COLORADO SPRINGS, COLO.—When you have 744 guestrooms in multiple buildings, a spa, restaurants, and three 18-hole golf courses—all on 3,000 acres—maintaining a high level of operational efficiency is always a challenge. At The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, Colo., however, the management team has been able to keep up with aging infrastructure thanks to owners who have poured $300 million into the property since 1995. It was in 1995 that renovations began on the historic hotel that was first constructed in 1918.
“The main hotel building was built to 1918 energy standards,” says Terry McHale, The Broadmoor’s director of facilities. “It was a huge heat sink. Due to the un-insulated piping in the buildings chases, even during sub-freezing outdoor temperatures, interior temperatures were very difficult to regulate and often much too warm.”
Since 1995 (McHale was brought on board in 1998), major changes have been made to mechanical systems and the buildings themselves to improve energy and water efficiency. The central plant upgrade eliminated eight aging evaporation/central plant systems which included cooling towers, chillers, condenser pumps and motors, evaporator pumps and motors, and other associated equipment.
“As the Broadmoor is an expansive resort property with remote buildings, in the past, when new buildings would be constructed, additional cooling and heating plants would also be added,” Mchale says. “After the design and installation of a comprehensive network of interconnecting piping and distributions systems, we now have one large plant that supplies our main facility.”
Insulation, New Windows
During renovations, the facility was insulated, including the installation of all new thermal pane, energy efficient windows. All of the mechanical distribution (hot water, heating and cooling) piping was replaced with insulated material (formerly it was not insulated), and pipe diameters were increased to reduce friction losses. Overtaxed electrical distribution systems were completely redesigned and replaced with more efficient equipment.
A state-of-the-art energy management system was designed and implemented which enabled engineering personnel to control lighting, heating, cooling systems, space temperatures, demand cycling and many life safety functions throughout the resort. Occupancy sensors have been installed in the Cottage guestrooms and McHale says the West Tower with its 152 guestrooms is also scheduled to get the sensors.
A waste heat recovery unit for the laundry system recovers heat from the wash cycle to pre-heat the cold water, resulting in a significant reduction in natural gas usage.
Thirty thousand light fixtures have been converted to compact fluorescents, cold cathode fluorescents and LEDs. The lighting retrofit, plus other energy-saving efforts, have resulted in an electricity demand reduction of 5.3 million kWh annually. A rebate from Colorado Springs Utilities helped pay for the lighting changeover.
Efforts to Reduce Water Flow
A state-of-the-art irrigation system helps minimize water consumption on the resort’s three golf courses. The courses are certified Audubon Sanctuaries. Toilets in all guestrooms have been converted to low-flow and showers are flow-restricted. Display fountains are only run during restricted hours, or during functions, and all are recirculating.
In 2005 The Broadmoor hired its first recycling manager. (See related article.) The hotel now recycles metal, cardboard, paper, and yellow grease. Last year 60,000 pounds of grease was recycled. A select number of Broadmoor associates, who have been designated as the Evergreen Committee, oversee the recycling activities. All Broadmoor employees have been trained on the acceptable recycling procedures.
The Broadmoor’s green initiatives are also reflected in the resort’s food and beverage department. The Broadmoor is now one of the top sourcers of organic, locally-grown produce from Arkansas Valley Organic Growers and Venetucci Farms. Surplus foods from banquets and buffets are donated to the local Marian House Soup Kitchen.
Natural Products at the Spa
At the Spa at The Broadmoor, natural, plant-based products are featured. The botanical ingredients in the products are sustainable, organic, and support free trade.
Associates at The Broadmoor are also participating in the Colorado Springs Adopt-a-Creek program, in which employees make sure that their designated portion of Cheyenne Creek remains clean.
McHale says in the future the hotel will continue with its irrigation system upgrades and LED conversions. LEDs will be placed in guestroom bathrooms. A rooftop solar system for hot water heating is being considered for the resort’s west wing.
“We will continue to work very closely with Colorado Springs Utilities on rebates,” McHale says. Go to The Broadmoor Hotel.
Glenn Hasek can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Go to The Broadmoor.