Commercial Construction & Renovation

MAY-JUN 2017

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A SOLUTION THAT STICKS COMMERCIAL KITCHENS A shallow mechanical room is included at the back of the buildings with outdoor access. This not only consolidates all plumbing components (water heaters, softeners, etc.), but provides easy access for service per- sonnel without the need to walk through the kitchen. Growing with a brand One of the newest Red Robins is in Lakewood, Colo. It's so new, in fact, that if you look at W. Colfax Avenue on Google Earth, you'll only find an empty grass lot where the building now stands. Long before general contractor Catamount Constructors Inc. had broken ground, the building's blueprint included Fenske's Navien hot water system design. "All new Red Robins are using either five or six Navien NPE-240A units, piped and plumbed in parallel," Fenske says. "Based on its anticipated patronage, lower gas BTU contents due to Colorado's high elevation and the fact that the Denver area has colder groundwater than many places in the country, it went for the optional sixth unit here." The NPE-240A is a 199,900 BTUH condensing, wall-hung tank- less water heater that offers a 10-to-one turndown and dual stainless steel heat exchangers. It features ComfortFlow technology, which pairs a 1/3 gallon buffer tank and internal recirculation pump to provide instantaneous hot water to all fixtures within the building. The unit also provides up to three LEED points. In applications with a big hot water demand, the NPE models make multi-unit installation simple. As many as 16 units can operate as a single system, while eight units can be common vented so that fewer wall or ceiling penetrations are needed. In existing Red Robin restaurants, where the Navien units are used as a retrofit solution, the systems are installed in a large closet at the back of kitchen. "The water heaters are installed in two rows, one above the other," Fenske says. "Since height isn't an issue, its able to save a lot of space this way, with room underneath the bottom row for all piping." All six units at the Lakewood restaurant act as a single system, firing up only as high as needed to perfectly meet current hot water demand. Because the modulating units each provide nearly 200,000 BTUH, the system is able to provide anywhere between 20,000 to 1.2 million BTUH, or roughly .1 to 30 GPM, depending on incoming water temperature and fixture loads. Installation and service made easy At 5,500 feet above sea level, Lakewood's elevation could've been cause for concern. Fortunately, setting the Navien units up for Den- ver's thinner air is quick and simple. Some gas-fired, condensing appliances require several extra steps during installation, like changing or modifying orifice plates. With the NPE-240A, DIP switches are used to change the air/fuel mixtures and speed of the fan. Another installer-friendly feature of the NPE-240A comes courtesy of Navien's low input gas pressure requirements. Compared to many units of the same capacity smaller gas piping can be used, saving time, space and money. But the inherent advantages of the NPE-240A aren't the only thing making life easier for the technicians who install and service the hot water systems at Red Robin locations. The restaurant chain is proactive and refuses to cut corners. In restaurants where four units are needed to provide the entire hot water load, five are installed. Where five are needed, a sixth is added. Using an extra water heater not only ensures that pressure drop will never be an issue, but also provides redundancy. Should a unit come off-line for any reason, whether it be failure or planned service, the hot water system still will be able to cover peak demand. The right relationships and equipment "The feedback we've gotten from all the restaurants has been very positive," Fenske says. "As time goes on and more units were installed, my involvement has been less and less crucial. I think that's testament to Navien's ease of use and also to the talent of the engineers involved." In the earlier stages of the Navien's relationship with Red Robin, Fenske worked closely with the restaurant's MEP engineer, Schnackel Engineers, out of Omaha, Neb., to provide a hard-spec drawing. From there, the engineer re-draws it and puts it into the blueprints. Today, word is spreading through the foodservice industry and Fenske is receiving calls from other restaurant chains. The capability of the NPE-240A lends itself perfectly to the large and fluctuating demands of the food service industry, and it hasn't gone unnoticed. CK " The feedback we've gotten from all the restaurants has been very positive. I think that's testament to Navien's ease of use and also to the talent of the engineers involved." – Brian Fenske, Specialty Channel Sales Manager, Navien 150 COMMERCIAL CONSTRUCTION & RENOVATION — MAY : JUNE 2017

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