Ventilation does NOT have to be boring...although it usually is!!!

As IFHC (Independent Foodservice and Hospitality Consultants) consultants we are often appointed to the project design team as early as 2 to 3 years before a project goes out to tender to trade contractors. This is because it’s important during a project’s initial stages that we work very closely with the design team and client to create the best possible foodservice strategy before moving forward to detailed design.

As part of that process, we engage with the interior fitout architects to develop and integrate their design vision into the foodservice facilities. This collaboration not only includes working on the finishes to the foodservice display counters and other front of house features but can also include integration of the ventilation system into the interior design concept, particularly where front of house cooking or open kitchens are envisaged as part of the foodservice operation.

A recent IFHC consultant project (see design below) integrated a 7.4 metre diameter circular ventilation canopy above a front of house chef theatre cooking station and foodservice counter where the design of the canopy had to be developed with the interior fitout architect in order to complement the overall restaurant design concept. Whilst the visual impact of the ventilation canopy was critical to the architect, the IFHC consultant had to ensure that it worked as a ventilation system! This interior architect’s concept was achieved by incorporating the foodservice counter finishes into the perimeter of the canopy creating a cohesive interior design scheme. Such a ventilation canopy can become part of the interior design features of the Restaurant not just a hidden component of the design.

In the course of such a complex design, such as shown above, an IFHC consultant will liaise with equipment manufacturers including foodservice counter, stainless steel fabrication, refrigeration, and ventilation manufacturers to ensure that the design can be constructed and delivered within budget, site constraints and project programme. This collaboration with manufacturers also ensures that the design reflects the latest innovations and technology within the foodservice equipment market place.

....Ventilation canopies can be painted, have applied finishes such as tiles, copper, metal grid, or glass to the external panels. They can be circular, oval, rectangular....and feature lighting can be incorporated as well as task and emergency lighting....

"A key relationship in the design of the foodservice facilities, and in particular the ventilation system, is the collaboration with the MEP Consultants on a project. IFHC consultants work very closely with them to develop the mechanical and electrical requirements strategy for the foodservice areas of a project."

IFHC consultants bring specialist knowledge of foodservice M&E services design including grease management (FOG), foodservice ventilation standards and regulations, refrigeration standards and regulations, energy efficiency systems etc to the relationship with the MEP consultants.

On many projects the IFHC consultant will include the design of the foodservice ventilation canopy ductwork (see below an example design) into their specification and designs in order to overcome specific site issues such as poor access and space limitations.

Some IFHC consultants have the experience and specialist knowledge to encompass the whole kitchen ventilation system, including ductwork, fans, and other plant as well as the kitchen canopies within their foodservice consultant design remit.