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Air quality: it matters. We spend around 90% of our time on average indoors, and the degree of comfort we enjoy in our workplaces is a serious deal indeed – people tire when hot, and studies show as much as a 4% drop on productivity per degree of increased temperature above average indoors. Shoppers, too, are happier when premises are cooled, spending more time purchasing and browsing.

Today we’re going through more of these benefits in greater detail. Particularly with the tax relief benefits available in the UK via the ECA scheme, there’s never been a better time to invest in air conditioning and HVAC systems to boost sales and productivity.

The connection between productivity and air quality

We can all agree: a cool, fresh office is a lovely place to be. The alternative of a hellish sweatbox is far from ideal! Interestingly for office managers and business owners, it’s an area that you can improve to directly increase the productivity of your teams.

A 2004 study titled Energy and Buildings supports this. The main factors of air quality as we perceive it – pollution levels, temperature and airflow – are hugely important in improving wellbeing and productivity.

The study found that better air quality consistently improved productivity levels as the quality improved – and that their model’s ‘minimal outdoor airflow rate’ led to a staggering 13% maximum loss in productivity. Even more interestingly, it concluded that a 1% loss in productivity for a business is equivalent to the total annual costs of maintaining an effective air-conditioning system.

A similar study, Indoor Temperature, Productivity and Fatigue in Office Tasks (2007), found that an increase of just 1°C above the recommended average in a call centre led to a 2.1% decline in performance.

There’s an important point we should make here: calculating performance as relates to air quality isn’t an exact science, and it’s a pretty involved field that takes a lot of variables into account. What we can see, though, is that there are lots of studies over several decades that all show the same trend: people are happier and work better when there’s a solid air conditioning system in use.

The case for investing in wellbeing

Budgets matter, and it’s fair to say that HVAC and air conditioning systems come at a cost. What we’re seeing across the UK and global industry, however, is just how effective an investment a modern system is.

Nowadays, great staff are hard to keep. A study in 2016 found that 40% of employers regularly struggle with talent shortages, and we’ve shifted by and large from a culture where staff stay in one company for most of their careers to one where the average stint with a business is as little as two to three years (Royale is an exception to the rule; many of our team have been with us well over a decade!). 

Turnover also costs companies big. A study published by the pharmaceutical giant Merck concluded that turnover of a staff member cost them as much as 250% of their annual salary. It’s a matter that’s important for small businesses and large corporations both, with start-ups and local companies often relying on the talents of single members of staff to succeed, and larger companies relying on consistency and reliability in their teams to help balance large budgets and cashflow.

While we’re not touting a brand-new air-conditioning system as a complete solution to this kind of modern challenge, it does play a direct role in making your clients and team members comfortable and content in the workplace. As is often the case in business and life, it’s almost invisible when it’s done right, and its absence is immediately noticed!

Royale – Supporting happy offices since 1987!

A little more on why our kind of work matters so much. We hope you’ve found it interesting! It’s always lovely to see our work make a difference to great businesses and organisations across the UK, and we’re proud of our experienced team that has, in many cases, been with our company for a decade or more.

If you think we can help you with your HVAC and air conditioning needs, give us a ring on 01635 551446 or email us at info@royaleref.com. We’re always happy to offer advice at no obligation.

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Ask any business or organisation: cash flow matters! Whether you’re retail or corporate, small or large, it’s always on the mind of decision-makers and owners.

Investing is, however, worthy; a study on the value of improving air quality in offices found the annual increase in productivity to be worth at least ten times as much as the annual increase in energy and maintenance costs.

Fortunately for UK businesses, the Enhanced Capital Allowance is here to save the day. In short, it’s a simple way to boost cash flow by securing an accelerated tax relief via investment in machinery and equipment that lowers carbon emissions.

How can the ECA benefit my business?

The Enhanced Capital Allowance (ECA) scheme is a part of the Government's plan to tackle climate change and was introduced to encourage businesses to invest in energy-saving equipment. The scheme can provide your business with enhanced tax relief for investment in equipment that meets certain Government criteria.

As no strangers to the ECA scheme, Royale can help your business navigate its complexities…

Unlike standard capital allowances, the ECA scheme entitles your business to claim 100% of the cost of an eligible air conditioning or HVAC system in the first year, providing that the equipment is on the government-approved list of energy-saving technology (you can view this list on the official government website right here).

Simply put, your business could use the Enhanced Capital Allowance scheme to write off (against profits) the full cost of an eligible air conditioning or refrigeration system in the very same year that system is purchased – great!

The first year’s saving could be as much as £300 for every £1,000 invested. This windfall is a real opportunity to invest in new equipment while slashing energy costs.

Growing concern for the environment

Public concern for climate change is increasing and consumers are increasingly becoming aware of a business’s environmental policies and production methods before deciding to buy, so the timing couldn’t be better for the ECA to be available in full to businesses across the UK.

