Ancient & Modern: Emmanuel College gets latest ‘green’ refrigeration

Williams Refrigeration and B.I Catering Equipment Services have completed part of a total refurbishment of Emmanuel College’s main kitchen

Williams supplies equipment for first stage of kitchen refurbishment

“Sustainability is very much top of our minds when it comes to choosing catering equipment,” says Francois Reverchon, Catering Bursar a tEmmanuel College, Cambridge. “Our new refrigeration gives us a much better and greener system.” 

The refrigeration, supplied by Williams and installed by B.I Catering Equipment Services, is part of a total refurbishment of the College’s main kitchen. The cabinets, blast chillers and coldrooms have many energy-saving features developed under Williams’ Greenlogic initiative. These include Williams’ energy-saving CoolSmart controller, which monitors activities such as door openings and adjusts the cabinet’s operation to minimise energy use, cutting consumption by around 15%. 

“The last time kitchen refurb was done in the ‘90s,” says Francois Reverchon. “I wanted to avoid a three month shut down, so we have split the project into stages that can be carried out during holiday times.” 

The limited timescale was one of the key challenges on the project. “There was no margin for error,” says Andrew Jones of B.I Catering Equipment Services. “We had two weeks to pull out the old equipment, re-pipe, put in new flooring, fit compressors and install the first set of refrigeration.” The second tranche of the Williams equipment was installed later, during a 17-day period. 

“In both cases, time was very tight, partly due to the restrictions of working in a modern shell constructed within an 18th century building.  For example, the flooring is listed, so it had to be replaced very carefully. Equally, the exterior compressors had to be below a certain height, so that they couldn’t be viewed from the John Lewis store opposite, and they had to run very quietly, since this is the middle of Cambridge, so we specified Williams’ ultra-low noise models.”

“We had to get it right first time: if we didn’t, there would be no way to feed the students, a fact that Francois and his team impressed on us very strongly!”

Several of the models supplied were adapted to the specific needs and shape of the site. They include bespoke dual and triple compartment coldrooms and an L-shaped workstation with granite work surface, over undercounters.  During install, some of the equipment had to be adjusted for the site – for example, the top of the Ruby bakery cabinet, used for desserts and pastries, was remodelled to fit the available space. 

Even the Williams condenser packs can be tailored to the exact requirements of the bespoke coldrooms, rather than using standard sizes that may be slightly over  or under the duty required.

“Williams’ ability to tailor equipment for the site was a big plus,” says Andrew Jones.  “As well as supplying the catering equipment we are servicing it, and that’s another reason for specifying Williams: it’s reliable, easy to work on and the company’s support is first class.” 

“We serve 650 meals a day to students, plus we cater for private events, banquets, conferences and weddings,” says Francois Reverchon.  “So our chefs have to be flexible, offering everything from cafeteria snacks to formal haute cuisine, from the fashionable to the classic.  The cooking equipment and refrigeration has to be able to cope with that flexibility.” 

Head chefMattCarter is delighted with the first stage of the refurbishment.  “The Williams equipment works really, really well.  It’s also easy to use and easy to clean.  Plus, the after-sales support is very good.  After the equipment was up and running, they were happy to come in and adjust things.”

As part of the College’s health and safety routine, monitors have been set on all the Williams equipment.  “Temperature control has been excellent,” saysMattCarter.  “We’ve had no alarms or spikes at all.  Our monitors match pretty much exactly what the Williams controllers are showing.” 

Francois Reverchon adds: “With so many people to feed, all our catering equipment has to meet stringent health and safety criteria. Our refrigeration has to be totally reliable.  That’s why we chose Williams.” 

Williams at Emmanuel College

The roll-in blast chiller and three coldrooms are remote units, running from the Williams compressors sited outside the building. 

  • WMBC120 blast chiller: 120kg capacity roll-in model with advanced AirSmart air flow for even product chilling.
  • WMBC40 blast chiller: reach-in unit with 40kg capacity.  
  • Emerald HE3U – wide entry, three-door undercounter capable of holding up to 24 2/1GN (48 1/1 GN) trays. 
  • Bespoke dual-compartment fresh meat coldroom
  • Bespoke dual-compartment vegetable coldroom
  • Bespoke triple-compartment chiller / freezer coldroom
  • Bespoke stainless L-shaped work station & granite work surface
  • Ruby RMR2T-SA – modular roll-in two-door cabinet

Read the Case Study