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Focus on: HVAC


With a motto of “Saving the Earth, One Pizza at a Time,” Pizza Fusion is committed to eco-friendly dining.

From building stores to LEED standards to the use of mostly organic food ingredients to hybrid delivery vehicles, the Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based chain has incorporated green practices into every aspect of its operations. So it’s not surprising that efficiency rules when it comes to heating, ventilation and air-conditioning equipment.

“Efficiency was the driving force behind most of our building choices,” said Ken Zollinger, State Mechanical Services, Naperville, Ill., which selected and installed the mechanical equipment for Pizza Fusion’s Naperville, Ill., location, which opened last year.

To help Pizza Fusion achieve its LEED certification and efficiency goals, the firm specified premium, high-efficiency rooftop units (along with heat pumps and air handlers) from Lennox Industries, a four-time winner of the Energy Star Manufacturing Partner of the Year award by the U.S. Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Agency.

“Lennox met all our LEED certification requirements and proved to be the best value for the money,” Zollinger said. The HVAC manufacturer also worked with Pizza Fusion on the LEED commissioning process.

The high-efficiency rooftop units specified by Zollinger offered several options, such as factory-installed differential enthalpy economizers that help minimize the store’s need for mechanical cooling by modulating air dampers according to the outside temperature. The result: free coiling under the right outdoor conditions, further boosting Pizza Fusion’s energy efficiency.

To help achieve excellent indoor air quality while keeping energy use under control, a demand control ventilation (DCV) system was installed. It uses carbon dioxide sensors to estimate the number of people in the building at any given time.

If the CO2 levels are high—which signals many occupants in the space—the system signals the rooftop unit controller to adjust air dampers to allow in more fresh air. Driven by the rooftop unit’s integrated modular controller, the dampers return to a closed position as the carbon dioxide levels fall.

In addition, the system uses MERV 15 filters to remove contaminants from the restaurant’s air. It captures 85% to 95% of particles 0.3 to 1.0 micron in size and up to 90% of particles 1.0 to 10.0 microns in size. Keeping the coil clean also helps protect the system’s energy efficiency.

Pizza Fusion’s Naperville site is located in Springbrook Prairie Pavilion, a LEED Silver-certified center.

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