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ATLANTA—It is no coincidence that big projects and accolades seem to gravitate toward Wes Shirley. The Director of Engineering at the Grand Hyatt Atlanta in Buckhead is always looking for something new to elevate the guest experience, cut costs and reduce environmental impact at the same time. Shirley, who fell in love with building and operating buildings at an early age, has been the driver behind projects such as a 50,000-gallon rainwater harvesting system and a 20-panel solar thermal system. This past week he accepted an award for the hotel as part of the Atlanta Better Buildings Challenge. Participants in the Challenge pledge to reduce energy and water consumption by 20 percent by 2020. As Director of Engineering at the 439-room hotel, Shirley oversees a team of 12 engineers. He and the hotel’s controller act as coaches of the green team which consists of one manager from every department. Ongoing education of hotel staff is key to the success of the property’s green initiatives. “As hotel staff changes we are continually training our staff,” Shirley says. “We actually start with the new hires but we do training consistently with all our employees. It’s a way of life in our hotel. We also give them best practices for their home.”
Solar is now more cost-effective than ever, offering a number of compelling financial and environmental benefits for the hospitality industry. Solar technologies have been proven over decades in the field, and are becoming increasingly efficient, reliable, and affordable. Large corporations are investing billions in the industry, powering a record number of installations in 2015. Total solar installations hit the 1 million mark in February of this year, and total industry growth is projected to hit a staggering 119 percent this year. As the solar market expands logarithmically, the costs of installation are plummeting. A hotel can reap the benefits of a solar installation in both the short and long terms. Lighting, HVAC and water heating accounts for approximately 60 percent of the total costs for a typical lodging facility; the U.S. Energy Star program estimates that hotels spend about $2,196 per room annually on energy alone. A solar PV system can significantly lower energy bills.
ROCK HILL, S.C.—HyLite LED Lighting has introduced a new Plug-in LED lamp for down lighting applications. With its compact size, the new HyLite LED VL lamp efficiently delivers illumination at 116 lumens per watt with a 120° beam angle. At only 12W, the HyLite VL Lamp replaces up to a 42W CFL, effectively reducing energy consumption by up to 71 percent.
NEW YORK—The Light Human Hotel, a new eco-friendly brand and concept created by two France-based entrepreneurs—Jean-Pierre Bandeira, CEO of Light Human Hotel and Julien Veyron, Architect and CEO of atelier arcau—will make its first appearance in the United States later this year in Miami. That 80-room hotel on Collins Ave. will be the first of now eight Light Human Hotel properties to open. Additional hotels are planned in the next few years for Miami, San Antonio, Los Angeles, New York, Sao Paulo, Antibes, Rio de Janeiro and London. Bandeira says Light Human Hotels will go beyond LEED in regard to building health and efficiency. Designed for both new construction and retrofits, Light Human Hotels will offer electric vehicle charging stations, optional housekeeping in some cases, farm to table restaurants, fitness centers with bicycles that generate electricity, and the integration of “live” plants into exterior building features. “Light Human Hotel is not a generic brand of hotel,” Veyron says. “Our vision is that Light Human Hotels are shaped for people to live, to share, to work and to have fun together.”
ODESSA, FLA.—Hasek Communications, the Odessa, Fla.-based publisher of Green Lodging News, has added Hartdean Ltd. to its Green Product & Service Directory in the “Linens & Towels” category. The company’s EcoKnit Terry Towels are luxury hospitality cotton towels with two to three time’s longer lifespan and provide energy and water savings which recover the cost of the product. EcoKnit Towels are snag free, dry up to 40 percent quicker than standard terry towels, reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions, and use 15 percent less water with every laundering cycle.
NEW ORLEANS—Control4 Corp., a leading global provider of automation solutions, introduced the new Control4 Hospitality Solution. Offering hotels in-room automation functionality, along with back-end management software, hotel staff are provided extensive guestroom status updates, whether that is a need for new batteries for a remote control or a mini-bar requires a restock.
FOUNTAIN VALLEY, CALIF.—The new Commercial Water Heater System from Noritz America is designed to speed and simplify the installation of multiple tankless water heaters for plumbing and mechanical contractors. Noritz combines commercial-grade tankless units with system controllers, manifolds and other necessary components and accessories into fully assembled metal rack systems for shipment anywhere in North America.
SANTA CLARA, CALIF.—Lunera Lighting, Inc. announced a new lighting and control technology platform called SensAble Technology. This new platform integrates advanced Doppler radar occupancy sensors, IR daylight sensors, power usage monitoring and Zigbee wireless connectivity into Lunera’s next generation commercial Helen Lamp Linear T8, Helen Lamp PL and Susan Lamp HID plug and play LED lamp families.
AUSTIN, TEXAS—Hubbell Control Solutions has announced an update to the wiSCAPE Gateway. The wiSCAPE system makes it easy to manage, monitor and measure wireless outdoor lighting networks.
Recent advancements in battery technology, rising electricity demand rates, and the advent of no/low-risk financing models have made energy storage systems a financially attractive option for hoteliers. However, critical questions remain for hotel managers and owners even after they have decided to invest in energy storage: What is the best way to finance the system and how can it generate the highest ROI? In this article, we’ll evaluate the costs, benefits, and risks of a proposed hotel energy storage system given three financing options and using actual utility cost and use data. California is currently the only state that offers rebates to mitigate upfront system costs, and therefore energy storage is not financially viable in other states until they develop similar programs. In this article, a hotel in San Diego is installing a 36 kW/60 kWh energy storage system consisting of two modular 18 kW batteries. The hotel is 175,000 square feet, 210 rooms, and has an average monthly electricity maximum demand of 318 kW.
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