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NATIONAL REPORT—Green walls, also known as vertical gardens or living walls, increasingly are being used in interior and exterior areas of hotels to make a green design statement. Aside from being aesthetic symbols of a property’s commitment to sustainability—perhaps even a means to earn LEED credits—green walls offer many other benefits. They can help deaden sound in large spaces, absorb and clean toxins from the air, reduce carbon dioxide levels, keep air temperatures down, improve employee alertness and energy levels, increase humidity, reduce airborne dust levels, and even help increase the property values of commercial buildings. According to Ambius, a green walls design expert, exterior green walls can reduce wall surface temperatures by as much as 50 degrees F, resulting in significant energy savings and air-conditioning costs. Green walls can be massive in size and expand over multiple floors, or as small as a framed piece of art—what Ambius calls its LivePicture.
NORTHBROOK, ILL.—UL, a global safety science leader, recently conducted a study to learn where value and return on investment lie in the area of sustainable buildings. The study and its result is available in a free white paper titled, “The Dawn of the Building Performance Era.” The paper wasa written by UL Chief Economist Erin Grossi.
DALLAS—Guests of The Highland Dallas can now take advantage of the newly-available PURE guestrooms. Specially-treated to provide the highest purity in air quality, PURE rooms, with hypoallergenic elements, ensure ultimate comfort for health-conscious guests and their families.
WASHINGTON, D.C.—The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is taking action to protect the public from seven ethylene glycol ethers or glymes chemicals that can cause health effects including birth defects and blood toxicity.
VIENNA, AUSTRIA—The original pioneers of natural swimming pools, BIOTOP Landschaftsgestaltung GmbH, headquartered in Austria, has seen an increase in requests from the hotel and tourism industry for chemical-free natural swimming pools, to provide the ultimate luxury and sustainable guest attraction.
NATIONAL REPORT—Most chafing dish fuel gels found today are made from corn-based ethanol, methanol and other additives to help the product burn hotter. Methanol is added to make it too toxic for consumption. Fuel gel using methanol and other additives is considered hazardous waste and should be treated as such, several industry experts told Green Lodging News for this article. Methanol gel, according to Don Haldenby, CEO of Ecoflame International Inc., is poisonous and contains dioxin and emits nitrous oxide, arsenic, carbon monoxide and excessive carbon dioxide when burned. It is dangerous to touch and dangerous to the environment when containers end up in the landfill. There, they leach their poisons into the water table. Dennis Paul, CEO of ECOFuel Worldwide Inc., said the emissions from most fuel gel today are not only potentially hazardous to those who work around it; they can also impact the taste and quality of the food the gels are working to heat. “You may be ingesting it and it changes the flavor of the food,” he says.
TAMPA, FLA.—Hasek Communications, the Tampa, Fla.-based publisher of Green Lodging News, welcomes Agaia, Inc. as a Green Product & Service Directory partner. According to Agaia, Evolve is the first all-natural, green cleaning technology proven in both lab testing and customer use to match or exceed the performance of petroleum-based Jan-San cleaners and laundry detergents.
PLANO, TEXAS—NexRev Inc., a leading manufacturer of performance-improving energy efficiency upgrades for HVAC equipment, announced the availability of DrivePak Advanced Rooftop Control (ARC), an expanded model of the company’s DrivePak HVAC retrofit upgrade incorporating advanced controls that allow customers to further capitalize the savings from DrivePak as well as additional prescriptive energy rebates and incentives.
CHICAGO—A dirty packaged terminal air conditioner (PTAC) often has to work twice as hard and consumes twice the electricity to reach cooler room temperatures. To help hoteliers select the best A/C coil cleaning process as they plan their 2015 budgets, Cintas Corp. released a complimentary white paper covering the results of two independent A/C coil cleaning studies while providing tips for improving unit life.
MURFREESBORO, TENN.—The Hilton Garden Inn Murfreesboro, a new hotel located 30 minutes outside Nashville, has added 10 hypoallergenic PURE Rooms to provide an allergy travel alternative for its guests. “PURE Rooms will offer a more comfortable stay to our guests with allergies,” said David Allison, General Manager at the Hilton Garden Inn Murfreesboro. “As a new hotel, we strive to meet the latest standards for health and wellness, which PURE Rooms help enable us to do.”
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