Ricca-Newmark is a consulting and design firm headquartered in
Denver, CO. It has actively promoted “Green” facilities for many years.
A holistic concept. “The concept of ‘Green’ varies. To some it is only about energy savings. To others it is primarily about using locally-sourced and unprocessed food. In our view, it is a holistic concept that includes everything from the working environment to the way projects are funded, to maintenance and the approach you take when making design decisions.”
Look at sustainability as the hub of a wheel. “We don't look at sustainability only in terms of the product or the production line. We think of it as the hub of a wheel, with spokes going out in many directions. The more spokes you can help a client with, the more sustainable an operation can be.”
Sustainability is about choices. “There are always choices to be made. The question of first cost vs. long-term operating costs is a classic example, and goals will sometimes conflict with one another. In the past, everything was value-engineered and cost driven. Today it is not so much a value-engineered cost issue, but establishing a sustainable design strategy that can meet present needs and remain flexible enough for the future. There is no such thing as a ‘standard’ kitchen. Every one is different, based on the menu mix, demand patterns, local utility rates and other factors.”
Sustainability goals are changing the design process. “Because sustainability issues have become more important, foodservice consultants can get involved the design effort earlier than in the past. Sustainability issues are also changing the way we look at space. Square footage is not just two-dimensional. It is three dimensional in that a significant portion of the energy use of a kitchen has to do with managing the air and space in that kitchen.”
“We need third-party testing procedures and standards and a rating system based on them. We need standards and definitions that can be used to make fair comparisons and informed decisions. Without that, it is too easy for manufacturers to make efficiency claims that aren't comparable. Our trade groups could provide a great deal of benefit to the industry by supporting such standards and getting behind a program to ensure that such data is on every sell sheet that manufacturers distribute.”
Better technology transfer. “Within our more consolidated manufacturing community, where many equipment lines are produced under common corporate ownerships, it is common to find operating units that are reluctant to cross traditional boundaries with their R&D initiatives. Their components are often specified and purchased separately when there are real synergies that might come from coupling their designs to use energy and water resources in a shared way.”