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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.
DENVER—The piece-of-pie shaped Brown Palace Hotel, a fixture in the heart of Denver since 1892, has been undergoing a green transformation the last couple of years that has caught the eye of many. The 241-room property won the Good Earthkeeping Award in 2013 from the Colorado Hotel and Lodging Assn. and the Good Earthkeeping Award in 2014 from the American Hotel and Lodging Assn. While dabbling in sustainability for a number of years—bee hives have been on the hotel roof as part of the hotel’s Bee Royalty Initiative since 2009—it was in October 2012 when good things really started to happen. That is when Brenna St. Onge was hired as Executive Housekeeper. She brought a passion for sustainability to her job and it was a year ago that she was promoted to Assistant Director of Rooms and Chair of Sustainability.
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.
NEW ORLEANS—The world’s largest sustainable building conference, The Greenbuild Conference and Expo, featuring the first “net zero” exhibit space, was held in New Orleans, October 22 to 24, with 23,000 attendees and 600 exhibitors. The New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center helped Greenbuild set up the first “net zero” exhibit space by utilizing the building’s balcony as the location for solar generated panels that powered an on-site microgrid, generating power to the exhibit booths. The Net Zero Zone showcased how booths in the exhibit hall can unplug from the utility grid and operate totally on power generated by solar panels. If any of the power sources are interrupted, the remaining sources pick up the slack, exemplifying Greenbuild’s key theme of resiliency. Owned and operated by Hanley Wood and presented by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), Greenbuild is the largest conference and expo dedicated to green building design and construction. USGBC, the sponsor of Greenbuild, is committed to a prosperous and sustainable future through cost-efficient and energy-saving green buildings.
NATIONAL REPORT—Hotel bars and restaurants operate, at least in terms of energy efficiency, much the same as free-standing commercial restaurant operations. Small energy inefficiencies add up in the same ways that they do in commercial operations. When you create any personal budget, the first thing that you do is look at how much you’re currently spending. Saving energy in your commercial kitchen begins the same way: know what your energy expenditures are.
CHARLESTON, S.C.—ISI Technology has created the world’s first fully electronic water heater. The Heatworks MODEL 1 is the world’s first 100 percent digital water heater. The system allows one to replace or improve any existing water heating system and offers instant and infinite hot water, a significantly longer lifespan with zero required maintenance, and ultimate control.
ATLANTA—Registration is open for ASHRAE’s 2015 Winter Conference in Chicago where attendees have the chance to discuss and examine the latest topics in the building industry, network, participate in technical tours, attend ASHRAE Learning Institute courses, earn professional credits, and obtain ASHRAE certifications.
NEW YORK—The Waldorf Astoria, New York Hilton Midtown, and Carlton hotels have been honored for their environmentally friendly initiatives as recipients of the first ever Sustainability Awards, presented yesterday by the Hotel Association of New York City (HANYC) at the International Hotel, Motel + Restaurant Show held at the Javits Center. The Hotel Association of NYC’s Sustainability Committee offered awards in three categories: Environmental Protection, awarded to the New York Hilton Midtown for its comprehensive green building efficiency program; Social Responsibility, awarded to the Carlton for its engagement with the community; and Holistic Strategy for Sustainable Hospitality, awarded to the Waldorf Astoria for its overall commitment to environmentally friendly practices and social programs. “As a leader in New York City’s thriving tourism economy, the Hotel Association of New York City recognizes the significant responsibility we carry in setting high standards for environmental stewardship and sustainability,” said Joseph E. Spinnato, President of the Hotel Association. “We are pleased to present the inaugural Sustainability Awards to three very deserving hotels that are leading the way in green practice and design.”
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