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Construction Design

Posted By Jeff Dover, CRFP, RFMA, Wednesday, April 29, 2015
Updated: Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Hello RFMA members,

Today's post is on facilities role and involvement with restaurant construction design for new builds and remodels. Unfortunately, in the past most facilities professionals were not deeply involved with new store or remodel designs. A lot of the design elements including equipment and finishes were specified by the architects and purchasing personnel. This sometimes led to cheap equipment that needed additional R&M dollars to maintain along with other materials that did not hold up under normal restaurant operating conditions. Thankfully, facilities upfront involvement has changed and now you have the chance to work with the architects and purchasing on specifying items that are economically beneficial in the long term. If you are not currently involved with design element specifications, I strongly urge you to get engaged as facilities recommendations can save your company money down the road. Some items to consider for new store construction design are as follows:

- Hood exhaust ductwork, if possible, ensure the ductwork only runs vertical straight up to the roof and fan. Minimize all horizontal runs and angles (turns). This will save in quarterly hood cleaning costs and offer a better opportunity to thoroughly clean the ductwork.

- Lighting. Use LED lighting wherever possible. It may be more expensive initially but will save substantial dollars in both energy and bulb replacement costs.

- Sustainability. This practice is here to stay. Embrace it and allocate the proper resources and equipment to either begin and fully utilize the components for sustainability programs.

- Energy management. At a minimum use programmable t-stats. If resources are available a complete EMS (energy management system) can be investigated for possible use. Use time clocks for all lighting. Install curtains for the walk in cooler and freezer.

- Landscaping. With the current and future water availability being an issue, specify plants, shrubs, and other material that requires only minimal watering and maintenance.

- Equipment. If possible, spec "Energy Star" rated equipment.

These are only a few suggestions. I would like to hear what additional items you and your company specify to ensure long term benefits as it relates to savings for energy, labor, janitorial, etc. Please let me know.


Dover and out.

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