The Model Kitchen and Product Evaluation Center at Lankford-SYSCO's Pocomoke City, MD facility required some exacting demands from a new kitchen ventilation system. These were met with a trio of hoods, VAVs, makeup air units, DX cooling coils, grease filters, baffles, and a fire suppression system.

Lankford-SYSCO in Pocomoke City, MD is one of 180 facilities owned by SYSCO Corporation, a leading, full-service distributor for the North American foodservice market. The showcase of the Pocomoke facility is its Product Evaluation Center.

In the Product Evaluation Center, Lankford-SYSCO's executive chef teaches the company's foodservice customers who visit the kitchen, how to prepare food and to plan menus, and also shares information about what's new in fresh and frozen products, china, tableware, catering ware, and linens. The Model Kitchen is a fully functional kitchen that showcases the latest equipment available and visually demonstrates how kitchen equipment should be arranged. It also serves meals to the company's 700-plus onsite employees each day.

Although management at Lankford-SYSCO wanted to demonstrate cutting-edge technology and energy efficiency in the new kitchen ventilation systems, appearance was as important as functionality and performance. Aesthetically, SYSCO wanted a hood that would blend in with their elegant wood décor.

The ultimate goal was to have clients enter their Product Evaluation Center and simply say, "Wow!" They were also concerned about noise, comfort levels, and odors around the hoods when customers were being trained near the hoods.


While researching equipment needs, Lankford-SYSCO's Hob Mason, facilities engineer; Joe Davis, maintenance manager; and Steve Kline, vice president of sales, met with Greenheck Fan Corporation manufacturer representative Jim Bianco of Ward-Boland, Inc. in Seaford, DE. After listening to their needs, Bianco was confident that Greenheck products would meet their challenges and promptly arranged a visit to Greenheck's own kitchen equipment demonstration area at the company's Product Center in Schofield, WI.

After discussions with Greenheck product engineers, Greenheck was able to provide two kitchen hoods with wood-clad laminate façades (13-ft island and 15-ft wall style) that offered a softer feel and perfectly matched the customer's décor in the Product Evaluation Center. The hood interior remained bright and shiny, making it easy to clean.

For the Model Kitchen, a 26-ft wall hood with a standard finish was installed. All three hoods included VAV controls to conserve energy and to reduce noise. A VAV system automatically slows down exhaust fans when cooking demands slow down, and then speeds up the fans when business increases. These features can save restaurant owners hundreds of dollars in energy costs, increase equipment life, and enhance employee comfort.

In addition, Greenheck's 80% efficient Grease-Grabber™ filters and balancing baffles were installed to maximize grease extraction and to ensure a clean, attractive appearance when customers look up into the hood. A self-contained Zone Defense full flood fire suppression system also was installed with wet chemical spray drops every 20 in., offering kitchen owners and managers the flexibility of rearranging cooking units anywhere under the hood - a perfect solution for the Model Kitchen.

Finally, air quality and odor issues were addressed with the installation of two Greenheck Model IGX makeup air units with DX cooling coils (one 20-ton unit and one 30-ton unit) that provide 100% outdoor air into the building. This solution provided a comfortable environment for visitors and employees.


Facility engineer Hob Mason said the new Greenheck kitchen ventilation system "works beautifully" and knows he is saving money on energy costs thanks to the kitchen system's energy saving features. "We have customers sitting under the hoods every day," he reported, "and they are amazed at the comfort levels." "Our executive chef is very happy and pleased with the performance of the equipment as well. And, the low sound levels allow him to easily communicate with visitors under the hood."