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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.
REDMOND, WASH.—To help building owners and operators easily manage their heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) energy consumption while maintaining a comfortable indoor environment, Alerton has released an updated version of its Ascent Compass Software. The solution provides users a cleaner, simpler interface that reduces the steps required to optimize building systems and energy efficiency.
MILWAUKEE, WIS.—Telkonet, Inc., whose complementary business divisions include EcoSmart, a leading energy management technology platform featuring Recovery Time technology, and EthoStream, one of the largest hospitality high-speed Internet access providers, announced that its EcoSmart Solution was selected as the winner of the Holiday Inn Express Stay Smart Business Challenge at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.
ATLANTA—The Westin Buckhead Atlanta has implemented an INNCOM Energy Management System as part of a comprehensive strategy to support its Starwood Hotels & Resorts’ “30/20 by 20” environmental initiatives. The 358-room property installed e4 Smart Digital Thermostats with the patented ecoMODE feature, INNcontrol 3 Central Room Management software, and a full INNCOM property management system interface.
HONOLULU—Hawaii Energy’s largest incentive for a hotel to date was recently awarded to Hawaii’s largest hotel—the Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort. Hawaii Energy, the ratepayer-funded energy conservation and efficiency program for Hawaii, Honolulu and Maui counties, presented a $471,192 incentive check to the Hilton after the completion of phase I of a multi-phase, multi-million dollar energy efficiency upgrade project. Phase I included a major lighting retrofit in 1,839 guestrooms and the installation of energy-saving fan coil motors in all 2,860 guestrooms. The incentive will help Hilton offset its phase I project costs of more than $1.91 million. Hawaii Energy’s incentive covered 24 percent of these costs.
ANAHEIM, CALIF.—Master-Bilt will showcase a new line of vertical and horizontal open air merchandisers in the What’s Hot! What’s Cool! New Product Gallery at The NAFEM Show, February 19 to 21, at the Anaheim Convention Center, and in Master-Bilt booth #1608. These models offer easy access, contemporary styling, increased capacity and quiet operation.
ATLANTA—In recognition of the changing role of HVAC&R since it was first published 20 years ago, ASHRAE’s HVAC&R Research has a new title, an expanded scope and an updated look. Beginning in January 2015, the journal will be known as Science and Technology for the Built Environment. All manuscripts in process now will be published in the journal under its new name.
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.
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.
HONOLULU—Hokulani Waikiki by Hilton Grand Vacations Club, which opened a year ago in December 2013, has achieved LEED certification as recognized by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). The upscale, urban timeshare resort earned the internationally recognized certification for implementing environmentally friendly construction practices and building systems. “Hokulani Waikiki was built and designed with a strong focus on honoring Hawaii’s unique cultural heritage,” said Kim Kreiger, Senior Vice President Club and Resorts for Hilton Grand Vacations. “This certification further demonstrates the importance and responsibility we feel to preserve and respect Oahu’s land and natural resources, which is part of what makes Hawaii so special.” LEED, or Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design, is a globally recognized green building certification program that provides independent, third party verification that a building project meets the highest green building and performance measures. To obtain LEED certification, buildings must pass a rigorous checklist of sustainability points that include water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, and awareness and education.
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