UNC REX HEALTHCARE
The UNC Rex Healthcare team had a vision: to provide top-notch patient, staff and visitor experiences that you’d expect from an innovative hospital for the next half century. To do so they sought out cutting-edge design strategies that would maximize staffing productivity while ensuring excellence was never compromised.
The design of this facility is a perfect balance of form and function. Incorporating all the necessary energy-efficient practices to ensure that the facility ran as efficiently, effectively, and sustainably as possible. By cleverly combining back-of-the house with front of the house stations, staff can be shared from one area to the other. One unique feature is the coffee counter which has an entrance door on its side, allowing it to offer convenient counter service even after hours. And if needed there’s also added security protection in place – retail space can easily be closed off by a gate at any time.
Fresh ingredients make the journey from ground-level loading docks to a bustling second floor kitchen. A well-oiled system of staff transport and storage ensures that all raw meats, proteins, fruits and vegetables are carefully placed in their respective walk-in coolers or freezers before beginning the preparation process for the next delicious meal.
The back-of-the-house hot cookline was designed to be compact and efficient. One cook works the entire back-of-the-house cookline with a six-burner range, a chargrill and flattop combination, two 12-gallon kettles, a tilt skillet and stacked combi ovens.
The patient tray assembly area resides across from the hot cooking line for convenient accessibility. Cooks produce and place hot menu items from heated wells on a hot plate warmed by a heated base and cover it with a dome-shaped cover. Attendants place cold items from a display refrigerator and a display freezer, plus condiments and serviceware on the trays.
Staff also use a 20-quart mixer for making cheesecake batter and sweet dough for cinnamon rolls. They roll out dough for the front-of-the-house flatbreads. A blast chiller supports preparation by cooling proteins used for menu items such as salad, paninis and flatbreads. The blast chiller has been a game changer for the facility. They can bulk-prep sauces and other menu items, place them in the chiller and know they’ll be cooled quickly to transfer them to the cook’s walk-in that holds prepared menu items.
The kitchen is equipped with a 40-gallon tilt skillet, two 12-quart steam jacketed kettles and several other stations to make all the delectable dishes on their menu. From burgers and pork medallions cooked on the chargrill, to omelets, breakfast wraps and French toast prepared in front of you at the flattop range; they even have six burners specifically for sautéing veggies or making macaroni & cheese.
The dish room sits behind the retail front-of-the-house servery. It connects to a tray drop-off conveyor from the dining room. In the front of the house, designers tucked the tray drop in the back of the dining area. Currently disposables are used for the café, but if there is a change to china in the future, there is capability for this as well.
The Rippe team took a unique approach to kitchen storage in healthcare, carefully considering present needs as well future expansion. This forward-thinking planning gives kitchens the rare opportunity for extra space and room to grow in the future.
Location: Holly Springs, NC Equipment Cost: $925,000
Kitchen Size: 4,200 SF
Servery Size: 1,800 SF
“frk has had the good fortune to with Rippe Associates for more than 20 years on many projects together. Our focus is the K-12 market and we have always appreciated the deep knowledge base, attention to detail, and extensive experience the team at Rippe Associate provides for educational design. We have also greatly valued the professional, yet personal approach, their designers take with our clients. When working with Rippe, we are always confident the project will be a success!”
Thomas C. Wollan, AIA, LEED AP
Partner at frk architects + engineers
“When it comes to dietary planning, Rippe is always first on my list when team building. They have a strong understanding of all the issues, are creative problem solvers, and are consistent with their execution.”
Daniel J. Rectenwald, AIA, ACHA, NCARB
Vice President, Principal at HGA
"The development of Elmhurst Hospital’s replacement campus was complex. The Rippe team supported our vision to transform healthcare foodservice. The result was exceptional reviews from our patients and staff, along with a facility that supported efficient operations."
David E. Reeves
Past President of the Association for Healthcare Foodservice (AHF)
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