Space-saving refurbishment upgrades private prep school dishwash into an ergonomic, pleasant working environment & introduces energy-saving heat recovery too!
This successful independent school had outgrown the original dishwash area adjacent to the main dining hall.
The school now has more than 500 pupils ranging from 4 to 13 years old and serves hot and cold breakfasts to pupils and parents, snacks for late stayers, and three-course lunches for pupils and staff.
Commercial kitchen consultancy and design house Western Blueprint Limited were tasked with upgrading the dishwashing facilities to suit the increased demand and to also allow for further expansion should numbers continue to rise.
Richard Russell, Director of Western Blueprint, explains that the major challenge was the lack of available space in which to expand the wash-up.
“The school is highly successful, and its intake has increased annually. The old dishwash area could simply no longer cope with the increased volumes. The dishwash area was congested, the dirties receiving area too small and inefficient and lack of space meant staff could not process the workload safely or efficiently.
“The dishwash area was a narrow galley-type room with Chef’s office on one side with a window looking out into the dining hall.
“There was no extra external space available, so the design solution relocated the Chef’s office, which was then demolished, and the window converted into the main doorway into the dining hall. The original doorway was then blocked up and sealed. The changes to the office and doors gained an additional 2.5 metres of wall space, giving us a total of approximately 4 metres of valuable, usable space.
“This allowed the installation of a larger Meiko automatic rack-conveyor dishwasher, plus a pre-rinse sink with overhead spray and inlet & outlet tabling system to cope with the current and future predicted demand.
The additional space gained allowed us to expand both the incoming dirties sorting area and the outlet area where the racks of crockery etc can dry before going back into storage.
“Finishing touches included hygienic Whiterock wall cladding, new safety flooring, air conditioning, and low energy led lighting.
“One of the biggest problems for schools nowadays following Covid is recruitment of good staff, so staff retention is vital to keep areas such as the dishwash running smoothly and efficiently.
“One of the best ways to retain staff is to provide good working conditions and the new dishwash area at this school is much more pleasant to work in following these works. The space is now being used efficiently and more safely. Each staff member has good personal space to work in, with no risk of tripping over trolleys or each other.”
Western Blueprint Limited provides commercial kitchen consultancy and Design & Build services to caterers nationwide. Key market sectors include independent schools, universities, restaurants, and Business & Industry catering.
The new dishwasher specified by Western Blueprint for the school was Meiko’s UPster K model K-S200 - an automated rack transport machine with a maximum throughput of up to 150 racks per hour. Western Blueprint also selected an additional hot air dryer, a 90-degree exit curve and a manual glide exit roller table to make the most of the newly available L-shaped dishwash space.
“A key consideration for commercial kitchen design must be to minimize energy consumption in every way we can,” continues Richard.
“Meiko’s UPster rack transport dishwashers feature a heat recovery system as standard. This heat recovery system uses the otherwise wasted steam to pre-heat the incoming cold-water supply.
“This reduces energy consumption of the dishwasher, adding considerable cost savings over the machine's lifetime.
“The additional bonus is that the exhaust air emitted by the dishwasher is now much cooler, which significantly contributes to making this new dishwash area a much more pleasant working environment for the staff.”
Western Blueprint Limited
1 Anglo Office Park, Bristol, BS15 1NT
Phone: 0774 786 3397