LEED Construction and Sustainability

LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is a rating system developed by the Green Building Council (USGBC). The program was designed as a tool for market-based transformation of building practices and standards. It intends to create healthier environments for occupants and patrons and promotes sustainability within local communities. MEZ is North Carolina's first LEED-designed restaurant. We received our Silver Certification in February of 2010. The extra costs associated with committing to LEED are offset everyday by the quality of the working environment and savings in energy use.

The following are examples of LEED requirements and sustainable practices we have adopted as part of our ongoing efforts to make MEZ an environmentally responsible business:

  • Recycling: We recycle used fry oil, cardboard, paper, glass, paints, plastic and metal.
  • To-Go Containers: Our take-out food containers, bags, cups, and straws are all made of recyclable or compostable materials.
  • Water Use:
    • We created an artificial wetland to naturally treat excess storm water runoff, diverting millions of gallons each year from the water treatment plant
    • All our toilets are low flow.
    • Customer bathroom sinks have infrared on/off valves.
    • MEZ is landscaped with indigenous drought resistant plants
    • No Bottled Water: We use filtered Durham County water for drinking water
    • Lighting: We use compact fluorescent and LED light where ever possible. We have a sophisticated lighting control system that saves energy by reducing the operating time with programmed schedules, daylight sensing, and occupancy detection.
    • Our patio is constructed of permeable bricks, promoting water absorption and minimizing runoff
    • We divert rain from our roof to a holding tank for watering purposes
  • Transportation:
    • Preferred parking spaces are provided for alternative fuel vehicles
    • To encourage the use of public transportation, MEZ is located within 1/2 mile of two public bus stops
  • Energy and Atmosphere:
    • Refrigerators and air-conditioners do not use compounds that have potential to increase ozone depletion or contribute to global warming
    • Air leakage is minimized by utilizing optimal insulation
  • Construction Materials: We diverted over 70% of construction waste from landfills by reusing or recycling material
  • Indoor Environmental Quality:
    • Carpets and fabrics are 100% recycled materials
    • All woods, stains, paints, sealants, adhesives, and paints used in the construction of MEZ contain minimal amounts of volatile organic compounds
    • We conducted extensive air quality testing prior to occupancy to ensure all harmful materials remaining from the construction process were eliminated
    • We use the highest grade filters to maintain air quality at all times