Time to think green

Plan energy reduction savings into your next project

It’s only natural to think green when spring arrives. Then again, it literally can pay to think green — as in sustainable energy reduction — before temperatures begin to climb. Truth is, most food plant and warehouse operators think about energy only when costs are high or when a facility needs a quick fix to an energy-loss problem.

Although it’s harder to effectively and efficiently reduce energy in a patchwork solution scenario, building owners can reap tremendous savings if they think ahead and incorporate energy reduction measures into their next facility renovation, expansion or greenfield project design.

Whereas ESI Constructors handles project construction details, ESI Design Services can ensure that customers optimize the equipment, systems and ancillary materials operating within that constructed space.

When it comes to energy saving strategies, ESI Design Services mechanical and electrical engineers can help (1) evaluate a return on investment for various design options, potential systems and/or equipment, (2) review and secure state and local energy incentives and/or rebates and (3) work with local utilities on energy-saving initiatives.

ESI Design Services engineers constantly evaluate the latest energy-saving trends and technologies. Last year, for example, we kept an eye on alternative fuel sources for forklift batteries (including methanol, which does not yet appear to be a viable option) as well as the proliferation of LED lighting fixtures (improved functionality and cost is now more in line with industry). 2011 will bring more developments in everything from hydrogen fuel cells (again, for powering forklifts) to new chemicalfree treatments for condenser water.

Food processors and warehouse operators may not realize we also have significant in-house expertise in industrial ventilation, steam and compressed air systems, process water handling as well as piping and pumping systems. We do not have to outsource these design matters. Rather, we can design a complete energy solution into any project.

We are well versed in all forms of energy — whether it means capturing and redirecting the heat from exhaust air or steam; or capturing and using condenser water heat to generate hot water for a multitude of other uses inside a facility and/or an office space.

By Casey Discasey & Robin Wolff

Casey Discasey is a senior mechanical engineer and Robin Wolff is a senior electrical engineer with ESI Design Services. Combined, the two have 38 years of experience with clients in the food, beverage, and cold storage warehouse industries.


Join our eNewsletter

Get industry trends and insights for food facility design and construction quarterly.