Culver's opens new green prototype restaurant

Culver's new restaurant in West Baraboo, Wisc., is the company's first focusing on energy efficiency and is in line to become one of Wisconsin's first restaurants certified "Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design" (LEED) by the U.S. Green Building Council.

The new restaurant, which officially opens Tuesday at 420 Linn St., replaces the original Baraboo restaurant which opened in 1990.

"This restaurant will be like a classroom to us," said Jon Sandeman, Culver's project architect and LEED project administrator. "We will learn the return on investment on each of the design elements and from that determine which efficiency measures might be good additions system-wide. Here we'll be able to test sustainable strategies that our franchisees may not be able to undertake."

Green strategies integrated in the new West Baraboo Culver's include:

  • Supplementing the electrical supply with Solar Panels; the panels double as shades for the outdoor dining patio;
  • Increasing natural light through use of skylights and more glazing;
  • Recycling fryer oil to fuel a hot water heater;
  • Utilizing high efficiency mechanical systems;
  • Conserving water with low flow plumbing fixtures;
  • Harvesting rainwater from roof;
  • Building with Forest Certified Wood;
  • Using recycled materials;
  • Committing to regional materials;
  • Regulating Storm water through prairie planted detention areas which filter and minimize off site flow; and
  • Reducing heat island effect through both site and rooftop design

 "The dining experience will be enhanced through our sustainable efforts. The restaurant will have more natural light, higher air quality and unique materials. Our guests can enjoy a scoop of custard on the patio while shaded by our solar panels," said Sandeman.

LEED promotes sustainable building and development practices through a rating system that recognizes strategies for better environmental and health performance. For each sustainable element, the restaurant will receive points toward LEED certification.

The Culver's of West Baraboo (see photos) is one of nine restaurants owned by the Culver family, while 430 in the system are franchise owned and operated.

Read more about sustainability efforts.

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User Comments – Give us your opinion!
  • Rick Hansen
    78358948
    Excellent ideas. The next step to consider in the equation is to address the building envelope from which all other elements attach, and supplement. An envelope of ICFs will be between 50% and 70% more energy efficient, and there's an independent company which offers an insured guarantee that accompanies their recommendations on how to achieve this level of energy efficiency through the building envelope. The rest of the energy saving efforts are then gravy on the top. We do the ReddiForm ICFs, but the savings, again, are guaranteed from Energy Wise Structures dot com.
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