Home Publisher's Point of View All Star Engineer Drives Impressive Utility Cost Reductions

All Star Engineer Drives Impressive Utility Cost Reductions

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As the New Year begins, I have Boston on my mind. Why? This past week I spoke with Jeff Hanulec, director of engineering at the Westin Copley Place in Boston and learned about the outstanding work he and his green team are doing to reduce energy and water consumption. Considering the size of the hotel they are working in—38 stories and 803 rooms—their accomplishments over the last four years have been impressive. Total utility costs in November 2006 were $337,883. In November of this year they were just $178,235. It is a pretty safe bet that rates for water and sewer, electricity, gas and steam have increased significantly since 2006.

In my article on the hotel I describe some of the initiatives that have led to the almost 50 percent savings: variable speed drives on motors, a guestroom energy management system, effective use of condensate from high pressure steam, upgrading to more efficient lighting—including super T-8s—new boiler controls, and much more. The hotel is in the early stages of a guestroom and corridor renovation that will wrap up in April. The renovation will include installation of 1.1 gallon per flush high efficiency toilets (water use from toilet flushing will drop from 3.5 gallons per flush to 1.1), compact fluorescent lighting in all guestroom fixtures, and LED lighting in headboards. A year from now you can bet the hotel will see even more significant reductions in utility costs.

Adding to those savings mentioned above, the green team at the Westin Copley Place also reduced the amount of waste going to landfill by 129 tons from January 1, 2010 through mid-December 2010. In the first few weeks of the renovation, which began in early November, more than 26 tons of trash was diverted from the landfill—a diversion rate of almost 88 percent. The old toilets removed from guestrooms will be crushed and used in road surfacing material.

Jeff Hanulec is the leader of the hotel’s green team and an all star engineer in my book. I have been fortunate to interview quite a few like him in the past four years and the owners of the Westin Copley Place have got to be extremely pleased to have him on staff. He is engineering savings that are unheard of at most hotels.

For its efforts, the Westin Copley Place has earned Green Key and Green Seal certification, as well as an Energy Star rating. The hotel is one of many in the Boston area that has accumulated a long list of environmental accomplishments. Thanks go to Dan Ruben, executive director, Boston Green Tourism, for sharing the Westin Copley Place hotel’s story with me.

Do you have a similar success story to share? If so, call me at (440) 243-2055, or write to editor@greenlodgingnews.com.

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See You in Portland, Oregon or Orlando?

I will be attending and exhibiting at the Green Meeting Industry Council’s 2011 Sustainable Meetings Conference in Portland, Oregon from February 20 to 23, 2011. The event will take place at the Portland Doubletree Hotel. To register for the conference, go to www.sustainablemeetingsconference.com. I will also be moderating a panel discussion on certification programs for carpet and fabric at the NEWH Leadership Conference on January 14 in Orlando, Fla., at the Loews Royal Pacific Resort at Universal Studios. Click here for more information on the conference.

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