As we mentioned a couple of weeks ago in the blog post about the History of our new Madison Valley Location, we have built what we expect will be Seattle’s first stand-alone LEED-certified pizzeria. As a locally owned, privately held business in Seattle, building LEED is a huge financial and logistical commitment, but being “green” is a top priority for us. So, what is a LEED building and why is it important for our community? Well, in 2000, the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) developed a third-party certification system to promote Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) building practices. This new certification created a framework for green building design, construction, operations and maintenance. Projects can earn points in five credit categories that 1) minimize the impact on the ecosystems, 2) promote smarter use of water and 3) energy performance, 4) encourage sustainable building materials, and 5) promote better indoor air quality.
To earn LEED certification (which can include commercial buildings, schools, homes and even neighborhoods), a project must satisfy all LEED prerequisites and earn a minimum 40 points on a 110-point LEED rating system scale. The points are bunched together in categories from basic certification (40 – 49), Silver (50-59), Gold (60-79) to Platinum (80+ points). In Seattle there are 176 LEED projects in the city, only 10 of which are stand-alone restaurants (most of which are owned by large companies like Starbucks). There’s a reason for this – while Seattle has several LEED projects, most of these are built by and for organizations with deep financial resources. Independent restaurants like Pagliacci don’t have the resources of larger chains, but we still recognize our duty to do everything we can to protect the environment for today and for future generations. With this in mind, our goal is to gain Gold Certification for our newest location.
At Pagliacci, making great pizza is extremely important to us, as is the environment and our community. We built our Madison Delivery Kitchen using recycled materials, Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified lumber, and energy efficient lighting with a design that creates extra daylight and emphasizes water and energy conservation. And when it comes to making great pizza, we have a strong focus on sustainability, too. The majority of our fresh ingredients are sourced locally whenever possible and we are big fans of composting all organic material. Our pizza boxes are Forest Stewardship Council certified, which helps ensure sustainable forestry. These boxes are made from 50% Pacific Northwest wood fibers, milled in Port Townsend, and constructed in Richmond, British Columbia. What goes around comes around and around and around…all in the PNW!
So, with a little footprint we hope to make a big impact on how restaurants will be constructed in the future.