A customer is statistically more likely to buy from reputable supplier with ‘green’ credentials, so it’s an ideal time to take advantage of the ECA scheme.

Am I eligible for Enhanced Capital Allowance funding?

While the ECA is exciting news for businesses looking to invest in new energy-efficient air conditioning and refrigeration systems, it can be a little daunting to understand. The government has made a guide available online, but the long list of tech and a complicated application process can leave some scratching their heads. Which energy-efficient products are eligible, and are they suitable for my needs?

If you have questions like these, fear not. Royale is experienced on the matter! We regularly consult with businesses on the ECA scheme, helping to craft bespoke HVAC systems that make maximum use of the Enhanced Capital Allowance scheme while still opting for systems and hardware that are suited for each individual project.

I need advice on the ECA scheme. Who can I talk to?

If you’d like advice on how the ECA might apply to your own investment, we’re happy to help at no obligation whatsoever. Simply put, we’re always keen to see an investment in HVAC go well, and even if you’re only looking for brief advice on how to plan your budget around the ECA we’d love to help with that.

You can either call the team at 01635 551446 or email us directly at info@royaleref.com.

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The world turns and Royale has helped make another bespoke project a reality. Today’s article takes us to the Isle of Wight, where Royale’s Gary Millard has managed quite a special request through to completion. Let’s see what the team’s been up to!

The first of its kind.

Interestingly, the approximately 140,000 residents of the Isle of Wight – and the businesses that serve them - have made do until now without any specialist dry-ageing facilities! Traditionally, the island’s supply of aged meat has come directly from the UK; animals are raised on the island to be sent to UK mainland for slaughter and subsequently returned to Isle of Wight stores and, ultimately, customer’s plates.

Cheverton Farm is one such farm on the Isle of Wight and had the rather special request: have a Royale engineer come over to manage the construction of specialist bespoke dry ageing rooms, production cutting room, freezer and future meat curing room – the very first of its kind on the island.

The concept of ‘dry ageing’.

The reason that dry ageing is becoming more and more popular is that it locks flavour and moisture into the meat by sealing it with a dry crust, therefore preventing the moisture from escaping and allowing the flavour to improve within the carcass.

A special consultation.

Making ‘meat to plate’ possible in the Isle of Wight took a little professional know-how; fortunately, something our Gary’s got a little bit of and then some!

It’s not uncommon with tailored work for the scope and style of an installation to be hashed out with a client with the help of a Royale expert, and this was no exception. After coming to the UK to be shown a similar dry-ageing room installed by Royale in a Thatcham butchers’ business, a specification was created and agreed upon and work commenced.

Featuring a large meat hanging rail system moving throughout the renovated farm structure, the setup our team created included specialist control panels to control the dehumidification. Royale have carried out similar installations of dry aged meat rooms for Cobbs Farm Shop in Berkshire. Like our bespoke installation at Warnham Deer Park, this rail system makes it possible for our client to fully manage the ageing process of their meat without the need to ship it back and forth to the UK.

One of a kind.

Also including a second smaller dry age coldroom for smaller cuts, this installation at Cheverton Farm was the first of its kind and has been in the works since Royale was approached by Cheverton in November of 2018. It’s a steady process leading up to the work itself, with Gary going out to meet the clients directly to consult on the work before an agreement was reached.

The new dry-ageing room in the Isle of Wight is part of a streamlined production process. Produce is brought into Cheverton Farm by lorry before being loaded directly into the rail hanging system and finally into the dry-ageing room. Complete with a main room and smaller area for specialist cuts of meat, this new system allows Cheverton Farm to cut out the middleman and become a wholesaler of exceptional meat for the Isle of Wight.

Work well done.

We’re more than a little pleased with the work Gary and the team have done on this one and we’re thrilled to see their efforts contribute to a great business. This kind of specialist work builds a unique capability into Royale, with prospective clients as far away as Dubai having contacted the team to discuss potential work in the area.

No job is quite the same where these dry ageing rooms are concerned, and the proven ability of our engineers to consult with the client and build to challenging specifications is something we’re very proud of indeed.

A fantastic finish.

We’re happy to say that this intriguing task has been completed to the letter! The Isle of Wight now has its very first dry ageing room, helping to cut down unnecessary travel throughout this process.

Cheverton Farm, working with large brands across the Isle of Wight, is now well equipped to offer mouth-watering produce like never before. A great result all round.

If you’d like to talk to us yourself about a project, please feel free to contact us; we’re always happy to help. Either call us on 01635 551446 or send an email at info@royaleref.com. We hope to hear from you!

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It’s been a long road to the present day for Royale! Since our inception in 1987 we’ve grown from a two-person operation to the thriving family we’re so proud of today.

