The RMH Group Inc.: Breckenridge Brewery and Farm House Restaurant

Automation, controls; electrical, power; fire, life safety; HVAC, mechanical; lighting; energy, sustainability; plumbing, piping


Engineering firm: The RMH Group Inc.

2016 MEP Giants rank: 90

Project: Breckenridge Brewery and Farm House Restaurant

Location: Littleton, Colo.

Building type: Engineered multidwelling/retail complex/restaurant; industrial/manufacturing facility/warehouse

Project type: New construction

Engineering services: Automation, controls; electrical, power; fire, life safety; HVAC, mechanical; lighting; energy, sustainability; plumbing, piping

Project timeline: April 2013 to July 2015

MEP/FP budget: $5 million

Breckenridge Brewery offers comprehensive tours of the brewhouse and production building, which provide a unique opportunity for the public to learn about brewing science, engineering, and sustainability. Courtesy: James Ray SpahnChallenges

  1. Designing/building a large brewery/restaurant complex with emphasis on sustainable design on a somewhat limited budget presented a challenge.
  2. To consistently deliver a high-quality final product, a brewery needs to maintain tight ranges of temperature and humidity for its brewing, fermenting, aging, and storing operations.
  3. Another challenge involved concealing/de-emphasizing utilities (e.g., piping, ductwork) in the restaurant and brewhouse buildings to preserve building aesthetics.
  4. Excessive carbon dioxide levels in the production building could build up from the fermentation and bottling processes, thereby causing potential harm to occupants.
  5. A product meant for human consumption, such as beer, needs to be pure and made from high-quality ingredients.


  1. A variety of cost-effective techniques were implemented to enhance the sustainability of the brewery complex including reuse of process wastewater, reuse of waste-process heat, natural ventilation, evaporative cooling, and destratification fans.
  2. To address the issue of maintaining tight ranges of temperature and humidity for operations, sophisticated HVAC systems with multiple heating/cooling zones were implemented to ensure that ambient conditions would meet the individual requirements of the processes contained within each space. Integrated building controls were implemented for the entire site to precisely control and monitor building temperature and humidity and to trend data over time.
  3. To minimize visual impact, ductwork was placed in unobtrusive locations, such as through trusses, grille returns were placed high on walls, natural gas piping was placed above radiant heaters in the restaurant patio, and potable water for the restaurant/bar was distributed under the floor.
  4. To reduce potential harm to occupants caused by a buildup of excessive carbon dioxide, monitoring and mitigation protocols were implemented including moving pickup points lower to the floor for this relatively heavy gas.
  5. To further promote product sanitation and quality, process compressed air and steam are filtered to eliminate potential contamination and a reverse osmosis polishing tank removes impurities from the local water source to deliver incomparable water purity.


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