I drive past McDonalds every day – deliberately. It isn’t part of my daily routine.
But I do remember the Nottingham Castle Marina branch being opened. If my memory serves me right it was 1989 – and a certain Martin Brandon-Bravo, the local MP at the time performed the little curtain drawing ceremony. I remember this as there was a brass plaque form many years. Then when he lost his seat McDonalds took the plaque down! Like erasing history?
So 24 years on, it is interesting to see another re-fit. A major one this time as the ‘restaurant’ has been closed for weeks. It’s not a great advert for the longevity of buildings.
Last week I was judging some awards – and the question of sustainability came up. Sure, we are putting buildings up with low carbon footprints. We are even getting good at it – some of the technologies are so clever we are being paid by the utility companies as they produce too much electricity to use themselves.
I guess McDonald’s are fitting better insulation and greener technologies.
But this building is 24 years old. It’s not exactly sustainable then. We have all of the embedded carbon from its original construction – and now another load.
My point is that some of the best sustainable buildings we have are buildings that have stood the test of time. Take the Pitcher & Piano in Nottingham. It was a church – built in 1876. It stopped being used as a pace of worship in 1982 when it briefly became a Lace Museum. Now a thriving pub. Sure, it has had a refit internally, but is this not a truly sustainable building? 136 years and counting?
Compare this to the monstrosity being built on Castle Boulevard I blogged about here. Will this be standing in 136 years – not a chance. Bet you my life on it…
Oh – and Ronny McD I haven’t forgiven you for taking down that brass plaque….