Family matters.

It was 1987; a special year! Royale was born on a fateful, probably rainy day, founded by the company’s original directors Nick Sheppard and David Cullinane.

Technology was, of course, different then; AC was less popular than it is today, so Royale focused on installing and servicing refrigeration units for companies around Berkshire and London. Typically, the value of our service was based on response times. By being quick to the draw on maintenance and installation, Royale grew in popularity with independent pubs and larger chains.

As Royale expanded throughout these first years of success, we’ve diversified. Air conditioning became a practical arm of the business, with more clients in different industries relying on our team for both custom air conditioning and refrigeration solutions, be they retail stores, offices, car showrooms or known high street brands.

As HVAC technology continued to grow in sophistication and affordability, so too did Royale. Trading continued for the years to come, with the company being taken over by Nick’s sons Simon and James who today lead several teams of seasoned experts at our head office in Berkshire.

A Royale revamp.

2014 was a busy and important year for the Royale team. A new family member at the helm gave a fresh chance to rebrand the company and the way it promotes its, dare we say it, fantastic service to customers in Newbury and far beyond.

It’s busy work. New company vehicles and vans were acquired and given fresh livery. The business was restructured. A full re-brand took place, giving you the Royale look and feel you see today.

Navigating the transformation of a company in this way is no easy feat, but it’s borne fruit for Royale. We’re now better positioned than ever before to provide our expertise and support; something our more than doubled turnover and customer-base is a testament to!

Digital upgrades.

There’s a lot on offer for businesses in the present day as far as tech is concerned. A modest revamp of the Royale IT infrastructure means that we’re now able to support more clients than ever. Our bespoke CRM system helps us support and track projects - all part of a concerted effort to deliver the best possible service we can.

This goes hand in hand with a more digital approach to our ‘boots on the ground’. Royale engineers carry tablets which they use to easily and swiftly log work details and updates; a real blessing to the company and engineers both in the time it saves.

The back office has seen love too, with high-specification computers helping our office team to work with our engineers in coordinating and managing bespoke projects and ongoing maintenance agreements.

Time for the team.

We’ve also been sure to invest in the future of our teams, with extra staff training helping to contribute to success stories such as Royale’s Dominic Dray winning the SkillFRIDGE 2018 competition! We’re also SafeContractor approved and CHAS accredited – two great badges to pin to our name.

As the company has grown, we’ve seen our engineers and office teams specialise. Royale now employs professionals who have familiarity and expertise with air conditioning and refrigeration service areas.

These callout specialists go hand in hand with our project managers, making our emphasis on challenging, bespoke projects an exceptionally useful reality for our clients. Word of mouth speaks volumes in this regard, and we’re proud to receive most of our work through recommendations.

A different kind of service.

As Royale has grown, so too has our client base. Supporting several hotels groups, building facility and contract catering companies across the south and beyond, we work with high street brands like Starbucks, KFC, Burger King & Pandora in both refrigeration and air conditioning; a unique draw to Royale in an industry where other companies tend only to specialise in one or the other.

It’s been a real journey. Growing from a company primarily serving pub chains across London to a trusted provider of bespoke HVAC solutions hasn’t been easy, but we’re proud of the work the Royale team has put in to get us where we are today.

Great stuff.

An interesting glimpse, we hope, of the work we do – and the roots of what we firmly believe is a unique, great place to work for and work with! Royale’s come a long way and we’re excited about the future.

If you’d like to talk to us directly about anything to do with refrigeration and air conditioning, feel free to give us a ring on 01635 551446. You can also email us at info@royaleref.com. Speak soon! 

 
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Today we wanted to take a closer look at the shift towards modern refrigeration in food retail. New refrigeration systems are better for the environment, and there’s more demand for them as we move towards healthier and fresher foods.

As consumers, we’re making the connection between refrigeration and produce that is made with clean, whole-food ingredients. In America, recent studies show the ‘freshness’ of food is the most important factor behind a purchase, and the UK’s organic market is worth over £2 billion (and growing) every year.

The question, then, is obvious: what’s behind this change, and why does it matter to business owners and food retailers?

Social media matters

Can a tweet change the food industry? Perhaps! Despite the UK being very diverse, food retailers are now able to draw on the data available from social media – to name but one source – to better understand their customers.

This is changing how refrigeration is used and invested in. From grocers to supermarket chains, the industry is moving away from out-dated solutions that are more harmful to the environment and towards greener, more efficient systems.

These changes are primarily driven by the need to save our environment, but it’s also about reacting to the modern needs and views of customers.

Healthier living is trending

Despite ongoing challenges around obesity and taking better care of our bodies, we’re doing a great job on a wider scale!

