LIVE image
Over the years I've held a lot of job titles and have done most kitchen jobs, from cleaning a large supperclub's grease traps in mid-July after the obligatory upper-Midwestern Friday fish fry (I don't recommend that as a career path) to picking herbs and edible flowers from the garden that I'd use in lobster salads at a Relais & Châteaux restaurant (that was a pretty good job). So when I started writing the article Commercial Kitchens: Cooking up Green Opportunities for Environmental Building News I knew there wasn't enough space to adequately cover all the stories, equipment, and processes encompassing sustainable commercial kitchens. Kitchen size and demands vary enormously; each piece of equipment is worthy of a feature article; and don't get me started on menu choices and sustainable agriculture. Yet I hoped to give at least a cross section of the some of the more important issues. The most intriguing stories I heard while researching this article were from those pushing the envelope. From Don Fisher's tireless efforts at the Food Service Technology Center to David Yudkin MacGuyvering a heat exchanger onto a convection oven (pictured here), there are exceptional people out there doing creative things to make kitchens more energy and water efficient. But, industry wide, it is an uphill battle with entrenched ideas and priorities. I know a chef who controlled food costs down to the penny in order to save a few hundred dollars a year, while the display kitchen's ventilation hood ran full blast for twelve hours a day pulling conditioned air from the restaurant, wasting thousands of dollars in energy, heating, and cooling. The owner gave the chef a bonus for controlling food costs; the profits went up the ventilation stack. Maybe the feature will open a few eyes to the enormous energy and water waste in commercial kitchens, and the potential for savings (and increased profits). I welcome your tales of problems, creative solutions, anecdotes, or follow-up article suggestions. And would love to hear your kitchen-confidential-esque horror stories from the trenches. I kind of miss those days, minus the grease traps, of course.

If you enjoyed this article, sign up for BuildingGreen email updates

*

Comments

1 Great article. I read alot on posted by Glenn Martin on 02/10/2010 at 05:33 pm

Great article.

I read alot on energy savings in the green and LEED departmewnt . I still find it unusual that you can either not maintain or in some places not have a grease trap. There are many commercial kitchens that have serious grease problems that effect waste water, piping, and the communities sewer systems. The use of chemicals and enzymes is directly related to your future drinking water. Check out www.greasetrap.ca

2 Thanks Glenn. Yeah, grease is posted by Brent Ehrlich on 02/12/2010 at 08:54 am

Thanks Glenn. Yeah, grease is a serious problem for individual facilities and infrastructure. Look for a followup article in the upcoming months. And thanks for the product tip!


— Share This Posting!

Recent Discussions

Curtainwall and 700 Series Board Insulations
posted by pmelton
on Mar 3, 2015

That is good info for our readers, Dagmar. Thanks for posting.

Curtainwall and 700 Series Board Insulations
posted by dagmar.ebaugh
on Mar 3, 2015

Hi - You can always find the status of current GREENGUARD Certification in our Sustainable Product Guide at www....

Curtainwall and 700 Series Board Insulations
posted by behrlich
on Feb 18, 2015

Melanie, good catch. Looks like this product no longer has Greenguard certification. I've updated the listing.

Recent Comments


7 Tips to Get More from Mini-Split Heat Pumps in Colder Climates

Christine Gallo says, "I have gotten some good and clear answers on this site and am hoping someone can explain this mess... I do expect that it will probably cost me..." More...

Colleen Clancy says, "I had a Fujitsu Heat Pump installed in my 1000 sq ft condo. I have one wall unit on the 1st floor and 1 on the second. I had a guy I know that works..." More...


A Virtual Mastermind Group for Material Vetting

bstrohmrn says, "Is any one looking at all natural fibers as insulation? Healthy homes are a market we deal with as a manufacturer of All Natural Fiber insulation...." More...

Peggy White says, "Andy - I'm an architectural specification writer, working on several LBC projects at the moment. I'm working on developing a custom Division 01 for..." More...


Our Energy Solutions Have All Been Found

bstrohmrn says, "Alex, What about the all natural insulation for homes and buildings made of natural fibers? Very renewable with little processing and no chemical..." More...