Fedrizzi, president, CEO and founding chair, U.S. Green Building Council. “The project’s effective use of natural resources and sustainable design elements serve as a model for other LEED for Retail projects, and Chipotle has become a driving force in the green building movement.”
In addition to a variety of recycled building materials and environmentally friendly systems, the Gurnee restaurant includes a six kilowatt wind turbine that generates a portion of the restaurant’s energy on site, as well as a 2,500 gallon underground water cistern that harvests rainwater to irrigate the landscape.
Chipotle has designed and built other restaurants in Minneapolis and Long Island, NY to comply with LEED certification standards and is awaiting final certifications on those projects.
Steve Ells, founder, chairman and co-CEO, started Chipotle with the idea that food served fast did not have to be a typical fast food experience. Today, Chipotle continues to offer a focused menu of burritos, tacos, burrito bowls (a burrito without the tortilla) and salads made from fresh, high-quality raw ingredients, prepared using classic cooking methods and served in a distinctive atmosphere. Through our vision of Food with Integrity, Chipotle is seeking better food not only from using fresh ingredients, but ingredients that are sustainably grown and naturally raised with respect for the animals, the land, and the farmers who produce the food. Chipotle opened its first restaurant in 1993 and currently operates more than 860 restaurants. For more information, visit Chipotle.com.
The LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Green Building Rating System™ is a feature-oriented rating system that awards buildings points for satisfying specified green building criteria. The six major environmental categories to review include: Sustainable Sites, Water Efficiency, Energy and Atmosphere, Materials and Resources, Indoor Environmental Quality and Innovation and Design. Certified, Silver, Gold and Platinum levels of LEED green building certification are awarded based on the total number of points earned within each LEED category. LEED can be applied to all building types including new construction, commercial interiors, core & shell developments, existing buildings, homes, neighborhood developments, schools and retail facilities. Incentives for LEED are available at the state and local level and LEED has also been adopted nationwide by federal agencies, state and local governments and interested private companies. For more information, visit www.usgbc.org/LEED.