Surely we are not going to discover the McDonald’s company, but we can still show you its building that is most committed to the environment: it is in Disney.
Speed is not always synonymous with quality, or the opposite, of course. And this is precisely the quality that stands out the most in the McDonald’s company, and I am not saying this only because of the immediacy with which they serve their menus, but also because of the way they build their buildings and/or reforms, the execution of which is almost as vehement as the preparation of their hamburgers. Now there is no building, but you turn around, and Wham!! A McDonald’s!!
Jokes aside, the company is putting part of its investments into what we call protecting the environment. As proof of this, we discover the latest construction of McDonald’s. It is a building of about 745 square meters, with a spectacular volume designed in the shape of a butterfly, that is, with an inverted gabled roof, raising the eaves at the ends and lowering them in the center. Come on, unlike the traditional gable roofs.
The spectacular McDonald’s at Walt Disney World Resort
This feat of engineering and architecture is found in Orlando and, more specifically, at the Walt Disney World Resort. Its inauguration was held in June of last year and it aims to be the first fast food establishment with zero energy input from abroad. Come on, what is called in professional jargon, a self-sufficient building. To do so, the design team, the studio Ross Barney Architects, led by architect Carol Ross Barney, did not want to give up anything.
The first thing they did was eliminate the previous McDonald’s that occupied the place. It was an incorrect building that was distinguished by a huge white facade with an arched roof above it, designed by Venturi Scott Brown Associates, a towering “M”, and a huge Happy Meal, which came out of the facade with a very Disney-style design. , with the hamburger and the glass of soda with big eyes and open mouths. How styles change!
A sustainable and self-sufficient building
The architect decided that, following the guidelines of the company’s sustainability program «Scale for Good», which seeks to reduce polluting emissions in the food chain, they were going to go all out. They wanted a zero emission building. She first began by analyzing the reusable parts of the old building, such as the foundations, kitchen enclosures and some parts of the public toilets. With this she designed the building you see in the images.
The second step was to reduce the energy demand of the property. For this, and as a great star element of the design, they placed blinds in almost the entire contour of the building. Intelligent wood and glass shutters, placed in a way that allows cross ventilation, which considerably reduces the demand for heating. According to the study, 65% of annual heating is saved with the design.
A huge natural garden and solar panels to supply energy
EOn the roof we find 445 square meters of integrated photovoltaic panels. These are called BIPV, for its acronym in English: Building Integrated PhotoVoltaics. But this is nothing, accompanying its energy harvesting function, we find another 1,700 square meters of photovoltaic panels that help generate 704,791 kWh per year. Enough power for the complex to run like clockwork.
It also has a 160-square-meter wall of vegetable garden and an outdoor garden space, with native species, such as the Ruellia brittoniana ‘Katie’, with violet flowers, or the Tradescantia spathacea, which has long green leaves and striking yellow stripes. This natural wall provides a drop in temperature, as well as abundant clean air without contaminants. The irrigation system belongs to the Sempergreen company and is one hundred percent automatic.
McDonald’s is committed to caring for the environment
Outside, a permeable pavement helps to absorb water when it rains heavily, in order not to flood the outdoor dining room with water. Of course, the water is collected and directed to two huge nearby ponds and used for irrigation and other uses. This will help the company achieve zero energy certification through the International Living Future Institute (ILFI).
However, the most important thing about this project is not that it wants to be the first self-sufficient fast food restaurant, the most important thing is its vocation to be used as a learning center where solutions can be tested that help the rest of the restaurants in the house to provide themselves with even more sustainable and efficient tools. To do this, the company tries to educate its customers in good sustainable practices, having electricity-generating bicycles, through which golden arches in the building and other trifles can be illuminated, such as table games where you can learn more about renewable energies. .
The future of architecture is green
Other companies that participated in the execution of the building were: the local architecture studio CPH, the company specialized in structures Goodfriend Magruder Structure, the main contractor Southland Construction; the Kawneer company provided the curtain walls; the automatic blinds were carried out by the Moffitt company; the work surfaces were made with Corian; and the permeable pavement with Unilock.
The future moves faster and faster and architecture and engineering are not being left behind. All this, in the company of the most varied companies, with good motivations, both economic and social, which will make us get closer to the energy ideal. Beyond confusing catastrophic predictions, the future will not be rosy, but it will surely be highly efficient.