Air2O Blog

Case Study Singlethread Farms

The Single Thread Farm is located on five acres between the Russian River and the historic San Lorenzo Ranch in Healdsburg, California. The property consists of rolling fields, chicken coops, fruit orchards, olive trees, bee hives, and a cattle paddock all surrounded by wine vineyards. The farm supplies the vegetables, fruit, herbs, flowers, honey, eggs, and olive oil to their award-winning Michelin-star eatery by the same name.

The team at Single Thread Farms consists of farmers, chefs, foragers, artisans, and hospitality professionals, and the team takes pride in craftsmanship. As an example, Single Thread Farms restaurant uses dishware pieces, vases, and serving vessels hand made using the porous, fossil rich clay found in Iga. Japan. Single Thread supports authentic craftsmanship and sustainability, and the team has special relationships with many of the designers, craftsmen, artisans, and makers who continue to collaborate with Single Thread Farms.

THE CHALLENGE

When Chef Kyle Connaughton and his wife Katrina decided to open their restaurant and inn in Sonoma County, they wanted the restaurant centered on an open kitchen and have the feel of a dinner party. They really wanted the restaurant to be an extension of their home.

The open kitchen concept could create problems as restaurant kitchen exhaust systems are often very powerful, removing thousands of cubic feet of air per minute. When air is removed from the kitchen, it needs to be replaced with fresh air. Without that replacement air, you wind up with all sorts of unpleasant and even dangerous conditions including excessive noise, unpleasant odors, negative air pressure, back drafting, air quality concerns and higher energy bills, to name a few. The problem is compounded in newer buildings constructed to be air-tight, which prevents the natural flow of outside air into the space.

THE SOLUTION

The restaurant needed a unit for the kitchen that would replace air (make up) that was taken out through ventilation. When you add a make-up air unit to a kitchen, it adds replacement air for what’s being drawn out of the kitchen by your exhaust hoods. The make-up air unit pulls air into your space from outdoors and conditions it to the indoor temperature, to replace air that’s pulled out by your kitchen exhaust equipment. The restaurant needed a unit to be expertly crafted, environmentally friendly, and would save costs and energy over time.

Single Thread Farms decided on a 5,000CFM Semi-Hybrid Air2O unit as the most efficient solution for the restaurant kitchen. The Semi-Hybrid unit incorporates the latest technology in high-performance, energy efficiency cooling technology available in the world. The Air2O operates quite simply like an evaporative system operates except for one major additional step. Water is first chilled through a sophisticated water cooling tower. This chilled water is then passed through a heat exchanger, which chills the air without adding any moisture. The air is cooled through a second evaporative process to deliver air temperatures comparable to air conditioners, but with 100% fresh air. Heat in the kitchen can be extreme, and with summer temperatures in Healdsburg pushing 100 degrees and combine that with ovens and stoves at full power, chefs and kitchen staff can be very uncomfortable. Thanks to Air2O, the Single Thread Farms kitchen staff remains cool and is breathing 100% fresh air while preparing their award-winning 11-course menus, inspired by kaiseki, a traditional multicourse Japanese dinner.

THE BENEFITS

The Semi-Hybrid Air2O unit uses only 4.33 kilowatts of total power, a fraction of the energy standard air conditioners use, and power consumption is less than 40% of other Hybrid units with compressor. In fact, Single Thread Farms can expect to save upwards of 70% -80% on energy costs in their kitchen compared to traditional air conditioners. In addition to energy savings, the Semi-Hybrid Air2O will also be cooling the fresh air entering the kitchen, something conventional make up air systems cannot do.


Selecting and using Air2O, we feel that we have the most effective, economical and environmentally coconscious solution, which fits perfectly with the Single Thread Farms model of only working with the best designers, craftsmen and artisans.

– Single Thread Farms


Kitchen staff stays cool and alert, breathing 100% fresh air with no harmful gasses as they prepare foods informed by the 72 micro seasons followed on the farm. The diners stay comfortable in the open dining area while experiencing Omotenashi, the Japanese style of hospitality that anticipates a guest’s every need, only smelling the food when the chef wants it to be smelled- at the table. It may take a few months to get a reservation for dinner at Single Thread Farms,
but it takes only a click or a call to experience Intelligent Cooling by Air2O.

 

 

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