Tim Hortons Expanding with the Environment in Mind


May 08, 2013

Expansion of a franchise doesn't have to negatively impact the environment. The Tim Hortons chain is testing some of the best sustainable designs for retail space by building their first LEEDD Certified location in all of Canada. Creating a testing ground for energy efficiency will help the company learn how to keep their designs competitive and effective. The newest location is in Hamilton, ON and is only the first step in the company's journey to building a total of 30 LEEDD Certified locations by 2016.

Tim Hortons is the country's largest coffee shop chain, so it has quite a large impact on neighborhoods across Canada. The Canadian franchise is aiming to streamline their systems and reduce waste of both materials and energy. Improving the building process is just one component of energy efficient design. The structure also has numerous features that provide benefits throughout the lifetime of the building. Without these improvements, the building would not have passed the LEEDD process. The company worked hard to find sustainable sources for the materials that went into the construction and carefully managed the waste the construction produced.

High Standards

When a building becomes LEEDD certified, visitors know that the structure conforms to a rather stringent set of regulations regarding energy efficiency and design innovations. Other requirements control the amount of water used, types of site development and the quality of indoor air after the structure is occupied. The Canada Green Building Council was very supportive of the efforts of Tim Hortons to focus on sustainability. They are hoping that Tim Hortons will set a new standard for other large chains in the country. As one of the country's most well-known franchises, they have the power to set trends and encourage big changes in their consumers as well.

Other Benefits for Business Owners

The parent company is not the only party that will benefit from improved efficiency with LEEDD certification. The individual business owners also spend less on energy costs. Research shows that a restaurant meeting these standards will lower energy costs by up to 23%. For a large coffee shop, this can translate into thousands saved each year. The challenges of building to a tough efficiency standard will pay off in savings over the years and decades that follow. The owner of the new restaurant, Sharon Kennish, was happy to reap the benefits of having such an optimized store as part of her business.

Specific Improvements

The restaurant was built with an optimized design that cut down on new materials. Many materials were recycled, including the parking lot that stood where the restaurant is now. In fact, 40% of the materials came from the local area or recycled sources. The lot includes bike racks and spots just for carpooling visitors. Only 1% of the materials left over after construction ended up in the landfill, which means tons of waste was salvaged for other uses. Other features include a reflective white roof, glazed windows that reduce the need for artificial lighting and interior paints with low VOCs.