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MITSUBISHI  - Helping Establish An Energy Efficient Lunchtime Brand

When you are developing a new brand of upmarket sandwich shops for the heavily fought London lunchtime market, you need a unique approach that will bring customer loyalty and attract business from traditional High Street outlets. And, when you have set up your business based on ethics and sustainability, you need building services that can help support these values.

That was the challenge for Mark and Lindsay Lilley when they started Abokado in 2005 and they have carried through their ethical philosophy into all aspects of the business, including the heating and cooling, with the installation of Mitsubishi Electric Mr Slim air conditioning at their City Road branch by Maidenhead-based Degrees of Comfort Air Conditioning.

Abokado was set up by the Lilley’s who were inspired to develop this unique eatery on their honeymoon in Australia, after realising that the fresh smoothies and take away sushi they dined on was like nothing else they could get in London.

They opened their first shop in Covent Garden in 2005 and now have five shops across the capital. The brand is now one of the fastest growing chains offering a unique choice of sushi, noodle soups, salads, wrap and fresh juices.

Ethics and sustainability are very important to Abokado, with the company removing both yellow fin and blue fin tuna from its menu in 2007 over concern about depleting stocks of these fish.
The same goes for energy use and in the City Road store, Degrees of Comfort Air Conditioning installed three Mr Slim PCA-RP-HA 12.5kW stainless steel air conditioning units to deliver stylish comfort combined with complete energy efficiency.

“The brief for this project was to fit a cost-effective, energy efficient, contemporary design,” says Kevin Rowe, Director of Degrees of Comfort Air Conditioning, who service and maintain heating and cooling equipment in all of the restaurants.

The internal air conditioning units are ceiling suspended with casing made of durable stainless steel that is resistant to oil and smoke, ensuring that the unit can be easily cleaned at all times. They offer heating capacity of 13.80 kW and cooling of 12.50 and deliver average COPs of 3.41, which is very important as Rowe explains: “The advanced inverter technology in these air conditioners means the units provide energy savings of up to 70% annually when compared to previous models and this was an important selling point.”

Degrees of Comfort are accredited Mitsubishi Electric installers and are able to offer clients full design and installation of new equipment and also service maintenance contracts for existing installations.

Operating noise has also been reduced thanks to improvements in fan design, while for retro-fit projects, existing pipe work is reusable for easier maintenance and installation. “In the case of the City Road shop, all the interconnecting pipe work and services have been installed on open baskets and is exposed on display to complement the contemporary installation,” adds Rowe. The condensers are located in the basement car park.

This year, Abokado received the Gold Award for Independent Sandwich bar of the Year and the company is continuing to open more shops, slowly and steadily. With the support of Degrees of Comfort and the advanced energy efficiency of Mr Slim units, the Lilley’s can be confident that their building services will help enhance the central ethics of both the company and the brand.


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Hill Farm, Linton Hill, Maidstone, Kent ME 17 4AL
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