A cool room, or a walk-in refrigerated area, can be a must-have for many restaurants that need to keep a large amount of fresh food on hand and for when a standard refrigerator is not large enough. A cool room may also be used in other settings, such as for a company that has a large number of computer servers that need to stay in a temperature-controlled area, or for a manufacturing facility that needs to have certain parts cool down at some point during the production process. Note a few factors to consider when you're planning a cool room installation in your facility.
1. Built-in versus stand-alone
You can have a space in your building converted into a cool room; this would include adding layers of special insulation inside the walls and then bringing in cooling equipment. A stand-alone cool room is one that you purchase pre-assembled or that gets assembled onsite.
The advantage of a stand-alone unit is that it may be quicker and easier to install, since the manufacturing is done at a plant and it doesn't need to be built completely at your facility. You can also add onto the stand-alone cool room; you might increase the height, or invest in longer walls for one side if you need to increase the space. The drawback of a stand-alone room is that you need to find space for it in your facility. If you don't have an area where you can fit the footprint of the stand-alone cool room, you may need to convert a storage room or other area into a cool room instead.
2. Factoring temperature
The temperature you need for the items you will be storing in the cool room will affect the type of room you need to have installed. Food storage is typically dictated by local codes, and you need to follow these required temperatures when storing food items. Most food storage rooms will be low temperature, moderate or medium temperature, or high temperature. Items like fruits and vegetables might be stored in high temperature rooms, frozen meat and fish are in medium temperature rooms, and foods that need to stay frozen solid, like ice cream, are stored in low temperature rooms. For computer server rooms, typically a high temperature cool room is sufficient.
The temperature settings will affect the type of insulation used for the cool room as well as the cooling mechanism. Discuss this with the cool room manufacturer or contractor you choose, and understand that you may need a cool room built in sections in order to accommodate all the items you have that need to be stored.