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SAN DIEGO—Nonsmoking rooms in hotels operating a partial smoking ban don’t protect their occupants from tobacco smoke, reveals research published online in Tobacco Control. Non-smokers should give hotels that allow smoking in certain rooms a wide berth, say the authors, and instead choose completely smoke free hotels. The researchers analyzed the surfaces and air quality of rooms for evidence of tobacco smoke pollution (nicotine and 3EP), known as third hand smoke, in a random sample of budget to mid-range hotels in San Diego. Ten hotels in the sample operated complete bans and 30 operated partial smoking bans, providing designated nonsmoking rooms. Non-smokers who spent the night at any of the hotels provided urine and finger wipe samples to assess their exposure to nicotine and a cancer causing agent found specifically in tobacco smoke—known as NNK—as measured by their metabolites cotinine and NNAL. The findings showed that smoking in hotels left a legacy of tobacco pollution in both smoking and nonsmoking rooms.
When it comes to green cleaning, an often underemphasized area is the need for matting at all hotel entries. Stopping dust, soils, and contaminants before they ever enter a facility helps reduce the need for cleaning and enhances indoor environmental quality. This is why it makes sense to place effective matting systems at the heart of any green cleaning program. The most effective type of mats are referred to as high-performance mats, which are higher-quality mats that have a performance life of several years. These mats are often part of what is called a soil “source control” strategy. It is common to overlook the impact that sidewalks, parking lots, entries, and other areas can have on the health of the indoor environment. But, as much as 90 percent of the dust and dirt that enters a facility “walks in” through building entries.
NATIONAL REPORT—Air curtains, also known as air doors, can play an important role in a hotel’s energy conservation strategy—especially hotels with foodservice operations. In use for almost a century now, air curtains have become more sophisticated and effective in recent years and the number of applications for them has grown. Air curtains can now be used in entryways—both in the front and back of the house—with walk-in coolers, warewashers, and even in laundry areas. Air curtains help to contain heated or air conditioned air, and are essential in stopping the infiltration of flying insects, dust and dirt. Air curtains employ a controlled stream of air aimed across an opening to create an air seal. This seal separates different environments, while allowing a smooth, unhindered flow of traffic and unobstructed vision through the opening. “Air curtains blow an air stream in an engineered pattern to the floor,” says Stephen J. Benes, sales manager with Berner International, which has been making air curtains in the United States since 1956.
SEARCHLIGHT, NEV.—Cottonwood Cove Resort and Marina on Lake Mohave has made history, becoming the world’s first floating green building to receive LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). Spearheaded by the National Park Service and Forever Resorts, LLC, the marina building opened June 2011, serving as the marina’s operations office. From decking made of rice hulls to exterior stucco made of recycled tires, from the beginning, the marina was lauded for its use of green materials. The floating eco-friendly structure features sustainable modular construction and state-of-the-art energy-efficient and environmentally responsible materials and fixtures. Use of low- or no-volatile organic compound materials, paints and adhesives rid the building of the typical “new building” smell, improving the overall indoor air quality. For commercial buildings and neighborhoods to earn LEED certification, a project must satisfy all LEED prerequisites and earn a minimum 40 points on a 110-point LEED rating system scale. According to the USGBC, participation in the voluntary LEED process demonstrates leadership, innovation, environmental stewardship and social responsibility.
DALLAS—The redesigned X-Plus UV fixture from UV Resources accommodates 17- to 61-inch extended base lamps, which easily mount from the exterior of any HVAC system, air handler, plenum or duct, making it a low-cost, reliable and quickly serviceable unit favored by contractors.
NATIONAL REPORT--On a winter’s day when the temperature in the Washington, D.C. area soared into the 70s, the ASAE Convene Green Alliance (CGA) took an adventurous group of 20 meeting professionals and industry partners on a behind-the-scenes “Green Safari” tour of the sustainability program at the Renaissance Arlington Capital View, one of only three LEED Gold certified hotels in Virginia. Participants received bandanas to wear and were greeted by Renaissance associates dressed in pith helmets and safari gear to set the theme for this unique learning format. The Green Safari demonstrated how the property earned LEED Gold status and how it benefits meeting planners, their organizations, and the planet. CGA Director Kristin Clarke kicked off the green theme by handing out corn-based compostable badge holders and lanyards made from recycled soda bottles. Even the name badges could not have been more organic—the paper was made from 50 percent Sri Lankan elephant dung and 50 percent post-consumer waste. Planners were first invited to sample sustainable breakfast fare from executive chef David Creamer.
NEW YORK—Conrad New York, a luxury waterfront, all-suite hotel located in the heart of lower Manhattan’s Battery Park City, has been awarded LEED Gold for New Construction Certification established by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and verified by the Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI). This is the first LEED Gold New Construction major renovation project certified under the latest rating system in New York. Since its inception in 1998, LEED is the nation’s top rating system for design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings, homes and neighborhoods. The Conrad New York, having already achieved ISO 9000 certification in quality management and ISO 14001 certification in environmental management, along with the hotel’s new LEED Gold certification, further affirms the Conrad brand’s commitment to be a luxury leader in smart, sustainable hotel development and operations. “Part of Conrad New York’s commitment to being ‘smart luxury’ is being conscientious and mindful of our impact on the environment and on our Battery Park City community,” said Robert Rechtermann, general manager, Conrad New York.
SECAUCUS, N.J.—The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has recognized Panasonic Eco Solutions Division with a 2013 Energy Star Partner of the Year—Sustained Excellence Award for their continued leadership in manufacturing innovative ventilation fans and protecting our environment through superior energy efficiency. Panasonic’s accomplishments will be recognized at an awards ceremony in Washington, D.C. on March 26, 2013.
FREMONT, OHIO—It is expected that version 4 of LEED-EBOM (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance), developed by the U.S. Green Building Council, will be adopted later this year. This new version will be broader, addressing a wider range of facilities and put more emphasis on environmental issues, such as climate change, and encourage more careful and efficient use of energy and water. However, what some cleaning professionals have noticed is several traditional cleaning-related credits, such as for the installation of effective entry matting systems, are no longer included in version 4.
NEW CASTLE, PA.—Berner International Corp., a leading U.S. manufacturer and innovator of air curtains, expanded its In-Ceiling Mount (ICM) Series by adding the FCB, the HVAC industry’s first in-ceiling flush mount air curtain rated for doorways with up to 16-foot-high ceilings in hotels, hospitals, office buildings, schools and other commercial facilities.
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