Oakland Unified School District | The Center: Central Commissary and Urban Farm


OUSD Commissary

The new central commissary for Oakland Unified School District, called The Center, has been designed to produce 40,000 meals per day. It includes several cook lines with cook chill tanks, multiple 150-gallon steam jacket kettles, and blast chillers on a glycol system. A dedicated fan coil unit will be placed for the dry compressed air room and equipment that serve the packaging lines.

The building utilizes 100% natural refrigerants (CO2 and NH3) for food storage and processing, drastically reducing the ozone depletion and global warming potential associated with the facility.

The roof-mounted refrigeration racks provide cooling for all of the food storage and chilling needs. Simultaneously, heat is recovered off of the refrigeration rack condensers to supply the project’s domestic and kitchen hot water needs.

The office administration and test kitchen areas will be passively cooled at night and naturally ventilated during the day, eliminating the need for mechanical cooling. Additionally, exposed thermal mass has been incorporated to enhance night flush strategy and improve occupant comfort.

The menu for the students has an emphasis on freshly assembled meals, and 80% of the food will be sourced locally—within a 250 mile radius. The Center will experience high process loads with little room for error.

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