The UK fitness industry is worth over £5 billion and the global weight loss market was estimated in 2018 to be worth a staggering £241 billion. As we touched on at the start of this article, the UK organic market was worth over £2 billion in 2018 – a 6% rise over the previous year.

People are clearly interested in living healthily. So, you might be wondering, what does this have to do with refrigeration?

Fresh food is favoured

As consumers flock towards healthier, fresher food, any retail business that sells produce is having to adjust. As you might imagine, processed food is usually easier to store; ramen packets don’t need to be chilled and sold within two days!

Vegetables, grass-fed and organic meat and fresh fish are all examples of items that are increasingly in demand and difficult to store without a great refrigeration system. At a smaller scale, these systems need to be presentable, efficient and affordable; at a larger one, carbon footprint and small margins in operating costs become serious issues.

We’re also seeing the internet come into play where food retail is concerned. Amazon recently purchased Whole Foods for over £10 billion in a bid to expand their online ‘Pantry’ and in-store food offerings, and the global e-commerce grocery market is set to expand from £37 billion in 2018 to a staggering £116 billion in 2025.

A major driver behind this shift is a growing preference for foods and snacks that are seen – and branded – as ‘fresh’.

2018 report ‘Future of Fresh’ found that 75% of consumers wanted fresh snacks. 60% wanted food that is fresh in general and 56% of shoppers avoid preservatives and additives. The biggest market? Millennials and the ‘iGen’ that follows them (no, we didn’t make up that name!).

What this means for food retail

This growing preference for fresh food and the new, on-demand ways to buy it all require serious refrigeration power. We’re finding ourselves in a food retail world where products with the shortest shelf lives – and a constant need for chilled storage – are expected to be bought and delivered within increasingly small deadlines.

The growing backlash against preservatives and additives in food alone point towards an increase in the need for cold storage. Preservatives might not be trendy now, but they’ve long helped food retailers sell products that are cheaper and easier to store. As ‘fresh’ rises, so too will the need for refrigeration.

Saving the environment

This leads us neatly to the subject of the environment.

In 2016 the UN signed the Kigali Amendment in a bid to ban the use and sale of harmful HFC gases used in older air-conditioning and refrigeration systems. In 2019, the younger generation has led strikes and events across the globe aimed at seeing climate change addressed faster and on a greater scale.

While it might sound odd to link these efforts to humble refrigeration, it actually does matter to food retail.

As we mentioned at the start of this article, it’s an age of social media! The young are increasingly involved in environmental protest and activism, and you’d better believe their principles are being watched closely by business owners across the world.

Supermarket chains like Marks & Spencer Food are making the headlines by investing in Formula One inspired refrigeration systems that lower their carbon footprint – and you’d better believe this kind of positive exposure makes a difference to their bottom line.

Social media matters in 2019, and while we’d all prefer to see more done in the name of simply ‘doing the right thing’, it’s at least something to see these investments being made by food retailers in a bid to better sell to their customers!

In conclusion

One reason is sometimes enough for a business to invest in something.

Are my customers looking for fresh food? I’ll spend money on new systems. Do they want to see a better environment, and to buy from businesses that show themselves as contributors to that? I’ll cut my carbon footprint and remove harmful HFCs from my cold storage systems. Are they concerned about their health and fitness? I’ll sell more products that help them achieve their goals.

The simple truth is that all the above is happening at once, and it’s a big deal in the refrigeration world Royale supports and lives within. Businesses that invest in modern refrigeration systems can now expect that best possible results: cutting costs, selling better produce to your customers and contributing to a greener future; not a bad ‘value proposition’, if you ask us!

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We work more than a little magic at Royale, so it’s time to talk about the important people behind the service we’re so proud of! Many of our employees have been with us for over twenty years – a massive privilege in a world where many move around every few years.

That kind of long experience is simply irreplaceable, and it’s a huge factor in the close, personable support we’re able to offer our clients – be they single projects or extended maintenance contracts.

Gary Millard, Operations Manager

We weren’t lying when we said 20 years and more! Gary’s been with us for two decades – which we’re sure have flown by! – and acts in 2019 as our trusted Operations Manager.

In essence, Gary’s here to ensure that all the moving parts of our service come together at the right time, and in the right quality. It’s a varied position, and for a company like Royale that specialises in technical support and bespoke installation jobs, it takes a careful eye to ensure the final level of quality is worthy of the company name and brand.

In addition to this, Gary’s something of a coldroom specialist and is involved in the scoping and consultation of any jobs which involve this feature. As you can see in our recent blog ‘Deery Me’, these tasks are invariably challenging and usually quite intricate.

James Sheppard, Technical Director

Another experienced (we won’t say old) hand of the company, James has been with Royale for 24 years and works now as our Technical Director. In addition to offering ongoing technical support to our clients and engineers, he’s vital in helping the company to source the parts and equipment it needs to get the job done.

