Nando’s opened its first ever 100 per cent eco-friendly restaurant – the first of its kind in the world – in Cambridge, on March 29. The restaurant, named ‘Next Generation Nando’s’ is located at Cambridge Retail Park, Newmarket Road, and boasts several architectural features designed for sustainability.
Its roof serves the double function of insulation, and harvesting rainwater to keep plants on the outside hydrated. Within the restaurant, lamp shades made from mushrooms will give the interior the amber hues characteristic of the restaurant chain, and light up a wall made entirely of plants. Natural insulation will come from Cumbrian sheep’s wool. The restaurant is powered completely by renewable electricity and gas, coming from the 97 solar panels installed on its roof, which provide 10 per cent of the power needed. The remaining 90 per cent will come from UK Anaerobic Digestion companies, which provide electricity through a series of biological processes leading to the production of biogas. This biogas can be combusted to generate electricity and heat. The restaurant interior will be heated with a heat recovery system in the extractor ducts, which makes use of mechanical ventilation systems such as heat exchangers to counter-flow heat exchange, whilst hot water in the kitchen will be heated using a system located behind the grill, which makes use of the grill’s heat. In order to save more on heating, the system will switch off when the air-conditioning is on, and turn on when it is hotter than 15°C.
Andrew Stephen, Chief Executive of the Sustainable Restaurant Association, said: "Restaurants in the UK are responsible for larger carbon emissions than Costa Rica. Nando’s Next Generation is a fantastic, positive example of what restaurants can do to reduce their footprint, providing a destination for people to visit, where they can eat and enjoy a meal that isn't costing the earth”, Cambridge News reports.