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Living Ventures Group increase efficiency and lower emissions with new energy recovery system in latest restaurant.
Article written for Foodservice Equipment Journal Jan 2016 and used with kind permission

The Trading House is one of the hottest new additions to the Glasgow Food and Drink scene. We look at how Living Ventures-owned restaurant worked with Ecovery Innovations to reduce its carbon emissions and operating efficiency by turning wasted heat from the kitchen into a hot water supply.

The Trading House in Glasgow opened in October 2015 and, like its sister restaurant on London's Gresham Street, the decor and menu style is inspired by the East India Trading Company. It offers diners deli, rotisserie and BBQ food alongside an impressive drinks menu including spiced twist cocktails and a worldwide selection of craft beers, ales and ciders. The restaurant has live music every night and serves up to 120 covers during its opening hours of 12pm to 12am.

The restaurants' 'theatre cooking' style kitchen and preparation kitchen features equipment from some of the industry's top brands. One of the more unusual pieces of kit is the Kitchen Energy Recovery System (KERS) which uses otherwise wasted heat from the kitchen to create a hot water supply for the whole restaurant. The unit, which collects wasted heat from the cookline, is designed and installed by Ecovery Innovations, the Buckinghamshire-based company which develops energy-saving and efficiency-driving products and services for the hospitality industry.

Eric Phillips, Chief Executive of Ecovery Innovations, explains that the extracted heat warms the water in two 300 litre thermal cylinders from mains temperature to 75 degrees. This creates a hot water supply which is sufficient for the kitchen, the bar and the toilet hand basins, eliminating traditional utility costs. At the Trading House, the KERS also heats the incoming air to the kitchens and feeds the dishwasher, which has now been converted to a hot feed machine, representing an energy saving of 7.3 kW. In other restaurants, KERS has been used to provide heat for underfloor heating, radiators and heating troughs. "The Trading House will see a return on its investment in less than a year," Phillips says.

Reducing emissions and increasing energy efficiency is a top priority for Living Ventures according to John Brannagan, Executive Director Head Chef at the firm. Indeed, the Group has been working with Ecovery for the past two years to reduce energy consumption in their kitchens in areas such as cooking odour and grease control.

The volumes of cooked to order meals served at The Trading House means that the kitchen appliances are required to have fast recovery times and therefore tend to use high amounts of energy. "Investing in a KERS was the next logical step for us to reduce our carbon emissions and utility bills. The effect is remarkable and evident almost immediately after installation," Brannagan explains. The Group is now in discussion with Ecovery Innovations to roll-out Kitchen Energy Recovery Systems at their other restaurants.

KERS can be retro-fitted to any cookline without disrupting the operation of the equipment or the extraction systems. "The Trading House is a new build with no boilers installed, but KERS can be easily installed in existing kitchens with the same results," remarks Ecovery's Phillips.

Inspiration for Ecovery Innovations came to Phillips midway through his 30 year career designing and installing commercial kitchens. "Whilst the industry has made progress in reducing carbon emissions, I could see that certain equipment may never become efficient because of the requirements that operators put on them. So I set out to find ways of using the energy discarded by these appliances," he explains.

The Ecovery Innovations Chief has seen a "huge spike in the appetite" for energy reduction products and solutions in commercial kitchens, with concern for the environment as well as the bottom-line at the forefront of every responsible operator's mind.

In addition to KERS, Ecovery has developed products such as the Controlled Ozone Systems and Grease Control Units which also reduce emissions and utility bills for clients. The firm uses a proven matrix to demonstrate the potential emission savings and return on investment for each individual client.

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