A.4 Restaurants Install Water-Efficient Commercial Kitchen Equipment
only upon request. To take its water conservation efforts to the
next level, Uncommon Ground replaced the dishwashers at both
restaurants with ENERGY STAR® qualified models and the ice
machines (water-cooled models) with air-cooled, ENERGY STAR
qualified models. In addition, Uncommon Ground uses a self-
contained steam kettle without an external boiler, which uses less
water and energy than boiler-based steam kettles.
Because serving local food is one of Uncommon Ground’s
missions, management installed a rooftop organic farm watered
by a drip irrigation system. The restaurant also has a rain barrel for
rainwater collection, and the rainwater is used to water planters
and wash down patio areas.
Following these water-efficient retrofits, the two Uncommon
Ground restaurants became the first restaurants in the country to
obtain a four-star rating—the highest possible—from GRA.
The Grey Plume (Omaha, Nebraska)
The Grey Plume, located in a LEED® certified building, has
embarked on many green initiatives as part of its focus on
sustainable food sourcing and operations. In the kitchen, water-
efficient aerators are installed on all handwashing and prep sinks,
and a high-efficiency pre-rinse spray valve is also used. Both the
ice machine and dishwasher are ENERGY STAR qualified. Instead
of utilizing a garbage disposal, which can flow between 2.0
and 15.0 gallons per minute (gpm) when in use, the restaurant
composts food waste, saving water and reducing the waste that
is discarded. Water efficiency, along with ongoing operations that
facilitate recycling, waste minimization, green cleaning, and energy
efficiency, enabled the Grey Plume to become GRA’s Greenest
Restaurant in America in December 2010 and March 2012.
Founding Farmers (Washington, D.C., Metropolitan Area)
As a restaurant that tries to mirror the family farmer’s traditional protection of air,
soil, water, and biodiversity, Founding Farmers developed a philosophy focused on
efficient and environmentally-friendly operations for its two locations in Washington,
D.C., and Potomac, Maryland. Both restaurants are approximately 9,000 square feet,
serve between 20,000 and 30,000 customers per month, and have been recognized
as Certified Green Restaurants® by GRA for their eco-friendly operations. The
Washington, D.C., restaurant is located in a LEED Gold certified building.
In both restaurants, water-efficient products and equipment were installed during
initial construction. The Washington, D.C., kitchen includes a high-efficiency pre-rinse
spray valve, an ENERGY STAR qualified dishwasher, and an ENERGY STAR qualified
steam cooker, which uses an average of 3 gallons of water per hour (standard models
typically use 40 gallons of water per hour).
The Grey Plume exterior
ENERGY STAR qualified dishwasher and
high-efficiency pre-rinse spray valve
installed at one of Uncommon Ground’s