You can get a glimpse of just how important this is in a previous blog, ‘Of burgers and Burberry’.

Our engineers are busy by nature, and we have strict Service Level Agreements (SLAs) for our clients that need to be responded to consistently.

All the speedy response in the world means little if an engineer’s van is poorly stocked, and it’s James’ role to make sure we always have the right parts in the right quantity for our engineers to draw from to resupply their vehicles before they hit the road.

Nathan Dobson, Operations Director

Nathan’s been with us for a brief spell – 25 years, to be exact. As our Operations Director, he oversees the management of our CRM system – our one-stop shop for the management of our customer data. He’s also the general manager of our office, seeing to our physical assets and any other issues that may occur during the working weeks.

It’s Nathan’s duty to ensure that our clients are up to date on the progress of their orders and projects with us and to ensure that all paperwork, pictures and reports are received from our engineers and stored centrally for the business.

Sean Egan, Head of Service

Sean’s been with us for four years, and it’s been a real rise from his entry position to his present role as our Head of Service! This is a role that is all about communication; Sean makes sure that our engineers are informed and directed each day, managing their movement between jobs so that our SLAs are honoured and our clients happy.

Leigh Woodman, Accounts Secretary

Lee is another trusted and long-standing member of the Royale team. Having been with us for over 15 years, her experience as our Accounts Secretary is significant and invaluable to the smooth management and maintenance of our company accounts.

It’s a busy business here, and Lee makes sure that our clients and internal staff receive the clerical and administrative support they need. Reliably overseeing the financial elements of Royale is far from easy, and we’re more than a little fortunate to have someone with us who knows Royale so thoroughly.

Steven Crocker, Director

Steve’s been with Royale for an incredible 26 years, starting as an apprentice before working up to his present role as a senior engineer. Working out of office, he’s relied on to consult on and fulfil our most challenging jobs.

In recognition of his time with us – and the value he brings as a specialist and trusted member of the team – we have awarded a Directorship to Steve. As another long-standing member of the family, he’s also trusted with helping other engineers where needed from an HR perspective.

Liam Madden, Service & Maintenance Coordinator

Liam joined the Royale family around four years ago. His exceptional skill in dealing with customer queries and project coordination makes him ideally suited to resolve urgent customer requests and maintenance issues.

As the first point of contact for our customers if a maintenance issue arises, Liam gets things done quickly by working with Sean Egan and our engineering team to meet and beat customers' expectations. This is reflected by the feedback we regularly receive from customers about Liam's service.

A team to be proud of

Royale is fortunate to employ those we employ. These individuals - and all the other members of our company - come together to provide a service that is authentic, skilful and friendly to our clients and those we work with.

It’s telling when a business thrives predominantly through referrals and word of mouth, and we believe a large part of this being the case for Royale lies with the coming together of such extensive experience and commitment to the job.

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According to the Carbon Trust, the retail sector uses around seven percent of all UK building energy consumption, releasing over five million tonnes of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere each year.

It’s big business, and it’s vital we all work towards doing better on energy emissions. The same report by the Carbon Trust estimates that retailers could save as much as 20% by focusing on this issue alone.

So, what can be done? Today, we wanted to take the time to go through a few practical steps that food and beverage retailers can consider to reduce their energy consumption. These are a win-win: savings help the business, and that reduced energy need and carbon footprint helps the environment.

Let’s take a closer look!

Shelving and food storage

Beyond purchasing considerations, it’s a sure bet that simply storing food appropriately inside refrigeration units will improve energy efficiency.

Let’s take shelving as an example. It’s hugely important in determining how efficient and reliable a cabinet is. Many cabinets make use of an ‘air curtain’ – the flow of cold air from a honeycomb at the top of a unit to an air return grille at the bottom.

If a cabinet is overstocked, this airflow is compromised; the same applies to the bottom section of such a unit being blocked. Poor airflow, higher temperature. Higher temperature, higher energy consumption. Products that protrude or overhang their shelving units are common culprits here.

The solution? Positioning shelving evenly. If sloping shelves are needed, smaller versions that won’t disrupt the air curtain can avoid the lost performance.

Cabinet locations

Store owners and retailers will always consider the location of their refrigeration units, but many fail to do so from an energy consumption perspective!

The worst place to put your cabinets? Immediately opposite your store entrance; you’ll expose your units to drafts, dust and general litter, and overall fluctuations in temperature. Open-faced cabinets are particularly prone to poor efficiency if they’re placed in such a location.

Similarly, ‘radiant heat’ (from the sun and other significant light sources) can drastically affect performance, making your refrigeration cabinets work harder than they need to in order to maintain the right temperatures.

