Building energy management systems or BEMS save organizations energy as well as profit, to significantly enhance value and return on investment (ROI) over the long term.

McDonald’s is one of the world’s most familiar restaurant chains, with more than 30,000 locations in 119 countries, and 1,200 restaurants in the United Kingdom alone. Investing in the company’s future with BEMS that develop and react in line with its buildings and needs over time, McDonald’s has recognized the benefits of effective BEMS, and has installed solutions from Trend Controls in restaurant outlets across northern Europe. This not only reduces costs, but helps make the renowned hamburger seller one of the world’s most sustainable quick service restaurant chains.

Because of its sheer scale, energy efficiency is incredibly important to McDonald's — conserving energy even slightly has a sizable and widespread impact — and it has a carefully defined and well-maintained sustainability agenda. Peter Schroeder, the brand’s energy and environment consultant, explained, “Like many other multi-site quick service restaurants, energy usage is something that we need to monitor and manage from both cost and environmental perspectives.”

How Is It Being Used?

The restaurants are given strict usage targets and use BEMS to monitor and manage energy. Solutions are robust, reliable, and flexible to meet the client’s exact needs.

The BEMS at McDonald’s outlets are based around Trend’s IQ3xcite controllers. The versatility of these devices has proved ideal in every situation, despite the wide variety of air conditioning and other equipment they are called on to control. The controllers monitor cold storage, refrigerators, and ventilation at each site, as well as monitoring and controlling air conditioning. At drive-through locations, the controller also switches on and off external signage and car parking lighting automatically, depending on natural light levels. Every restaurant manager is able to view their own individual data and temperature trends, and can change times and settings using a PC with a graphical user interface. The installation engineers are also able to update software as necessary, view system data, adjust equipment settings, and rectify system problems, all without visiting the site. During 2013, installations were carried out across 50 McDonald’s restaurants.

Supersize the Savings

To recap that order, the final word to takeaway goes to Schroeder of McDonald’s, who concluded, “As a global entity we believe in leading by example, so we make our energy reduction targets deliberately tough in order to go beyond the minimum of what is expected. Using BEMS in our restaurants helps us achieve our ongoing environmental objectives.”

Publication date: 5/5/2014

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