You are here

Founding Farmers LEED Gold Event

April 14, 2009

April 13, 2009

Earth Day 2009 marks a very special and very significant occasion for Founding Farmers - Wednesday, April 22 the restaurant will be officially certified as the first LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) restaurant in the District of Columbia, and the first full-service, upscale-casual restaurant in the entire United States to achieve LEED® Gold by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC).

Founding Farmers is the first Certified restaurant in the District of Columbia, and the first LEED Gold full-service, upscale-casual restaurant in the United States.  LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is the USGBC’s rating system for designing and constructing the world’s greenest, most energy efficient, high performing buildings and interior spaces.  LEED for Commercial Interiors certifies high-performance green interiors that are healthy, productive places to work; are less costly to operate and maintain; and have a reduced environmental footprint.   The LEED ratings scale includes: Certified, Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum.

 “We have set a new benchmark for restaurants to be more environmentally friendly with LEED Gold certification of Founding Farmers,” said Dan Simons, Principal of Vucurevich Simons Advisory Group, the management and operations company for the restaurant.  “This is an important achievement, not only for the hospitality industry, but for the ownership collective of more than 42,000 American family farmers whose food we bring directly to Founding Farmers,” added fellow VSAG Principal Michael Vucurevich, a former Executive Vice President of The Cheesecake Factory.

The restaurant was designed to achieve LEED certification by award-winning Washington, DC-based CORE architecture + design through energy use, lighting, water and sustainable materials, as well as by incorporating a variety of other sustainable strategies such as low-VOC paints and LED lighting.  The project was built by Forrester Construction and LEED compliance and consultation was provided by EMSI. 

“The certification of Founding Farmers is a prime example of how, through buildings, human systems integrate with natural systems,” said Rick Fedrizzi, President, CEO & Founding Chair, U.S. Green Building Council.  “The LEED credits are designed to address environmental, social and economic imperatives, and Founding Farmers should be commended for striking that dynamic balance with each meal they serve.”

LEED certification of Founding Farmers was based on a number of green design and construction features that positively impact the project and the community, including: 

Energy Star Appliances for over 80% of all eligible appliances (by rated power).  These include freezers, refrigerators, dish machines, cooking appliances and 4 LCD televisions.

HVAC System – higher efficiency exceeding the Advanced Buildings Energy Benchmark, with CO2 sensors throughout the restaurant to monitor indoor air quality.

Green Power – purchase of green power credits for 50% of electricity consumption.
Materials and Finishes – More than 15% of construction materials are reclaimed, 45% of all materials were manufactured within 500 miles, and 90% of construction waste was recycled.

Plumbing Fixtures & Water – from waterless urinals to low-flow lavs, Founding Farmers saves at least 192,168 gallons of water per year as compared to conventional restaurant design.

Founding Farmers also operates as a Certified Green Restaurant™, awarded by the Green Restaurant Association, and utilizes sustainable agriculture and direct farm sourcing for its menus, making it DC’s Greenest Restaurant, along with green operations and design. 

# # #