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Cambridgeshire dealer overhauls out-dated kitchen

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B.I. Catering Equipment Services has refurbished the kitchen at Emmanuel College, one of Cambridge’s most historic learning institutes.

The kitchen, which serves 650 meals a day to students and caters for private events, hadn’t been updated since 1990s so Cambridgeshire-based BI carried out a complete overhaul of its core production facilities.

Andrew Jones, owner of BI Catering Equipment Services — which many in the industry will know by its former name Bill Ibbott’s — said the company was up against a limited timescale on the project.

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“There was no margin for error,” he said. “We had two weeks to pull out the old equipment, re-pipe, put in new flooring, fit compressors and install the first set of refrigeration.”

BI fitted the new equipment in two phases to ensure its smooth operation and avoid the college having to completely shut down.

“In both cases, time was very tight, partly due to the restrictions of working in a modern shell constructed within an 18th century building. For example, the flooring is listed, so it had to be replaced very carefully. Equally, the exterior compressors had to be below a certain height, so that they couldn’t be viewed from the John Lewis store opposite, and they had to run very quietly, since this is the middle of Cambridge.”

New refrigeration was one of the main elements of the scheme, with Williams supplying the cabinets, blast chillers and coldrooms.

As the college wanted to replace its old kit with sustainable alternatives, Williams supplied products developed under its Greenlogic initiative, including its CoolSmart controller, which monitors activities such as door openings and adjusts the cabinet’s operation to minimise energy use, cutting consumption by around 15%.

Several of the models it provided were also adapted to the specific needs and shape of the site. They include bespoke dual and triple compartment coldrooms and an L-shaped workstation with granite work surface, over under-counters.

During install, some of the equipment had to be adjusted for the site – for example, the top of the Ruby bakery cabinet, used for desserts and pastries, was remodelled to fit the available space. “Williams’ ability to tailor equipment for the site was a big plus,” added Jones.

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Andrew Seymour

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