In the foregound, we have a buffer tank for our geothermal circuit. Pumps circulate glycol in the mitigated circuit between the heat pumps. In the background, two water heaters are used to power the restaurant. Just like the rest of the building mechanics, everything is controlled by the building-management computer system. The central computer cycles the start-up of various equipment and uses load shedding to reduce the electricity demand peaks as much as possible.
The next image displays an overview of the complexity of the piping. The cabinets at the bottom are water-to-water heat pumps which allow the surplus heat to be sent to the geothermal wells during the air conditioning period, and to draw heat to the restaurant in very cold weather.
Our small car park is made up of four fully electric cars. We also have four charging stations, one of which is accessible to the public. The other three are being made available, as well.
Residual materials are sorted at each work station. Here, the organic ones will be composted.
Here, several of our 14 heat pumps (one per heating / cooling zone) are housed. Connected in a loop by a circuit with water and glycol, each heat pump takes or adds heat according to its needs. Several rooms are air-conditioned throughout the year, while others are according to the season or need. The system uses heat or cold where it is surplus to send it where it is needed. “Moving” the heat is 3.5 times more economical than producing it.
As well, the access door in the floor overlooks the grease trap of the restaurant, which prevents grease from going into municipal sewers. A system checks the level of grease and then, when filled, it is pumped by a truck via a connection outside the building. In 6 years of operation, it is not even one-tenth full.
We recently converted all lighting from the restaurant to LED fixtures, saving us $ 700 per month. However, after finding these other LED filament bulbs- which adapt much better to our style of globes- we could not resist converting them another time.
Despite their retro appearance and high power (they are turned on at a minimum), these bulbs consume only 4 W of electricity, against 7 W from the previous LEDs, and 50 W for the initial halogens.
When outside temperatures reach -5 degrees or below, our smart building management system begins to heat the windows of our dining rooms. The gentle heat produced cuts the feeling of cold air that one usually encounters at the window’s edge, and additionally, allows us to heat the room less.
Our restaurant has an extremely well integrated and efficient mechanical and electrical system design, allowing us to better control and minimize high peaks of electricity consumption. These are the control panels of different pumps, circuits, and hoods. In the foreground, the variable-frequency controllers and drivers of the restaurant’s air supply unit are used to modulate the fans for supplying fresh air, and the air for exhaust. This also maintains a comfortable ambient pressure, even if the door opens quickly or a kitchen hood starts.
Unique in Quebec’s catering industry, the air extracted from the building passes through a heat exchanger in order to preheat the fresh air, greatly reducing the heating requirements of the building. Each of the four hoods in our facility easily draws more than 1,000 cubic feet per minute (CFM) outside the building.
Since all of this air must be replaced by fresh air from the outside, a lot of heat is created, especially when the weather brings extremely low temperatures. Our heat recuperator therefore avoids one of the main energy expenditures of restaurants.
We noticed during lunch that these gorgeous tables we were sitting at were made with wood from reclaimed bowling lanes. They were very soft, beautiful, and had an overall good-quality feel. Very impressive pieces- and what a great use.
During the summer, we grow fresh herbs on the roof of the restaurant. Among other items, we grow basil, mint, edible flowers, and tomatoes which, picked the same day, will probably be found in the dish or cocktail you order!
This grill is extremely energy smart. It has a special sensor that detects when cooking is generating smoke, and turns the fan on. When the smoke goes down, the fan automatically turns itself off.
All of our restaurants are fitted with Energy Smart LED lights, with back of house spaces being sensor sensitive so they switch off when there is no one around.
On another section of our roof, two beehives are installed that house over 40,000 small employees. During the summer, they help to produce about 80 kg of honey for the restaurant.
Our fish from the grill is MSC certified, which means we only accept fish that is sustainably caught by local fishermen. In turn, we know future generations will be able to use and take advantage responsibly of the same fish resources as we have now.
When it comes to food waste, we try our best to generate the least amount as possible by encouraging guests to only order what they can eat and offering doggy bags for any leftovers. All food waste we generate is sent to anaerobic digestion plants, which in turn provides electricity. We also have a zero landfill waste policy.
Our Carbon Neutral project funds the replacement of high-emission stoves in Oaxaca communities, reducing fuel use by as much as 60% and reducing exposure to harmful indoor air pollution.