Published: Sept. 22, 2017

Campus Dining Services (CDS) was recently named the Tech Accelerator of the Year by the editors of Restaurant Business magazine for its outstanding use of technology innovation in the food service industry.

Village Center Dining and Community Commons west dining hall

Smoothie bike

Among other innovative tech elements, the Village Center Dining and Community Commons features windows of electrochromic glass that automatically tint in proportion to the intensity of the sun and a bicycle that allows diners to burn calories while blending their own smoothies.

The Village Center Dining and Community Commons, which opened in Williams Village in January 2017, took top honors in the nontraditional category. The building, which was a collaborative effort between Campus Dining Services and Housing Facilities Services, was intentionally designed with features that incorporated sustainability, functionality and technology.

The electrochromic glass in the west and southern-facing windows are just one of the several innovative tech elements that helped the Village Center stand out. These walls of glass automatically tint in proportion to the intensity of the sun—allowing for year-round, world-class views of the Flatiron mountains while reducing the need for indoor lighting and window coverings.

The other significant innovative building feature is the biodigester. This technology breaks down dining food waste into “gray water” that can be safely re-added to the waste-water supply. This helps reclaim the water inherent to food waste (approximately 70 percent of food waste is water) and reduces the need to sort and transport food waste for composting.

“We were surprised and honored to win innovator of the year,” said Paul Houle, director of Campus Dining Services.

“This award was a true collaboration between our dining and housing facilities staffs, and it’s just amazing to be selected among other dining organizations, restaurants and food industry businesses across the United States. It was satisfying and humbling to be recognized as the best.” 

Housing & Dining Services continues to work toward bringing innovation and technology into its facilities by working collaboratively and embracing new and exciting ideas.