P.F. Chang’s China Bistro in Corpus Christi, TX Earns LEED CI Gold

“P.F. Chang’s is committed to our communities and we recognize the profound impact we can make by utilizing sustainable materials in our restaurants. We are proud to be recognized with LEED certification and will continue to explore environmentally-friendly design and building elements as we renovate existing spaces and expand into new communities in the future.”
— Lane Cardwell, President of P.F. Chang’s Bistro



Last year P.F. Chang’s China Bistro opened its first “green” location, a LEED-Certified Commercial Interiors restaurant.  The site was a 6,690 SF inline space located in a LEED-certified addition to an existing development called La Palmera in Corpus Christi, TX. Aria Group Architects, Inc. worked closely with its consultant team and Shawmut Design & Construction to reduce the environmental footprint of the restaurant. We were able to maintain the customer experience as well as the look and feel of a P.F. Chang’s location with its upscale interiors and use of color and texture. The client’s initial goal was to obtain LEED Certified status but after reviewing what credits were within the allowable budget and the payback period, Aria Group was able to push the design to achieve Gold status.  The restaurant opened on June 28, 2010 and the project has achieved official LEED-CI Gold status on August 1, 2011.




In order to achieve the LEED Gold status, the project needed to meet certain sustainable environmental goals and provide documentation to verify this.  The sustainable environmental goals of the P.F. Chang’s Corpus Christi project were to realize energy savings that translated into monetary savings (and that can be applied to future stores), to create a healthier, better quality indoor environment for guests and employees and to reduce the environmental footprint, while staying within the allowed construction budget.



In order to achieve the desired LEED rating, verification was required to establish that the building functioned as it was designed.  This involved an extensive post-construction commissioning process.  P.F. Chang’s has implemented systems to monitor the performance of this location over time to determine the most effective measures for meeting environmental goals on an ongoing basis versus the cost effectiveness of those measures.  This information will be considered when designing future locations.   


Included in those measures is a unique customer feedback process, administered via an online survey, to help create a quality experience for the end users of the space (guests and employees).  All responses are analyzed and appropriate corrections are made to the space to improve comfort levels while maintaining a positive environmental impact.  These systems enable the client to assess if their sustainability goals are being met and to make further adjustments if necessary.




Given that the sustainability of a building depends not only how it is built but how it is used and maintained, measures have been taken to ensure that building managers are aware of sustainable best practices.  As part of the commissioning process a manual was developed to educate store managers of building systems, their efficiency benefits and maintenance procedures.  For example, all cleaning agents are low-VOC products, and a store-wide recycling program was set up to be followed by the staff.  Separate bins were put in place for glass, paper and plastic recycling.  High efficiency hand dryers were installed in public toilet rooms to minimize paper waste.  These and other measures ensure that P.F. Chang’s will be able to meet the ongoing commitment to sustainability made possible by a LEED-designed building.


Photograhy by Larry Falke Photography