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©2014 This excerpt taken from the article of the same name which appeared in ASHRAE Journal, vol. 56, no. 11, November 2014.

By Don Fisher, P.Eng., Associate Member ASHRAE; and Rich Swierczyna, Associate Member ASHRAE

About the Authors
Don Fisher, P.Eng., is a partner at Fisher Consultants, and Rich Swierczyna is senior engineer and CKV lab manager with Fisher-Nickel, at the PG&E Food Service Technology Center in San Ramon, Calif.

The energy use intensity associated with operating commercial kitchen ventilation (CKV) systems is well recognized within the HVAC design community and food service industry. This operating cost burden has stimulated energy efficiency design concepts in recent years, including the application of demand-controlled kitchen ventilation (DCKV). Over the past two and a half decades, ASHRAE Technical Committee 5.10, Kitchen Ventilation, developed and maintained a robust Handbook Chapter2 while its affiliated Standing Standards Project Committee (SSPC) 154 has promulgated ASHRAE Standard 154, Ventilation for Commercial Cooking Operations. This standard has been a catalyst and technical foundation for overhauling the kitchen ventilation section in the International Mechanical Code (IMC). Effective 2010, ASHRAE Standard 90.1, Energy Standard for Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings, has embraced specific requirements for commercial kitchen ventilation. Subsequently, California Title 24 incorporated similar requirements commencing in 2014.

Unfortunately, the industry effort to increase the energy efficiency of CKV systems has not had a corresponding impact on improving thermal comfort within kitchens. In striving to reduce energy consumption, engineers have had a long-standing tendency to minimize (or avoid) tempering makeup air, often compromising thermal comfort in the kitchen. Everyone (from employees to design professionals) has acknowledged that commercial kitchens represent a hot working environment, but documentation of sensible and radiant temperatures in commercial kitchens did not exist within the public domain. In response, ASHRAE funded a research project titled Thermal Comfort in Commercial Kitchens5 that quantified the relatively extreme thermal conditions in 100 commercial kitchens (Figure 1).

The goal of this article is to discuss the new Standard 90.1 requirements in context with designing energy efficient CKV systems that strive to improve comfort conditions in kitchens. Complementary to this article is a publication by the Department of Energy, which also reviews the requirements in Standard 90.1 for kitchen exhaust.6 Readers are invited to download this publication as a complement to our perspective on high-performance CKV systems.

And just what does “high performance” mean with respect to a CKV system? We believe that it means a system where the exhaust hood completely captures and contains cooking effluent, where the associated noise levels and energy costs are minimized, and where thermal comfort in the kitchen is consistent with good engineering practices and workplace standards. The format we have chosen for this article is to copy the appropriate sections in Standard 90.1 (shown in italics), followed by our interpretation and supporting industry information. In some cases, we also have paraphrased rational that was included in the foreword to the public review draft of this addendum as it no longer resides within the Standard.


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