Ecodrain was selected as one of 10 companies to present at a McDonald’s Innovation Café event. In attendance were supply chain, innovation and sustainability executives from McDonald's as well as leaders of its key suppliers. Organized by Sandbox Industries, a venture capital firm that manages more than $420 million of strategic investments, the event was designed to inspire new ideas and innovation at McDonald’s, as well as identify potential partners.
David Velan of Ecodrain introduced McDonald's to the potential for saving energy in its operations by reusing the energy in warm waste water. As a rough estimate, McDonald's spends $23-$27 million per year on gas to heat water in its US operations ($41 million per year at gas prices during the peak in 2006-2007 before the boom in natural gas production) and it could save 50% using standard sized ecodrain food service heat exchangers based on independent testing. It was also estimated using a calculator on the EPA website that the energy consumed heating water in each McDonald's restaurant is roughly the same as having two cars on the road for a full year.
McDonald's Good Planet initiative has established aspirational goals for increasing the energy efficiency in company owned restaurants by 20% by 2020 as well as increasing energy efficiency through restaurant standards. It is exciting to see McDonald’s taking a leadership role in sustainability of the food service industry. As the world's largest chain of hamburger fast food restaurants, serving around 68 million customers daily in 119 countries across 35,000 outlets, it has enormous potential to advance initiatives in the food service industry.
The Eastern Townships are a part of south eastern Quebec near the US border. The area is known for picturesque rural lots and mixed forests. In this area, a couple decided to build a vacation home. Their country home will be 1600 square feet, with two bedrooms, and two and half bathrooms on two floors. Although the home is not technically off the grid, it is as close as it gets. There is limited electrical supply and the home will have a back-up electric generator. The homeowners had debated whether to use propane, but since the recommended generator required natural gas, they decided to power the stove and water heater with propane. Geothermal heating was also considered, but it was ruled out because the home sits on rocky terrain which would make drilling more challenging and because of the high initial cost.
The couple discovered a simpler way to harness clean energy beneath their feet by installing an ecodrain. This way, every time they or their guests take a shower, the outgoing warm water will be used to preheat cold incoming water on its way to the water heater. The unit was installed on the ground level so that the drain from the shower in the master bathroom on the second floor and the drain from the second shower on the main floor could both be connected to the ecodrain. The unit was installed by the plumber at the time of installation of the rough plumbing. It took about 25 minutes to position the ecodrain and connect it to the rest of the plumbing. The unit will be below the concrete slab, but will remain accessible through an access panel in the laundry room.
The ecodrain A1000 was chosen as a winner in the Architectural Record Record Products Awards 2014. The product is featured in the December issue of the magazine.
About the Award:
RECORD PRODUCTS, the annual competition of Architectural Record, drew more than 500 entries ranging from building materials to finishes and furnishings.
A panel of judges—who specialize in products and specification—from leading architecture and design firms were invited to rate the products based on submissions. The products are judged by the panel on rating different criteria—from innovation to aesthetics (when applicable)and winners were chosen by the jury on October 7th at the offices of Architectural Record.
About Architectural Record (from Wikipedia):
Architectural Record is an American monthly magazine that is dedicated to architecture and interior design. Published by McGraw Hill Construction in New York City, it is generally considered "The Record" of Architectural History. Throughout its 110 years in print, Architectural Record has fostered readership among architecture, engineering, and design professionals by featuring articles that showcase noteworthy architectural works throughout the global landscape. News, commentary, criticism, and continuing-education sections outline the scope of content. Of note are the glossy, high-quality photos that accentuate the featured projects, an attribute which makes the magazine accessible to the general public as well.
Supercompressor.com's mission is to bring you the coolest stuff money can buy, and even the priceless stuff that it can't. Launched in 2013, here.is your daily source for the groundbreaking and good-looking, the luxurious, ludicrous, and downright awesome. The article is
Ecodrain featured on Fast Company's FastCo.Exist website.