Pizza Fusion - Naperville, Illinois

Green pizza – an organic approach to HVAC

When a restaurant chain’s owners are so environmentally conscious they use recycled blue jeans for building insulation and countertops made of recycled detergent bottles, you can expect similarly inspired, eco-friendly choices for their HVAC systems. With pursuance of Gold LEED certification in mind, owners of the national organic Pizza Fusion chain selected high-efficiency, commercial HVAC equipment from Lennox for their Naperville, Illinois store.

“Pizza Fusion is the only restaurant chain we’re aware of that is building all its stores to LEED specifications,” says Tom Katsenos, proprietor of the Naperville restaurant. (Pizza Fusion’s motto is Saving the Earth, One Pizza at a Time.) “We’re committed to a sustainable future, so we’re seeking out environmentally conscious vendors and suppliers to partner with as a way of improving the world’s social, economical and environmental well-being.”

As the first and only HVAC manufacturer to be named an ENERGY STAR® Manufacturing Partner of the Year by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and U.S. Department of Energy, Lennox offers a wide range of energy-efficient systems designed to reduce commercial buildings’ energy usage, save the owners money and help protect the environment.

State Mechanical Services in Naperville selected and installed the store’s mechanical equipment, including 35 products from Lennox: premium rooftop units, heat pumps and air handlers. State Mechanical’s Ken Zollinger explains that “Efficiency was the driving force behind most of our building choices. Lennox met all our LEED certification requirements and proved to be the best value for the money.”

The high-efficiency rooftop units offered several advanced options, such as factory-installed differential economizers that help minimize the store’s need for mechanical cooling by modulating air dampers according to outside air temperature. The result is free cooling under the right outdoor conditions, further increasing the store’s energy efficiency.

The indoor environment matters, too

Yet Pizza Fusion’s focus on greener choices isn’t just about reducing their energy costs. The business is committed to providing a healthier environment for customers and employees. “When a restaurant uses organic ingredients and delivers pizzas using hybrid vehicles, its owners insist on providing a high level of indoor air quality. To help achieve excellent IAQ while keeping energy use under control, a Demand Control Ventilation (DCV) system was installed,” says Lennox Commercial District Manager Joe McGrath.

The DCV system uses carbon dioxide sensors to estimate the number of people in the building at any time. If CO2 levels are high – which indicates many occupants in the restaurant – the system signals the rooftop unit controller to adjust air dampers to allow in more fresh air. Driven by the rooftop unit’s Integrated Modular Controller, the dampers return to a closed position as carbon dioxide levels fall. The system also uses MERV 15 filters to remove contaminants from the restaurant’s air, capturing 85-95% of particles 0.3 to 1.0 micron in size and up to 90% of particles 1.0 to 10.0 microns in size. Keeping the coil clean also helps protect the system’s energy efficiency.

"Lennox was willing to work with Pizza Fusion on the LEED commissioning process, which is above and beyond what HVAC manufacturers are expected to do."

-Damon Dance

Pizza Fusion - Naperville, Illinois
Pizza Fusion - Naperville, Illinois

Lennox goes “above and beyond”

“Lennox was willing to work with Pizza Fusion on the LEED commissioning process, which is above and beyond what HVAC manufacturers are expected to do,” says Damon Dance, Development Manager for the retail center where Pizza Fusion is located, the county’s first LEED Silver certified retail development. “We were very happy with their understanding of the LEED process, and I’ve referred Lennox to several of our other tenants.”

“To help Pizza Fusion achieve its LEED certification and efficiency goals, we recommended high-efficiency Lennox rooftop units designed to achieve a low total cost of ownership,” says Chris Drury, Lennox Commercial District Manager. “We worked with State Mechanical Services in Naperville to provide an innovative, environmentally minded solution.”

“Using technology such as these advanced HVAC systems, Pizza Fusion’s LEED certified restaurants are designed to reduce electricity consumption by 20 percent annually, says Chris Drury, Lennox Commercial District Manager.

The Naperville restaurant was the winner of a Green Building of America Award from Real Estate & Construction Review magazine. Pizza Fusion outlets are located in a dozen states, and more information is available online at