By Beth HendricksThe Herald-Dispatch
KENOVA, W.Va. -- Taco Bell has long since replaced its one-time slogan, "Make a run for the border," but its newest location in Kenova, at the I-64 border of West Virginia and Kentucky, is one they hope everyone will head for. In fact, company representatives said this Taco Bell isn't like any you've ever experienced.
Green initiatives at the 3,000-square-foot eatery, ranging from LED lamps inside and out to a recirculating waterfall in the drive-thru, are being tested at the location. The goal is to minimize everything from water flow to energy use in a modern, unobtrusive atmosphere.
"Taco Bell is really trying to `up' it here with this restaurant," said architect Eric Clevenger. "They've put some of these green initiatives in place in other locations, but this is the first time they've bought it all together in one spot."
Clevenger took The Herald-Dispatch on a tour of the restaurant recently, pointing out strategies used to maximize energy performance, increase efficiency and harvest free energy. Among the techniques are the use of Comfort E2 glass, which insulates in the winter and assists in cooling in the summer; LED lamps from the dining room to the menu boards to the parking lot; and, solar tubes, a high-performance daylighting system that uses advanced optics to improve the way daylight in harnessed.
"The E-glass acts almost like a shield, bouncing off the heat or the cold and retaining the proper temperature indoors," Clevenger said. "It's much more energy efficient."
The lighting design for the restaurant uses LED lamps inside and out, some of which won't need replaced for more than 20 years. Lighting sensors in the dining room will monitor the amount of natural light coming in and adjust the interior lighting accordingly.