Student Scholar Symposium Abstracts and Posters

Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 5-11-2016

Faculty Advisor(s)

Mackenzie Crigger


Chapman University accommodates over 1700 student meal plans per day through the on-campus dining services provided by Sodexo Restaurant Services. The commercial-grade kitchens found in the Randall Dining Commons (RDC) of Sandhu Conference Center are frequently used to prepare food for students for every meal, seven days a week. The RDC kitchen facility has staff working around the clock and high consumption electrical, water, and gas appliances constantly running to parallel the high demand. The frequent use of commercial kitchen appliances results in an enormous consumption of energy and water resources leading to comparably high utility bills. Measuring the energy and water usage is a crucial component for this audit and for future audits to take into consideration, in terms of the responsible and sustainable use of finite resources.

This portion of the 2016 Environmental Audit quantifies areas of mechanical and operational inefficiencies and provides recommendations for mitigation of wasted energy and water resources from the RDC commercial kitchen. kWh meters, water volume meters, and thermal meters were placed on refrigeration, heating, and sanitation equipment to understand the resource consumption patterns and were further analyzed for operational improvements, retrofits, and environmentally friendly upgrades. Recommendations on new appliance purchases include Simple-Payback and Return on Investment financial calculations to examine the cost deferred through lowered utility bills and acquired rebates. Additionally, 2016 Environmental Audit survey data was collected from kitchen staff to provide insight on behavioral practices and future educational opportunities to aid in improving sustainable workplace habits.


Presented at the Spring 2016 Student Research Day at Chapman University.