ATLANTA - Is it necessary to vent refrigerated spaces? Should the vapor retarder be placed next to or external to the insulation? Such issues must be resolved when designing refrigerated storage facilities for perishable food items. The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) has released a new book that provides design guidance on refrigerated warehouses.

The total United States refrigerated and frozen food industry is valued at more than $230 billion and is expected have an annual growth rate of 12 percent by 2008, says ASHRAE.

"As this trend continues and spreads into developing countries, there will be a great demand for modern refrigerated warehouse design techniques and efficient refrigeration system design practices," said Bryan Becker, Ph.D., P.E., professor of mechanical engineering, University of Missouri-Kansas City. "To satisfy this demand, efficient design methods, operation, and maintenance will be required."

ASHRAE's new Design Essentials for Refrigerated Storage Facilities, authored by Becker, was developed for designers, owners, and operators of storage facilities for perishable food items by providing guidance on design details such as support structures, doors, docks, underfloor heating, insulation, and vapor retarders, as well as facility configuration and layout, refrigeration system design, and facility management.

The book was developed as a result of ASHRAE research project 1214, Development of a Design Guide for Refrigerated Food Storage Facilities.

It was co-authored by Brian Fricke, Ph.D., assistant professor in mechanical engineering, University of Missouri-Kansas City.

The cost of Design Essentials for Refrigerated Storage Facilities is $74 ($59 for ASHRAE members).

To order, contact ASHRAE Customer Service at 800-527-4723 (United States and Canada) or 404-636-8400 (worldwide), fax 404-321-5478, by mail at 1791 Tullie Circle NE, Atlanta, GA 30329, or visit ASHRAE's online bookstore at

Publication date: 05/30/2005