Two businesses, two different cuisines, two different sets of staff and chefs –all under one roof, with one entrance, one kitchen, and one dining area. By day, it’s a burrito joint; by night, it’s a Nepalese BYOB restaurant. When everyone’s talking about cutting energy waste and consumption, it seems that using building space more wisely would fall into the “lean is the new green” mentality. WorldChanging blogger writes such business concepts save what’s called embedded energy:

We’ve talked a lot about concepts that conserve embedded energy in the built environment by preserving historic buildings as re-imagined spaces instead of bringing in the wrecking ball and developing new. This idea, however, harnesses another kind of embedded energy — by creating meaning, activity and experience where there would have been emptiness, waste or worse. It’s about using up every bit of urban space to its fullest.

And there’s plenty of urban space that goes unused for half the day,

The next time you’re waiting at an intersection, look around and imagine how much of the built (and furnished) environment stands empty and unused at any given time. Cafés in the financial district are closed at dinnertime; restaurants that specialize in dinner fare are silent until mid-afternoon; parking lots that fill during the workweek are largely vacant after 6pm and often on weekends.

Living in the Midwest, let me tell you—we’ve got plenty of this scenario to go around. Interestingly, merging different businesses to use one space lends to an aura of temporariness, a word that carries a negative connotation when it comes to the idea of permanent ownership and success. Given we can get pass such stigma’s, however, such shared control between owner and sharer may very well lead to an emergence in using space and materials to their maximum efficiency. And that friends, leaves just that much more room, to Mother Nature.

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