Applebee's builds greenest restaurant in New York City

December 3, 2012

Diners may not imagine Applebee's as the greenest restaurant in New York City, but they may have to retool their perceptions. Sustainable Business News reports that the family-friendly grill will be the city's first Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold-certified restaurant.

More than 40 different sustainable technologies are incorporated within the design of the building at East River Plaza on 117th Street. The restaurant harvests rainwater from its rooftop greenhouse and automatic shades and skylights bring in and control daylight levels within the building. In addition, ENERGY STAR rated appliances, waterless urinals, reclaimed wood and light emitting diodes (LEDs) are used throughout the restaurant.

The combination of these technologies will reduce water usage by 40,000 gallons a year and gas use by one third, reports The Daily Meal.

Green energy construction is a growing feature of many structures throughout the city and the nation. However, no other restaurant throughout the Big Apple has managed to so effectively manage the costs associated with building a green structure and environmentalism as Applebee's.

"It's about being a good neighbor, both locally and globally," said Zane Tankel, Founder and CEO of Apple-Metro, Inc. which operates over 40 Applebee’s locations throughout the New York area. "We are focusing on green practices and are on a regular schedule of renovating and remodeling our existing restaurants to ensure that Applebee’s in New York City is becoming more environmentally-friendly."

The Daily Meal reports that the green Applebee's cost approximately $4 million to build – just $1 million more than what a conventional Applebee's restaurant costs to construct. A living wall of plants will be a focal point on one side of the building. As guests enter the dining venue they have the option of stopping at an education display to learn about how green energy technology incorporated into the building is reducing carbon emissions and energy use and benefitting the community.

Agencies and businesses across the United States are developing new plans to support the incorporation of green energy technology in existing and new structures. The Energy Efficient Buildings Hub (EEB Hub) in greater Philadelphia was established by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) as an Energy-Regional Innovation Cluster. The organization works with others to improve the energy efficiency of buildings and promote regional economic growth.