Culinary Center Combines Community Focus with Sustainability to be Certified EA Gold


The new, sustainably built, 15,205 square foot structure for the Jungers Culinary Institute on the Central Oregon Community College (COCC) campus, designed by Yost Grube Hall Architecture, was made possible by $3 million in grants and contributions from the Bend, Oregon community, for which students serve lunch, happy hour, and dinner in the 60-seat public restaurant, Elevation, alongside a three instructional kitchens that include a baking and pastry kitchen, a fifty-seat demonstration theatre, and classroom space for up to 100 students per year.

Gene Fritz, Director and Executive Chef explains, in a video interview on Cooking Central Oregon Style, “It’s a partnership between the community and the student learning experience. So the goal is to engage the community with the back end of the student learning experience to ensure that we’re partnered in the educational process.”


The Center incorporates several energy-efficient design features that are aimed at achieving GOLD level Earth Advantage Institute Commercial certification as an Earth Advantage Commercial program for sustainability pilot project. Premier Structural Insulated Panels (SIPS) were chosen for the high-performance roof to provide fewer areas of air penetration and high thermal values.


Oven hoods are enhanced by heat sensors and lasers for smoke detection and automatic activation. Natural daylight is provided by clerestory windows on the south facade. Composting and recycling competencies are taught to the students, as well as conservational aspects of food preparation.





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  • Facebook User

    This is a great article! I am very curious about what they are learning about composting. Our restaurant has considered going the traditional composting route however it is incredibly daunting. Through my research composting in a high volume restaurant can be very expensive, cause injuries, and be a little smelly.
    We have found a few other alternate options for diverting waste from landfills, and our newest candidate is a Liquid Food Composter. The product is suppose to digest all of the waste food we produce (even biodegradable cups and such!) in under 24 hours. There have been other products that are similar but for our convenience nothing seems quite the same. We also researched commercial methods of utilizing Bokashi composting, but the same original issues appear to be there.

    So how is the school teaching the students about composting? What is the best way for restaurants to compost or just cut down on the waste in general?

  • T. Caine

    That’s a nice looking building. It’s great to hear that local funding came in to make this project happen and that it still managed to be a LEED Gold building. These are exactly the kinds of group efforts that underscore a more committed and material evolution towards sustainability.

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