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RENO, NEV.—The capital costs and the environmental impact of operating a large resort hotel almost always coincide. Heating, laundry, lighting, landscaping—they all have an impact on both a resort’s bottom line and the natural environment. Hotels have the opportunity to save money and save the environment at the same time, but launching conservation projects that significantly reduce a hotel’s environmental footprint and operating budget takes strategy, some innovative thinking and a commitment to capitalize conservation efforts. Here are five ways The Peppermill Resort, Spa, Casino saves millions of dollars each year while conserving water and energy and reducing the resort’s overall environmental footprint. The Peppermill made a huge bet on geothermal energy in 2011.
SALT LAKE CITY—At Hospitality Industry Technology Exposition and Conference (HITEC), held recently in Los Angeles, Control4, a provider of residential and commercial automation systems, showcased the latest update to its hotel automation solution, which adds seamless, secure wireless music streaming capabilities for hotel guests and improved energy intelligence solutions for hotel owners.
EL SEGUNDO, CALIF.—RENSON, a European developer and manufacturer of sun shading and ventilation system solutions, announces the establishment of its North American sales and distribution network. The company, which was founded in Belgium in 1909 and employs approximately 600 across the globe, is presently growing a North American distributorship for its products, which is initially being established in the Mid-Atlantic, Pacific Northwest, Southeast and Western regions of the United States.
MOUNT LAUREL, N.J.—More than two years after going “live” with their 756-kilowatt solar photovoltaic (PV) system—a structure based on 10 carports in the hotel’s parking area—the owners of the Wyndham Philadelphia-Mount Laurel are investing in additional systems to further reduce energy and water consumption and costs significantly. Investments involve a switch from heating oil to natural gas for air and water heating, an LED retrofit project, and an upgrade to ultra high efficiency toilets. Rishi Shah, Asset Manager of the hotel, says the current transition to natural gas for heating involves a significant mechanical system upgrade. “We are upgrading boilers and storage tanks,” he says. “It will result in tremendous operating savings and have a payback of three years. We are estimating a savings of $7,000 to $8,000 per month.” Shah says the upgrades will cost $320,000 and are being paid for without any incentives. This past January the hotel’s owners (Shah’s family) wrapped up a transition to LED lighting throughout the hotel, including guestrooms.
WALTHAM, MASS.—American DG Energy Inc., a leading On Site Utility offering clean electricity, heat, hot water and cooling solutions to hospitality, healthcare, housing and athletic facilities, announced that BUILDINGS magazine has selected On-Site Utility as a 2014 Money-Saving Product winner. On-Site Utility is part of an elite group of 97 products and services showcased in the magazine’s June 2014 issue.
MILWAUKEE, WIS.—Telkonet, Inc., whose complementary business divisions include EcoSmart, an energy management technology platform featuring Recovery Time technology and EthoStream, one of the largest high-speed Internet access (HSIA) providers in the world, announced that the Metropolitan Hotel in downtown Cleveland, Ohio has selected the EcoSmart system to manage guest comfort and energy use and the EthoStream HSIA solution to provide wireless communication infrastructure.
SANTA CLARA, CALIF.—WattStopper has launched a line of optional neutral occupancy sensors that let installers decide whether or not they need a neutral after they purchase a wall switch product. Because the sensors work for two-wire or three-wire applications, one device is compatible with 2011 NEC requirements and with existing wiring. Unlike competitive products, they require no special configuration, saving time for contractors, preventing miswiring and simplifying ordering.
WASHINGTON, D.C.—Plumbing inspectors, manufacturers, engineers, contractors, labor representatives and other industry technical experts in Las Vegas voted overwhelmingly to make a change to plumbing codes that will ensure hot water pipes in new homes and commercial buildings are insulated. Overall, insulation of hot water pipes will shorten the amount of time spent waiting for hot water at showers and faucets, and cut hot water waste by 15 to 30 percent. The vote took place during the review of proposed changes to the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (IAPMO) Uniform Plumbing Code. The proposal was championed by the United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipefitting Industry and the Natural Resources Defense Council. “Everybody wins by requiring insulation of hot water piping,” said Mike Massey, Executive Director, Piping Industry Progress & Education Trust Fund. “This was made possible by a joint effort of the NRDC and the UA and represents what can be achieved for the greater good of all of us when we work together.”
BERKELEY, CALIF.—Looking strictly at the economic costs and benefits of three different roof types—black, white and “green” (or vegetated)—Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) researchers have found in a new study that white roofs are the most cost-effective over a 50-year time span. While the high installation cost of green roofs sets them back in economic terms, their environmental and amenity benefits may at least partially mitigate their financial burden. A new report titled “Economic Comparison of White, Green, and Black Flat Roofs in the United States” by Julian Sproul, Benjamin Mandel, and Arthur Rosenfeld of Berkeley Lab, and Man Pun Wan of Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, provides a direct economic comparison of these three roof types. The study appeared in the March 2014 volume of Energy and Buildings and was recently published online. “White roofs win based on the purely economic factors we included, and black roofs should be phased out,” said study co-author Rosenfeld, a Berkeley Lab Distinguished Scientist Emeritus and former Commissioner of the California Energy Commission.
NEW YORK—Greenwood Energy, the North American renewable energy division of the Libra Group, announced the installation of a 500-kilowatt (kW) combined heat and power (CHP) plant at the Millennium Hilton Hotel in Lower Manhattan. This is the first CHP plant Greenwood has developed for Millennium Hotel and Resorts in New York City, and Greenwood is currently developing an additional plant at the Millennium Broadway Hotel in Times Square.
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