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Renovating or designing dining spaces can be challenging, especially when the space available is limited. You need to keep in mind various elements such as lighting, ventilation, controls and occupant comfort for the successful operation of your facility, be it a student dining hall, a coffee shop, a high-end restaurant, or a cafeteria at a healthcare center.

You may want to look at a few MEP solutions if you are looking at designing or renovating your food service space. These include exhaust hood systems, high-efficiency lighting systems, low-flow plumbing fixtures, variable-flow pumping systems, condensing boilers, high-efficiency chillers, outdoor air delivery monitoring systems, and outdoor air energy recovery systems.

Here are a few things that can help you choose the best MEP solutions for your dining facility:

Exhaust or Ventilation System

By choosing the best kitchen exhaust or ventilation system you can significantly reduce your energy consumption costs. You may have to work with your MEP engineer to figure out the proper size and location for your exhaust hood or make-up air unit. The requirements may vary from one facility to another.

Lighting and control

The right lighting fixtures not only increase efficiency in a food serving space, it also drives foot traffic by creating the best ambience. If you want to reduce your costs, you can think of LED systems that are both decorative as well as functional. For a more intimate setting you could use some specialty lamps and pendant lights. You can also use sophisticated concealable controls (that operate through wireless hand held remotes and touch screen panels), to enable your staff to adjust the functionality and ambience of your food service space, as and when required. You can get your lighting control designer to decide on a proper level of luminance for your space and then automate the control system accordingly.

Kitchen Infrastructure

Proper MEP infrastructure is crucial to maintain the operability of your dining facility. You will need to connect your utilities to a campus chilled water plant. You will have to think of using an indoor air handling unit. Your exhaust and ventilation systems will have to balanced and pressurized appropriately. You will also have to look into incorporating proper electrical service, with a standby generator, to maintain your peace of mind in case of any unexpected outages.

Temperature and Humidity Control

If there is something that determines the comfort level of your occupants in your dining facility, it is your temperature and humidity control system. This is not just for your visitors but for your staff too. Since your dining hall may not be occupied during all hours, you will need to incorporate a demand controlled ventilation so as to reduce the energy consumption and maintain the proper levels of temperature and humidity, throughout the day. You can coordinate with your staff members and discuss with your MEP engineer on setting the right levels for such controls.

Sustainable MEP systems are the need of the hour even if they are a bit complex. You will have to think about systems that are easy to maintain, meet the necessary compliances, save energy, and reduce your costs, while helping you achieve your ultimate goals. Use our MEP pricing calculator to find out how much you may have to spend to get your systems installed.