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NATIONAL REPORT—Electronic devices have changed the way that people work and live, often simplifying complex tasks. The iPhone is said to have combined more than 15 separate devices that Radio Shack offered, and reduced the cost of ownership while decreasing complexity. The water market offers a large set of opportunities to improve conservation using new technologies. Consider the role that chemicals historically have played for controlling water quality and the millions of gallons of hazardous chemicals that are used each day. Electronic devices are able to reduce water and chemical use by over 50 percent. Cooling towers in the United States use trillions of gallons of water per year to keep building temperatures comfortable. They require three or more separate chemicals to maintain efficient operations by controlling mineral scaling, biological activity, and corrosion. Traditional control measures require chemicals specific to each problem, many of which are hazardous. Chemically treated water cannot easily be reused, so it is discarded into a sanitary sewer after brief use.
NATIONAL REPORT—An airplane turbine in your hotel? Not quite but the microturbines now being installed in hotels around the globe are smaller versions of an airplane turbine. Microturbines are reliable cores of combined cooling, heating, and power (CCHP) systems, generate one-tenth the emissions of an internal combustion engine, and are helping hotels save big time in energy and dollars. Darren Jamison, CEO of Capstone Turbine, a leading manufacturer of microturbines, says a microturbine is like a power plant in a box. “The efficiency comes from how the combustion is processed,” he says. Microturbines are highly efficient, quiet, require no oil or antifreeze, and can run on a variety of gaseous or liquid fuels. “Hotels are great opportunities because they are operating 24/7,” Jamison says. “They have thermal loads that are steady. We are making hot water for the kitchen, laundry, swimming pool and other needs [such as space heating]. Using an absorption chiller we can make chilled water for air-conditioning.” Jamison says microturbines are sized to the building they are in and intended to run 24/7.
ODESSA, FLA.—Hasek Communications, the Odessa, Fla.-based publisher of Green Lodging News, welcomes AspirEnergy to its Green Product & Service Directory in the Energy Services category. AspirEnergy is a full service Energy Services Company that specializes in prescribing and implementing energy efficient and renewable energy solutions to lower operating costs and maximize return on investment. It focuses on return on investment for its clients with the maximization of government and utility incentives while keeping the customer experience at the forefront of its recommendations.
CHICAGO—Evolve Controls has been selected to provide their integrated solution for guestroom controls for climate, lighting and shading for the Microsoft Connected Room solution. The Connected Room, which brings hotel services such as in-room dining, spa reservations and other hotel experiences into the digital era, is currently being piloted in two guest suites at The Cromwell, Caesars Entertainment’s boutique hotel on the Las Vegas Strip. Microsoft highlighted the Connected Room solution at the Hospitality Industry Technology Exposition and Conference (HITEC) in New Orleans to show how Microsoft technology is helping hospitality companies make digital transformations to improve the guest experience and reduce operational costs.
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.
ATLANTA—It is no coincidence that big projects and accolades seem to gravitate toward Wes Shirley. The Director of Engineering at the Grand Hyatt Atlanta in Buckhead is always looking for something new to elevate the guest experience, cut costs and reduce environmental impact at the same time. Shirley, who fell in love with building and operating buildings at an early age, has been the driver behind projects such as a 50,000-gallon rainwater harvesting system and a 20-panel solar thermal system. This past week he accepted an award for the hotel as part of the Atlanta Better Buildings Challenge. Participants in the Challenge pledge to reduce energy and water consumption by 20 percent by 2020. As Director of Engineering at the 439-room hotel, Shirley oversees a team of 12 engineers. He and the hotel’s controller act as coaches of the green team which consists of one manager from every department.
NEW ORLEANS—Control4 Corp., a leading global provider of automation solutions, introduced the new Control4 Hospitality Solution. Offering hotels in-room automation functionality, along with back-end management software, hotel staff are provided extensive guestroom status updates, whether that is a need for new batteries for a remote control or a mini-bar requires a restock.
FOUNTAIN VALLEY, CALIF.—The new Commercial Water Heater System from Noritz America is designed to speed and simplify the installation of multiple tankless water heaters for plumbing and mechanical contractors. Noritz combines commercial-grade tankless units with system controllers, manifolds and other necessary components and accessories into fully assembled metal rack systems for shipment anywhere in North America.
PLANO, TEXAS—NexRev LLC, experts in improving energy efficiency and reducing utility and operational costs for retail, entertainment, commercial, industrial and institutional facilities, announced the company’s flagship HVAC energy reduction solution—DrivePak—has saved customers $100 million since its introduction to the market in 2008. This amount represents a savings of nearly 1 billion kWh and 700,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide, the equivalent of removing 140,000 cars off the road for one year.
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.