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Resources for Restaurant Facility Managers

A Good Building is Hard to Find

Since the early 1990’s, FSEC has studied uncontrolled air flow in both residential and commercial buildings. In a study of 69 commercial buildings including eight restaurants, the authors say, “Uncontrolled air flow can have serious negative consequences in buildings. These consequences can include too much or too little ventilation, too high or too low humidity, occupant thermal discomfort, elevated energy use, damage to building materials, microbial growth, backdrafting of combustion equipment, transport of pollutants, and indoor air quality problems. Therefore, it is important to design, build, commission, and maintain buildings so that air flows are under control. How can this be done?”

Get the short answer in this excerpt [Link to new doc, excerpt of Section 6.]

Comprehensive summary of the study:

Full report:

Building Science Research Relevant to Restaurants

  Mitigating the Impacts of Uncontrolled Air Flow on Indoor Environmental Quality and Energy Demand in Non-Residential Buildings – Study of uncontrolled air flow in 25 commercial buildings including four restaurant/food service buildings. Funded by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA).

Controlling Ventilation and Space Depressurization in Restaurants in Hot and Humid Climates – Testing results, implications, and mitigation recommendations in nine restaurants.


Field Measurement of Uncontrolled Air Flow and Depressurization in Restaurants – Field investigations in seven restaurants (subsample of a 63 commercial buildings study)


Building Envelope Air Leakage Failure in Small Commercial Buildings Related to the Use of Suspended Tile Ceilings – Diagnostic air flow tests in three buildings with suspended acoustic tile ceilings with unconditioned attics. Remediation strategies produced cooling energy savings.


Standards and Verification Protocols for Commissioning Air Flows in Buildings – Standards and diagnostic methods for assessing building air flow dynamics.


Demonstration of Cooling Savings of Light Colored Roof Surfacing in Florida Commercial Buildings: Retail Strip Mall – A bagel shop in a central Florida strip mall saw 18% savings in cooling energy from applying a reflective roofing material over the existing galvanized corrugated metal roof.


HOW DOES YOUR COMMERCIAL BUILDING MEASURE UP? Florida Building Energy Rating Guide is a yardstick that estimates building energy use, can be used for estimating savings from proposed efficiency improvements.


Unbalanced Return Air in Commercial Buildings – Compilation of studies, of 88 central Florida commercial buildings, 26% had substantially unbalanced return air flows.


Electric Vehicle Charging Technology Analysis And Standards – Barriers, challenges and recommendations for technologies and standards in the United States associated with electric vehicles  and associated service equipment and infrastructure.