Require more from your suppliers

In 2013, the European Commission released an interesting study on best practice for the environment within the retail trade sector. While the final recommendations varied, the most cost-effective and beneficial suggestion was simple: require your suppliers to demonstrate and, if needed, improve how they procure and transport their goods to you.

Questions that a retailer can pose to their suppliers are many, but from an environmental perspective can include things such as their route planning, vehicle maintenance, and how often their vehicles are running empty in-between the delivery of loads.

You can read more on the study right here.

Modern technology

Unsurprisingly, there are a lot of retailers out there who could benefit from investment in more contemporary refrigeration units or smaller items of technology that relate to them. Here are a few examples.

LED lighting: Lighting is vital to refrigeration and retail. The better you present your food, the more it’s purchased. Simple. Traditional tube lighting – still common across refrigeration units in stores today – is expensive to run and can be replaced with LED lighting to drastically cut energy consumption while still ensuring your products look vibrant and enticing.

EC fan motors: Electronically Commutated (EC) fans can really cut down the energy requirements of your refrigeration units. Variable motors can be tailored to work harder at specific times – a great way to match energy use to peak hours across your stores.

Microchannel condensers: These use smaller tubing than traditional condensers, meaning less refrigerant is needed to keep a system operational. Less refrigerant, less energy needed to pump it. They also allow for the use of low GWP (global warming potential) refrigerants such as hydrocarbons, instead of more damaging traditional options.

A mutual benefit

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: Investment in more environmentally friendly refrigeration for your business is a win-win scenario. Cutting your energy consumption won’t be a zero-cost effort, but it will provide savings in time as your stores require less to operate at their best.

We hope you’ve found this article helpful and interesting. It’s an important subject and close to our hearts at Royale.

If you’d like to speak to a member of the team directly about your current energy consumption, do feel free to get in touch by emailing us at info@royaleref.com or by calling direct at 016235 551446.

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Fridges and coldrooms might sound like an everyday thing on the surface, but the truth is a little different: they’re the backbone of businesses across the world.

Shops, restaurants and large franchises all stock thousands of Pounds of goods in these areas and they’re vital in preserving what a business needs to keep service going and clients or customers happy.

For Royale, these types of jobs are a staple that we have grown familiar with indeed. Over the years we’ve installed, improved and maintained more than a few refrigeration areas and coldrooms.

Today we’re going to tell you about four we’ve worked on recently.

Helen and Douglas Hospice, Oxford

The Royale team is fortunate to have worked with some very special companies and organisations over the years, and Helen and Douglas are certainly one of them! An established children’s hospice, the Oxford location provides palliative care to babies, children and young people in the Oxfordshire area.

This was a challenge, and we’re proud to say the team involved rose to meet it. Our engineers fitted a bespoke kitchen coldroom – a very important storage feature for the Hospice – to a demanding and awkwardly shaped room.

In a case like this, it’s all about experience. By cutting and shaping bespoke wall panels, the team was able to maximise the use of the space despite its awkward dimensions. With the walls in place, a Danfoss remote condensing unit was placed externally to avoid excessive heat generation within the kitchen proper.

The result? Maximum use of floor space and a safe, reliable system that was affordable to maintain and easy to use.

Warnham Deer Park, Crawley

Warnham Park, established in 1851, is a renowned privately-owned Deer Park located in Sussex.

To help maintain the main park proper, the owners have developed an adjoining farm which provides breeding livestock. The commercial income helps maintain the lands and is also important in providing genetic stock for the survival of Deer herds and species across the UK, such as the beautiful Red Deer in Warnham park itself.

Coldrooms based around meat preservation and butchery are always unique and distinct, and this project was no exception. Warnham Park knew exactly what they needed: a bespoke meat hanging rail system leading in and out of a tailor-made coldroom.

A team of three Royale engineers were brought in for this one. Careful planning produced a coldroom that used all available space, neatly incorporated the hanging rail system, and was affordable, safe and hygienic.

The installation went well, and today acts as an integral part of their commercial operation – an operation which directly contributes to the maintenance of a beautiful Park and the survival of Deer species across the UK.

Newbold College, Bracknell

Another interesting project for a lovely client. Newbold College came to us with a clear set of requirements: remove two poorly performing general purpose coldrooms and one freezer coldroom – and install a more energy efficient solution in their place.

Decommissioning an HVAC system is a task not to be taken lightly; recycling equipment and disposing of it efficiently is a strict process that, if diligently done, reduces the carbon footprint of a company like Royale.

With the previous equipment removed, a site survey and discussion with the College began. In this case, the establishment needed a remotely operated indoor unit and a new outdoor system.

Temperature is, unsurprisingly, a serious factor in how we go about a project. In this case, a hot kitchen in the College meant a refrigeration or cooling unit mounted outside would be much more energy efficient, so we did just that!

