Dan Parsley Talks Building Efficiency for Restaurants
This post was originally posted on Restaurant Development + Design on April 23, 2014 by Dana Tanyeri
Long hours, hot kitchens, refrigeration, and a constant need for clean and balanced airflow, make restaurants notoriously greedy energy guzzlers. Dan Parsley, chief operating officer of Energy Efficiency and Sustainability Consulting, a Houston-based franchised consulting company, helps restaurants and other commercial enterprises pinpoint their facilities’ weak spots and implement strategies for boosting efficiency and reducing costs.
RD+D: You use building science principles to assess energy efficiency. What does that refer to?
DP: It’s about how building mechanical systems work together. The goal is to find the optimal way for those systems to work efficiently and comfortably inside your building. A lot of individual product manufacturers make big claims. “Buy these double-pane windows and you’ll save 30 percent on your energy bill,” for example. But if you’re just buying into one product, you’re not going to get the savings they claim. It requires a more holistic approach, looking at the entire envelope of the building – the roof, insulation, windows, all sources of heat penetrating in the summer and escaping in the winter.
RD+D: What are some simple solutions for improving the envelope’s efficiency?
DP: The most obvious is basic weatherization. Simply sealing leaks around doors, windows, equipment, light fixtures, outlets, etc, is inexpensive, nets some savings and helps your HVAC system work more efficiently. It’s also something a lot of operators just don’t get to. Another is coatings. On traditional commercial structures with flat or metal roofs, treat the roof surfaces with coatings that are highly engineered to keep heat from penetrating. The same principle works for windows. There are some beautiful, very effective solar films that go on the inside of the glass that allow natural light in but reject infrared rays that cause heat to come through. An added benefit is that they block UV rays that cause fading of curtains, furniture and flooring so those things last longer.
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