Hofbrauhaus – Newport, Kentucky

Restored replica uses Lennox equipment to protect indoor air quality

One of only three in the world, the first Hofbräuhaus Bavarian brewhouse in the U.S. recently opened in Newport, Kentucky. The original world-famous Hofbräuhaus was established as a brewery in 1589 by the Duke of Bavaria. Today's restaurant-style Hofbräuhaus was first opened in 1887, destroyed during World War II, and later rebuilt in Munich where it remains today. The Bistro Group, who also owns TGI Fridays, made the taste and atmosphere of the original Hofbräuhaus available to Kentuckians in 2003. The Newport Hofbräuhaus serves as many as 4,000 patrons a night who wait as long as two hours for tables.

Century Construction in Erlanger, Kentucky renovated the 13,315- square-foot building, built in 1916, into the current likeness of the German Hofbräuhaus. This project won the National Associated Builders and Contractors Award — one of 300 entries — for their amazing building restoration and recreation of the original Bavarian brewhouse.

The restoration was completed on an aggressive three-month schedule — January to April — but was complicated by Kentucky's coldest, wettest weather in a decade.

"Creativity and flexibility were key to Century's success in this endeavor," said John Hodge, president of Century Construction. "Despite the complications we faced, we delivered the $1.6 million project on time and within budget."

Creating a quality environment for brewhouse patrons

Because the restaurant construction involved renovating a historical landmark, everything on the Hofbräuhaus' exterior had to be approved by the local historical community. Restrictions outlawed the HVAC equipment on the roof from being seen from the street. Century Construction relied on mechanical contractor Broering Tri State to help create a comfortable and healthy environment for brewhouse patrons.

Broering Tri State owner Chris Abell worked with Lennox commercial territory manager Dan Bohl to ensure the installation of quality HVAC equipment to meet air needs and the historical community's restrictions.

"We chose L Series® rooftop unit for capacity and fit for our application," said Abell. "It has incredible flexibility in the restaurant environment, especially with the humidity from cooking and the large group of people in one location. The need for fresh air and precise control led us to go with the L Series rooftop unit. While it was not the lowest bid, it was reasonable for the superior quality we received."

L Series rooftop units allow the contractor to choose which options need to be included. They chose Humiditrol® system, which dehumidifies on demand without overcooling the space, and CO2 sensors that control the amount of fresh air brought into the space, based on occupancy levels.

These two options allowed the restaurant to control indoor air quality and comfort while minimizing energy use. Economizers for free cooling under the right outdoor air conditions and stainless steel heat exchangers for extended life were also chosen for the system. The L Connection® Network digital direct control system was used to precisely control the unit for optimal comfort and minimal energy use, and for remote connection and off-site monitoring.

"This job was unique, since the pace was frenetic, but everything went flawlessly, due to frequent meetings and constant supervision," said Abell. "Coordination was a critical task, and we're proud to be a part of the team that built the Hofbräuhaus."

The Kentucky Hofbräuhaus is such a success that a second is scheduled to open in Pittsburgh and a third at a yet-to-be determined location."We haven't had any problems with the HVAC system," said Bill Riester, manager of Hofbräuhaus. "The L Connection network makes it easy to control the system. We notice the units turn on quickly when needed, especially when we have a near-capacity crowd of 400 people in the beer hall."

"The Newport Hofbräuhaus has exceeded business expectations, and not having to worry about mechanical and HVAC issues allow us to focus on our business."

"The school had great confidence in me, since the job had great results," said Smith. "This was also a good job for possible future clients. They can see the cost-saving results of a major HVAC renovation firsthand, and it helps convince them to get an HVAC makeover."