Serving Up a New Look for an Old Dining Hall
Texas A & M University’s Sbisa Dining Hall in College Station, Texas, served its first meal in 1913. The 100,000-square-foot building is the oldest dining hall on campus and was the only building large enough to provide a meeting place for the student body.
With its last renovation being in the 1970s, years of multiple use and earlier remodelings had led to deterioration and architectural confusion.
Now, the building is being remodeled both to restore it to a more traditional look and to update the kitchen and cafeteria to a contemporary type of service.
Previously, the kitchen incorporated three large exhaust fans, two of which exhausted four extremely large hoods in the kitchen. The third fan served several smaller hoods located in the serving area.
The new kitchen area plans departmentalize food preparation and cooking stations on the main and basement levels. Fifteen new hoods were installed to handle 56,000 cubic feet per minute of exhaust air.
According to Rick Eicher, lead engineer from Texas-based Day Brown Rice Engineering, Inc., the new design allows users to activate only the hood that is needed. In this way, energy will be conserved. In fact, controls for the hoods will be tied to the building’s energy-management system.
One of the most interesting aspects of the renovation is the new ductwork, which has been completely redesigned for the new system and is being installed throughout the building.
According to Frankie Jaster, the university’s food-services assistant facilities manager, the original duct systems were not user-friendly: “I wanted a round duct; it’s quieter and easier to clean. I also wanted stainless steel. Stainless steel is normally used for steam-type ducts, but it cleans better and lasts longer than mild steel, and won’t rust.”
Project engineers identified additional problems-the wood substructure and a lack of available space. They determined that using a traditional duct-and-chase approach would not be cost effective for such a complex project.
A round, insulated grease duct was specified with integral chase that allows a zero clearance to combustibles and requires no welding. This eliminated the cost of welding and fabricating a chase, and allowed contractors extra room to work duct around tight spaces. Specified duct sizing was up to 26 inches in diameter, and it was installed right up to combustibles with no problem.
For more information on the Series 4 Grease Duct from Metal-Fab, Inc., circle 105 on the Reader Service Card on page 91 of this issue.