Author Topic: Commercial oven designer/consultants?  (Read 378 times)

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Offline kelliedlynch

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  • Location: St. Louis, MO
  • Brick City
Commercial oven designer/consultants?
« on: May 14, 2013, 08:09:02 PM »
I'm just getting the ball rolling on opening a wood-fired bakery in St. Louis, MO, and one of the things that really means a lot to me and my partner is building the oven ourselves. Not just for financial reasons, but because we get an immense sense of satisfaction from building things, and we have a number of friends and family members who really want to help with this project somehow--what better way than to have a big family oven-building event?

I've spoken to the building and mechanical inspectors, and confirmed that building the oven ourselves is not strictly forbidden--however, we're going to need some very detailed plans from a licensed professional to pass inspection.

So far the oven guys I've talked to just want to tell me how hard this is going to be, and convince me to have a pro do the masonry. I'm unable to get a straight answer on whether they'd be willing to do consulting and/or design work--either designing the oven for us from scratch, or checking our plans for errors and code compliance.

Can anyone recommend a designer/builder who might be willing to take on this job?


Offline shuboyje

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Re: Commercial oven designer/consultants?
« Reply #1 on: May 14, 2013, 08:29:28 PM »
What type of licensing are they looking for?  As both an oven guy and a construction foremen who deals with inspectors daily, I cannot fathom any form of licensing that would apply to an entire custom built oven.  That is exactly why commercial ovens are generally UL listed and why UL listed ovens are generally required in most jurisdictions.

What code are they going to hold you to?  As far as I know there is currently nothing in the IBC for wood burning ovens so generally fireplace code is used.  This contradicts with their licensing requirement, because again as far as I know there is no licensing applicable to building a fireplace. 

As with most questions regarding construction, you are going to need a lot more information on what they are looking for, and you are going to want that all in writing if you are going to have ANY chance in succeeding. 
-Jeff

Offline kelliedlynch

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  • Posts: 3
  • Location: St. Louis, MO
  • Brick City
Re: Commercial oven designer/consultants?
« Reply #2 on: May 14, 2013, 10:20:58 PM »
Thanks for that--I guess I'll have to press for more details. I started a small bakery a few years ago, but we used a regular old gas deck oven. This wood-fired stuff is all new to me--it's hard to know what you don't know...you know? :-P

When I spoke to the building inspector on the phone, he said that technically a building permit wouldn't be required (I imagine since, as you mentioned, there's nothing in the IBC that applies), but I should talk to Mechanical. Mechanical gave me a rough estimate for permits/licensing fees, but didn't explain what permits and licenses that would entail. They just suggested that I would need very detailed plans for the review process.

What confuses me is that there are brick oven bakeries with custom-built ovens all over the U.S.--clearly there is some way to get them approved, but nobody seems to know how. Here in town, wood-fired baking seems to just be catching on. There are a handful of ovens around, but they all seem to be pre-cast UL-certified pizza affairs. No bakeries to be found.

If there is some pushback, do you have any idea if a UL field inspection would do the trick? I'm not thrilled about the extra expense, but I'll do it to have the oven of my dreams.


 

pizzapan