This, combined with the additional indoor unit, gave the College the coldrooms they needed at a much more reasonable monthly maintenance cost. Job done.

Baptt Group, Reading

Baptt group are a leading provider of bespoke shop interiors throughout the UK. Their work varies significantly from store to store – a great fit for our own broad range of experience.

As you might imagine, the word ‘retail’ is a wide umbrella indeed. A business that needs a coldroom installed might vary from a supermarket to a medical-oriented store such as a pharmacy. Both have specific requirements in temperature, presentation and legal compliance, and none can afford to have the end result be anything less than reliable!

Baptt came to us for consultation on three stores in Reading – two coldrooms and one freezer.

The first two were what are known as ‘floorless chillers’. These, as the name implies, have no bottom insulation or floor installed. 

Floorless chillers are great for directly offloading produce and products from vehicles and are also well suited for chilling methods like blast freezing, where a rapid current of chilled air is circulated inside to safely lower temperatures. This is a great option for produce, as the method reduces the risk of bacterial growth.

The third job for Baptt was a freezer, but don’t be fooled – they’re just as intricate to plan and install as any other. It’s more than just a plug-in affair; these units often involve CAM locking mechanisms, hanging mobile rails and the ‘jigsaw’ laying of prefabricated walls that fold and lock together.

We’re happy to say all three jobs went without a hitch – a great result for a regular client of Royale.

Can we help?

Thanks for stopping by at the Royale blog and news section!

If you have a plan or project you’d like advice on, or if you think we might be the ones to assist you, do get in touch. You can either email us at info@royaleref.com or call the team direct at 01635 551446.

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It’s been another busy period for Royale, and we wanted to take the time today to share another interesting and challenging project!

Country Food and Dining, a long-standing client of Royale, owns and operates a range of farm shops and garden centres across Berkshire. They came right to us once more for a new build project with some seriously specific requirements. Let’s take a look.

What did Royale do?

November 2018. It doesn’t seem so long ago!

A new farm shop – Cobbs Farm Shop and Kitchen - was being built. This project was in progress upon our arrival, with the overall construction spanning several months.

Working amidst existing equipment and structural elements is always a challenge. It’s often as much a task of removal and disposal as it is installation and respecting the time and space of other teams is a delicate process made better out of years of knowledge and experience.

So, what did these lovely people need? Simple – ish.

- Brand-new Daikin Air conditioning units
- A custom heating and cooling solution
- A tailor-made dry-aged beef room
- A general-purpose refrigeration room
- A delicatessen room & display unit
- A butchery area
- Butchery display fridge cabinets

Sounds like a lot, doesn’t it? It becomes even more intricate when you consider the fact that these units operate at different temperatures – no one size fits all on this one.

An extensive job with varying components needs a team to match. We selected four of our best engineers (we’d say senior, but they might protest!) to ensure the right blend of experience and manpower to complete our work within the agreed schedule.

Pipes and planning

The process of installation in our line of work is about more than placing and plugging in; there’s real expertise behind the positioning and hiding of equipment.

This new build was a ground-floor affair. What that means, as you might imagine, is the pipework that feeds into the Daikin AC and ISA refrigeration units positioned through the build need to work around other piping in the floors and, where necessary, the walls.

The ideal result? You barely see it, but it works. Understandably, most clients don’t want exposed pipework snaking around their lovely new structure, and this task was no exception.

The real skill here is in blending newly installed units neatly while still retaining optimum performance. The length and positioning of pipework – and its proximity to other items or temperatures – can directly impact a unit’s efficiency and operation.

This means the Royale team needed to know exactly what was going where, and how the final building would be used and maintained.

A different approach every time

Jobs vary – we know it from experience. Some are easy, and others most certainly aren’t!

It takes experience to know how to appraise complex tasks accurately, and it requires more than a little elbow grease and skill to provide a great finish that does what it should.

Listed buildings are no exception here; strict requirements on renovation and rebuilding mean a team like ours must respect and retain the existing structure by working around important areas – and documenting that work along the way. The challenging mezzanine floor in our last article on a listed building project is another great example of this.

Modern buildings can be just as complex, with new builds bringing tight deadlines and extensive requirements. Over the years, we’ve earned quite the reputation for this kind of work!

A fine finish

We’re proud to say the team did a fantastic job.

As we’re sure our readers can appreciate from their own respective careers, the kind of comprehensive understanding and foresight needed for a project like this is only earned one way – experience. We’ve got a great bunch here at Royale, and we’re fortunate to employ teams which boast that valuable blend of specialist knowledge and practical understanding.

County Food and Dining, with a little helping hand from Royale, now enjoy an excellent heating and cooling solution for their newly opened store. Another local business supported and a happy result all round. Great job team!

