The new RSC embodies Darden's commitments to inclusion and sustainability and maximizes the way we work together while giving us a place where we are proud to work.
Movement and conversation is constant throughout our building, which is by design. It's only three stories, and multiple, wide staircases allow for impromptu conversations while still allowing others to pass by easily. Our dining area serves as both an on-site commissary and a meeting place. "Main Street," the main corridor and atrium through the heart of the building, opens up to a glass ceiling and floor-to-ceiling windows to maximize natural light. Located along Main Street are the development kitchens for each of our restaurant brands. The central location and proximity to each other allows the culinary staff to easily interact and share ideas. In walking down Main Street, you may see various taste-testing and recipe ideation sessions, and you can smell the aromas from the most recent culinary projects. The prominent locations of our kitchens are daily reminders of the work we do and the foundation for our business.
Darden employees served as a significant source of inspiration for the building’s amenities. The new RSC provided an opportunity to fulfill some of the most requested building features, such as a fully-equipped fitness center and wellness center, both staffed by hospital personnel, half-mile walking trail, on-site financial services center, company store and dry cleaning service. We also benefit from an open courtyard, break areas throughout the building with healthy snacks, coffee shop on Main Street, and numerous video monitors that keep us informed about our workplace.
Accommodating all the desired amenities and design elements to create such an inspirational space is an achievement in itself, but one important requirement of the new RSC was to honor Darden's commitment to sustainability. The new RSC is a LEED Gold certified campus by the U.S. Green Building Council. More than 90% of the waste generated from construction was recycled. Features throughout the building also help us to achieve our sustainability goals, such as the use of high-efficiency heating and air conditioning, automatic lighting that dims or brightens depending on the sunlight, increased natural lighting, and enhanced water and recycling systems that reduce waste. In 2012, we unveiled a 1.1 megawatt solar panel installation on our roof that subsidizes 15 to 20 percent of our annual power usage. This would be equivalent to our entire campus going off the power grid for nearly two months.
Darden recognizes the importance of nourishing and delighting our own people, and the RSC serves as a launching pad for innovation, cross-collaboration and sustainability.