Project Profile: Mid Atlantic Product Evaluation Center


The Challenge

• Provide an attractive kitchen hood and ventilation system that complements the elegant, wood decor in their Product Evaluation Center.
• Display fully functional state-of-the-art model kitchen with ability to serve 700+ employees daily.
• Design the system to match varying workloads while maximizing energy efficiency.

Lankford-SYSCO in Pocomoke City, MD is one of 180 facilities owned by SYSCO Corporation, North America's leading, full service distributor for the foodservice market. The showcase of the Pocomoke facility is its Product Evaluation Center. In the Product Evaluation Center Lankford-SYSCO's executive chef teaches the company's foodservice customers who visit the kitchen how to prepare food and to plan menus, and also shares information about what's new in fresh and frozen products, china, tableware, caterware, and linens. The Model Kitchen is a fully functional kitchen that showcases the latest equipment available and visually demonstrates how kitchen equipment should be arranged.

It also serves the 700+ employees every day. Although management at Lankford-SYSCO wanted to demonstrate cutting-edge technology and energy efficiency in the new kitchen ventilation systems, appearance was as important as functionality and performance. Aesthetically, SYSCO wanted a hood that would blend in with their new wood decor. The ultimate goal was to have clients enter their Product Evaluation Center and simply say, "WOW." They were also concerned about noise, comfort levels, and odors around the hoods when customers being trained were near the hood.

Greenheck’s Solution

• Two wood clad, Greenheck kitchen hoods and a variable volume kitchen ventilation system for the Product Evaluation Center.
• One 26-foot Greenheck wall hood for the Model Kitchen.

While researching equipment needs, Lankford-SYSCO's Hob Mason, facilities engineer; Joe Davis, maintenance manager and Steve Kline, vice president of sales met with Greenheck manufacturer representative Jim Bianco of Ward-Boland, Inc. in Seaford, DE. After listening to their needs, Jim was confident that Greenheck products would meet their challenges and promptly arranged a visit to Greenheck's own kitchen equipment demonstration area at Greenheck's Product Center in Schofield, WI. After discussions with Greenheck product engineers,

Greenheck was able to provide two kitchen hoods with wood laminate facades (13-foot island and 15-foot wall style) that offered a softer feel and perfectly matched the customer's decor in the Product Evaluation Center. The hood interior remained bright and shiny, making it easy to clean.

For the Model Kitchen, a 26-foot wall hood with a standard finish was installed. All three hoods included variable air volume controls to conserve energy and to reduce noise. A variable volume system automatically slows down exhaust fans when cooking demands slow down, and then speeds up the fans when business picks up. These features can save restaurant owners hundreds of dollars in energy costs, increase equipment life, and enhance employee comfort.

In addition, Greenheck's 80% efficient Grease-Grabber filters and balancing baffles were installed to maximize grease extraction and to ensure a clean, attractive appearance when customers look up into the hood. A self-contained Zone Defense full flood fire suppression also was installed with wet chemical spray drops every 20 inches offering kitchen owners and managers the flexibility of rearranging cooking units anywhere under the hood-a perfect solution for a Model Kitchen.
Finally, air quality and odor issues were addressed with the installation of two Greenheck Model IGX make-up air units with direct expansion cooling coils (one 20-ton unit and one 30-ton unit) that provide 100% outdoor air into the building. This solution provided a comfortable environment for visitors and employees.

The Results

Facility engineer Hob Mason says the new Greenheck kitchen ventilation system "works beautifully" and knows he is saving money on energy costs because of the kitchen systems energy saving features. "We have customers sitting under the hoods every day," he reports, "and they are amazed at the comfort levels. Our executive chef is very happy and pleased with the performance of the equipment as well. And, the low sound levels allow him to easily communicate with visitors under the hood."