Comer Homes Installs Power Knot Waste Food Biodigesters in Latest Luxury Residential Development

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Residents at the new Royal Winchester House apartment building will recycle all their waste food onsite, dramatically lowering the carbon footprint of a landmark residential development

Royal Winchester House, a development of 338 apartments constructed on the site of 3M’s historic Winchester House has been equipped with two Power Knot LFC® biodigesters.

Comer Homes is among the more visionary property developers with whom we’ve worked, and it’s a delight to see their vision for zero organic waste come alive at Royal Winchester House.

Power Knot, the market leader in products that process waste food in commercial foodservice operations, is working with Comer Homes, a UK developer of high-quality residential projects, to make waste food recycling a reality for residents of its latest development in Bracknell, Berkshire. Royal Winchester House, a development of 338 apartments constructed on the site of 3M’s historic Winchester House (situated about 40 miles west of London), has been equipped with two Power Knot LFC® biodigesters that process all waste food onsite, diverting organic waste from landfills.

“Waste management is not just about the direct costs associated with its disposal. At Comer Homes, we take a more holistic view to understand the burden it places on infrastructure, energy consumption, and carbon emissions,” said Jack O’Brien, senior project manager at Comer Homes. “I believe that we are on the brink of massive changes to this sector that go beyond considering just heating, cooling and energy costs, and that means we must develop a complete picture of the environmental and financial impacts of a building. Recycling waste food is a great example of where we can make a big difference to the environment.”

Waste management at multi-unit residential apartment buildings is an expensive headache, and waste food is a particular challenge among the different waste streams. Residents typically have two options: add waste food to their general garbage bin or use an in-sink waste disposal unit. From an environmental perspective, neither is a good solution. Organic waste that ends up in a landfill generates harmful methane (a greenhouse gas with 84 times the global warming potential of carbon dioxide), while food added to the sewer through waste disposal units adds a significant load to wastewater treatment plants.

The design team for the Royal Winchester House—comprising personnel at Comer Homes and the architects Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM)—were eager to find a completely sustainable approach to waste food management and decided against in-sink waste disposal. “While waste disposal units would divert organic waste from the local tipping sites, they add costly complications to the mechanical and electrical network in the building,” commented O’Brien. “In addition to the costs of acquisition and installation, a regular maintenance plan would need to be implemented. Further, there are costs associated with misuse and damage to the individual units and the building infrastructure. Instead, we decided to look for a long-term solution that would also support our sustainability goals.”

The design team concluded that centralized onsite waste food processing would address both cost and sustainability objectives. They proposed a revolutionary approach that included the installation of two Power Knot LFC biodigesters in the concierge area, and individual waste food caddies for each resident. At their convenience, residents simply hand off their caddies of waste food to the concierge in exchange for a clean caddy. The LFC biodigesters silently and hygienically processes up to 400 kg (900 lb) of waste food per day, transforming it into grey water that is then sent to the local wastewater treatment facilities.

“Comer Homes is among the more visionary property developers with whom we’ve worked, and it’s a delight to see their vision for zero organic waste come alive at Royal Winchester House,” said Iain Milnes, president of Power Knot. “We look forward to working with the Comer Homes team on future developments—both residential and commercial.”

How the Power Knot LFC biodigester works
The LFC biodigester is a practical alternative to the traditional disposal of waste food. It uses a series of processes in which micro¬organisms break down biodegradable material in the presence of oxygen. The LFC environment accelerates the digestion of most food products within 24 hours by using a proprietary mixture of microbes and enzymes. The output is grey water that is environmentally safe, and suitable for discharge down the drain or to enrich landscapes. Almost all waste food from an industrial kitchen, including fruits, vegetables, meat, fish, cheese, bread, rice, and noodles can go into the LFC biodigester, and the machine can compost both raw and cooked foods. The process is totally green because it uses no chemicals.

About Comer Homes Group
The Comer Group is one of the United Kingdom's largest and most successful property companies. It now has interests that extend into Europe and the United States. The current business was established over 30 years ago by brothers, Brian & Luke Comer, originally from Co. Galway, Ireland. After a great deal of tenacity and hard work, the Comers have created a leading property company with substantial development and investment interests in a number of market sectors, including luxury residential homes, office parks, retail parks, hotels, and leisure facilities. With a substantial land bank and an extensive development programme, The Comer Group is continuing its major expansion in a number of property development sectors. The proven exceptional financial acumen of The Comer Group, together with the direct and hands-on management style of the Comer brothers, enables it to positively predict trends ahead of the market and capitalise on new opportunities as they arise. A lateral entrepreneurial management structure facilitates rapid transaction completion without a lengthy corporate process that many of its competitors have to undertake.

About Power Knot
Power Knot LLC markets the LFC® biodigester and SBT™ bin tipper for use in commercial kitchens and foodservice operations that demand hygiene and durability. The LFC biodigester digests waste food and reduces the expense, inconvenience, mess, and carbon footprint of disposing of waste food that would otherwise be hauled to a landfill. With installations globally, Power Knot offers the most technologically advanced machines available today and is the market leader, offering seven biodigester models that process from 25 kg (50 lb) to 1200 kg (2600 lb) of waste food per day. Power Knot designs, develops, and manufactures its products in Silicon Valley, California. For more information, visit http://www.powerknot.com.

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Tim Cox
@PowerKnotLLC
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