The University of Worcester has made significant investments over the past five years in new and existing facilities to enhance the learning experience of its students and to provide vital regeneration of the city centre areas where its campuses are based. As part of the ongoing programme of regeneration for existing campus facilities, the University identified the need for improvements to the main onsite kitchen.
University of Worcester
As part of the ongoing programme of regeneration for existing campus facilities, the University of Worcester identified the need for improvements to the main onsite kitchen. As well as serving students with lunchtime and evening meals, the kitchen was also being used to service the re-heat catering facility in the new University of Worcester Arena.
The existing kitchen used 80 per cent of its floor space for cooking equipment and food preparation, with the remaining 20 per cent allocated to the food servery. The University was keen for staff and students to see more of their food being prepared and cooked front-of-house, but as an intrinsic part of the catering facility for the Arena, any changes made could not be detrimental to the kitchen’s capacity.
To facilitate these requirements a fresh approach was required, reapportioning the existing space to deliver a 60/40 split, doubling the food servery area. The servery area would then be able to accommodate a pick and go pre-prepared section, make your own pizzas, hot plates, a salad bar and freshly baked breads with a choice of fillings. This kind of ‘grab and go’ approach is very efficient and improves the freshness and quality of the food to ultimately increase sales and revenue.
The building where the kitchen was located had a dated infrastructure, so any changes needed to be made without increasing the connected load or reducing the catering capacity of the kitchen. The refurbishment work also needed to be sympathetic to future upgrades to the infrastructure.
As a trusted consultant to the university, ONE Creative environments (ONE) was asked to assist on the procurement of building services for the kitchen project to make sure the work was carried out to the highest standard, while ensuring continuity of food storage and preparation throughout the duration of the project for the students and staff who regularly used the facility.
In its specification document, ONE advised the reduced back of house kitchen footprint could be made possible by rationalising the existing layout, relocating internal staff changing areas and replacing large, old catering equipment with new, efficient and compact appliances.The use of high efficiency appliances enabled more equipment to be installed without increasing the connected load or reducing the kitchen's capacity.
By using ONE to consult on every aspect of the building services required, the University of Worcester was able to access the skills and experience it needed to manage the refurbishment project without having to appoint a specific role, which would add cost and time to the project.
Understanding the building’s infrastructure would be upgraded in the near future, the electrical connections to the kitchen have been arranged so that when the remainder of the building’s infrastructure is upgraded, it will be possible to transfer the kitchen equipment onto the new installation with minimum disruption.