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A photo of a grey, single-story cafeteria on a large campus.

NREL's onsite Café.

Take a Closer Look

NREL's state-of-the-art cafeteria (Café) on the South Table Mountain campus, certified to the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) Platinum-level rating, uses about 25% less energy than a cafeteria built to current commercial code.

Fast Facts

  • Square feet: 12,140
  • Occupants: 240
  • Energy Use: 150 kBtu per square-foot, per year
  • Energy Performance:
    • The building performs 25% better than ASHRAE 90.1 2007 standards, or a cafeteria built to current commercial code.
  • LEED Rating: Platinum
  • Cost: $6.75 million

Energy Efficiency Features

  • Daylighting, accompanied by tubular skylights, helps achieve uniform light distribution across the main dining area space to limit the use of electric lighting
  • ENERGY STAR®-rated appliances and other high-efficiency equipment reduces the building's need for power
  • A kitchen ventilation system with demand-controlled exhaust hoods
  • Cutting-edge duct grease sensors monitor build-up and alert the operator when cleaning is necessary
  • Low-flow, pre-rinse water valves
  • LED lights with occupancy sensors in the walk-in refrigerator, freezers, and hoods turn on and off automatically.

Sustainability Features

  • Composting and recycling bins
  • Locally-sourced food
  • Dual-rinse, water conserving dishwashers
  • Methods for recycling stormwater
  • Native and xeriscape vegetation.