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Until recently, fixing leaky ventilation shafts has been a non-starter for most hotels, motels and other hospitality facilities. The expense and disruption typically involved in finding, accessing and sealing leaky ductwork made remediation measures impractical at best. As a result, a tremendous number of U.S. lodgings across the country are plagued by the poor indoor air quality issues and high-energy bills that come from improper ventilation. That is changing. A new approach to duct sealing developed by the U.S. Department of Energy is helping solve this near ubiquitous problem. One case in point: While the JW Marriott hotel in Atlanta’s affluent Buckhead district has always been a model of elegance and luxury, owners of the 28 year-old hotel building continued to struggle with issues related to a poorly designed ventilation system. Inadequate exhaust led to musty odors that plagued the hotel building.
One of the big factors for success in any industry is customer care and satisfaction. In the hospitality industry it takes precedence over everything else. Customer experience in hospitality is what drives the popularity and hence, the revenue. So the more the customers are comfortable in the environment the better experience they will have. The biggest driver for their comfort is the feeling of being safe. However, recent incidents have marred the hospitality industry with health concerns over water safety. If the Global Risks 2015 Report by Global Economic Forum is to be believed, the spread of infectious diseases is considered the second most impactful societal risk coming just behind a water crisis. It is said that “fear could ruin any experience” and the fear of water borne diseases is only growing. Possibly due to lack of knowledge, most hotel owners do not realize a central treatment unit is not enough to curb pathogens growing in the pipe and tank systems.
OBERLIN, OHIO—One of the world’s most innovative green hotels—The Hotel at Oberlin—is just one month away from its soft opening in Oberlin, Ohio. The hotel is owned by Oberlin College and eventually will qualify for the rare LEED Platinum certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. The 70-room Hotel at Oberlin is the first LEED Platinum hotel owned by a college and anchors the Peter B. Lewis Gateway Center, the cornerstone of Oberlin’s Green Arts District, an ongoing development conceived by the city and college to transform Oberlin into a model for environmentally aware economic development based on education and the arts. The Peter B. Lewis Gateway Center also includes a conference center, commercial and office space, jazz club, and restaurant that features locally grown and sourced fare.
NEW YORK—Sina Pearson, designer/manufacturer of New York City-based Sina Pearson Textiles, premieres Fast Track, a new high performance upholstery fabric collection. Five complementary patterns in a total of 30 colorways reference iconic athletic motifs and colors from the world of competitive sports. The collection consists of a knit mesh, a textured chenille, a PVC-free polyurethane, a bleach cleanable polyester/acrylic, and an indoor/outdoor Sunbrella Contract jacquard weave.
NATIONAL REPORT—Many hotels rely on a Packaged Terminal Air Conditioner (or PTAC) system to reliably provide both heating and cooling for individual rooms as well as other areas of the hotel; such as the lobby, meeting rooms and gyms. PTAC units are popular heating and cooling solutions for any single living space such as those provided by hotels, motels, dormitories, hospitals and apartments. There is no need to install expensive and intrusive ductwork to use PTAC units. The units are self-contained and can easily be installed through a wall.
SYOSSET, N.Y.—Emerald announced its conversion to Penske Truck Leasing compressed natural gas (CNG) fueled trucks. Emerald’s New York based fleet will move to CNG this month, furthering Emerald’s mission of global conservation and mainstreaming sustainability.
NORTH WALPOLE, N.H.—Len-Tex, a leading manufacturer of contract wallcoverings, announces the introduction of Celeste, a Mylar-printed design. Styled with layers of painterly horizontal bands on a mylar surface, Celeste creates an airy, ethereal quality. The opaque bands printed on metallized film provide a striking contrast of matte and shine.
DAVIE, FLA.—AirRevive, a leader in sustainable HVAC refurbishment and retrofit services, recently announced its been awarded a guestroom air-conditioning project at the Houston Marriott Medical Center during the hotel’s renovation.
NEW YORK—Buildings of at least 10 stories in height have the most potential to suffer from the chimney effect if rooftop vents are open at the top of elevator shafts. The chimney effect occurs when heated air is given an opportunity to escape through a rooftop. This can add costs, of course, as makeup air coming into the building through the lobby must be heated. According to Grant Salmon, Deputy Director, Steven Winter Associates, New York, the taller the building, the greater the chimney effect. “In a taller building there is greater pressure,” he says. “The temperature differential also impacts the pressure.” Exposure to wind can accelerate the effect and “tight” buildings can be impacted more. In some cities, New York for example, elevator shaft vents have been required to remain open to improve fire safety. According to a report prepared by Urban Green Council for the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), however, a 2014 change to the New York City Building Code allows new solutions. The report is entitled, “Spending Through the Roof.”
WASHINGTON, D.C.—Green Seal, the nation’s first independent nonprofit certifier of sustainable products and services, has introduced a revised version of its GS-11 Standard that is expanded to cover most types of architectural coatings on the market today.