We’re here if you’d like to chat

We’re genuine experts and we’re passionate about our craft. If you have a plan you feel we’d be able to help with, or would like general advice at no obligation, send us an email at info@royaleref.com or call us direct at 01635 551446.

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It’s a fascinating, fast-moving career with Royale! Our engineers are always on the move, responding to requests from customers as part of our ‘reactive service’ that ensures a resolution within four hours in the event of a business-critical problem.

Each day is different. With jobs varying from a quick part replacement and testing to a prolonged investigation and repair, a typical day is hard to summarise!

Ensuring that his van is adequately stocked with equipment and parts before a full day on the road, our response engineer Tim Dummett is a long-standing member of the Royale family and a trusted expert.

Rise and shine

6 AM: The usual early start for a Royale engineer. Eye of the Tiger is playing, and Tim’s getting ready for another day on the road.

Royale engineers will, on average, do anywhere between three and five callouts in a day. But the time spent on each callout varies, and it’s often down to commute distance as much as technical difficulty. London, of course, stretches things out – a popular area for Royale support in many famous locations and landmarks.

6:45 AM: His first call from the office as Tim drives down the M4. Sofitel, the well-known hotel franchise, has a walk-in cold-room emergency in Heathrow. Tim gets the details sent to his tablet device from the office – a handy tool that lets him quickly handle administrative tasks digitally – and he’s good to go.

This is a big deal for businesses like these. Cold-rooms, as the name implies, are used to store produce, drinks and more – often thousands of Pounds worth of perishable goods at a time. What might be a simple fridge upset for us can cost a hotel thousands of Pounds in spoiled goods, upset customers, and damage to their reputation.

Tim’s in there before the breakfast service starts for Sofitel and is able to identify the fault and make a quick repair. One more test of the system and a summary of the incident and he’s out and back on the road. One happy customer already while most of us are still in bed!

FACT
The ‘first-time fix’
is important for Royale’s clients. We achieve this 85% of the time on our callouts. A key aspect of keeping this number up is the knowledge of each engineer. It’s their job to make sure their vans are stocked with enough parts and tech, such as fan motors, controllers and contactors, that they can reliably replace and repair on the spot.

9:30 AM: Tim gets another call from the office. This time it’s in Croydon; a Starbucks store in the area has a broken display chiller that needs an urgent first-time fix. Once more, reputation and food spoilage are liable to cost this famous coffee shop chain if they don’t get a quick resolution.

It’s a one-hour job. Tim diagnoses the fault, replaces the necessary part, and after a brief summary report and farewell he’s on the road again.

Next stop... The Shard in London.

12:00 PM: London calling. It’s midday and Tim arrives at The Shard. It’s a famous structure in the capital, and its host to many businesses and restaurants that rely on their refrigeration systems to make money.

This time, it’s a fix for a display fridge and ice machine for a restaurant located high up in the building. Parking, as anyone who’s driven or lived in London knows, is a nightmare. Tim makes it inside in good time, fixing the ice machine and display case within an hour and a half. Another first-time fix. After this, it’s time to hit the West End.

FACT
Service Level Agreements (SLAs)
are important in Royale’s arrangements with our clients. For most emergency callouts, we guarantee an engineer on-site and repairing the fault within four hours. Less urgent calls are resolved on a 24-hour SLA.

2:30 PM: Tim arrives in the West End to handle another emergency request by Burberry, the well-known fashion and retail brand.

As with many such establishments nowadays, Burberry has a busy café in their premises that helps keep customers happy and in the store for longer – as well as making a little more money! This time, a broken fridge in the high-footfall area is costing the store money in spoiled goods and unhappy customers.

Tim arrives promptly and achieves yet another first-time fix. Doing this repeatedly across a single day really highlights the importance of having that van stocked. Thankfully, Tim’s been in the game long enough to know exactly what he’ll likely need on a given day. The job gets done on the spot, and he’s out within an hour.

3:30 PM: The job’s done. Tim’s on the way home when he receives one more request from the office. He’s happy to help and gets on his way to Uxbridge. A Burger King needs help with their freezer cold-room.

As you might imagine, these are sizeable units for such a busy fast-food establishment. Such cold-rooms are usually walk-in, and time is massively important in saving the chain money.

Arriving at 4 PM, Tim’s in and out with what is mercifully another quick first-time fix. Happy client, happy Tim, and minimal food spoilage. Great stuff.

Job done!

For real this time! Tim leaves Uxbridge at 5:30 PM and is back home at half six.

It’s been a long, but productive day. No less than five callouts have been serviced, and all have been concluded with a first-time fix. The experience, expertise and careful planning behind a day like this speaks well indeed of Tim. Aren’t we lucky to have him!

An interesting snapshot, then, of a day in the life for a member of the Royale team. Challenging, satisfying, and well executed. Let’s hope for many more like it!

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