Skip to content

Halton cuts operating costs by a third in Redi food court kitchens

Automated and demand controlled ventilation is an extremely efficient way to reduce energy usage in professional kitchens. Smart exhaust hoods also improve fire safety and working conditions for kitchen staff.

Energy efficiency was an important criterion during the ventilation design phase of Redi’s new Food Port food court. Consequently, the system chosen for the shopping mall automatically alters the amount of air according to demand.

“The operating costs of the kitchens are a real money pit. Demand controlled ventilation reduces the costs by about 30 percent. As a result of the energy savings the repayment time for the investment is very reasonable, about five years,” says Jukka Parkatti, property manager at Redi in Kalasatama, Helsinki.

The figures are based on the actual electricity usage of the food court, which opened in 2023, and are in comparison with traditional ventilation where all the equipment has fixed output from morning to evening.

“Owners of large properties want to operate responsibly, and improving energy efficiency is the best way to do that. It is also increasingly required by legislation”, says Halton’s sales manager, Jere Kaistinen.

In a professional kitchen, up to 2000 – 3000 liters of air per second passes through the ventilation system. The average living room, for example, normally requires about 12 liters of air per second. When the ventilation output matches the actual demand in the kitchen, the fans use considerably less electricity.

“The rule of thumb is that a 50 percent reduction in output reduces electricity use by 75 percent. But even more savings are made when the incoming air doesn’t need to be heated as much,” Kaistinen says.

Energy savings at Food Port are the sum of many things. The thermal cameras in Halton’s exhaust hood monitor how the surface temperatures of the kitchen equipment change during cooking. Sensors in the kitchen monitor the room temperature and humidity levels, and the sensors in the exhaust hood monitor the temperature of the exhaust air. Using this data, the smart automated system computes in real time the precise amounts of incoming and exhaust air for different circumstances.

“For example, the thermal cameras in the exhaust hood can sense when frozen steaks are put on the hot grill. The system then opens the damper, the ventilation increases and the smoke is sucked into the extraction duct. Everything happens automatically,” Kaistinen continues.

Smoke, particulates and high temperatures are a health risk in professional kitchens, so efficient ventilation improves both the health and satisfaction of employees. This has particular significance in an industry that struggles to find sufficient workers.

Jarno Tapani Niemi, restaurant manager at Saigon Café, a restaurant offering traditional Vietnamese cuisine, is very happy with the new ventilation system.

“Restaurant kitchens are often hot and sweaty. In our kitchen, the temperature doesn’t rise despite using several large kettles at the same time, and also a gas stove. In my opinion, it is important to offer employees the best possible working conditions,” Niemi says.

The thermal camera can also monitor fire safety. For example, if the temperature of the fat in a deep-fat fryer rises close to ignition temperature, the thermal camera senses it and automatically sets off an alarm if necessary.

There are eleven restaurants in Redi’s Food Port food court and space for roughly 500 customers. On Thursday 18th April the extension to the food court will open with two new restaurants and space allocated for another seven.

“The Kalasatama area has around 11 000 residents at the moment, but that amount will rise in the next decade to as much as 30 000. One way to prepare for this at Redi is to increase the amount of space for restaurant customers,” property manager, Jukka Parkatti, says.

Halton and Redi have also signed a maintenance agreement for the kitchen ventilation systems. This includes, among other things, remote monitoring of the exhaust hoods and scheduled maintenance every six months.

Additional information

Jere Kaistinen
Sales Manager, Halton Foodservice
+358 (0)40 833 0349


About Halton

Halton Group is a global technology leader providing indoor air solutions for challenging public, office, and business spaces, healthcare facilities, laboratories, professional kitchens, offshore sites, as well as energy production and industrial environments. Halton offers safe, comfortable, and productive indoor environments that are also energy-efficient and in line with sustainable development principles. The company was founded in Finland in 1969.  Today, Halton Group employs over 1,900 people in nearly 40 countries. The company’s turnover in 2023 was approximately 300M euros.