June 23, 2014

Energy Efficient Hospitality

Today, hospitality facilities, such as airports, travel plazas, university dining halls, fitness centers and hotels are focused on creating highly attractive environments while achieving guest satisfaction and operational efficiency. At the same time, these facilities present a unique and specific set of engineering challenges. These challenges are not limited to the maintenance of plant and machinery, but go way beyond that, to energy efficient hospitality and an exponential expansion in new design features and innovations.

As a business, it is crucial to satisfy the rapid and dynamic changes of customers’ requirements; maintaining market competitiveness. New concepts and approaches for design and development are now necessary to cope with these challenges.

Specifically, the drive towards creating green sustainable systems and competing in a saturated environment has accelerated the need for optimizing processes and maximizing savings. In a typical restaurant in the United States, for example, the cooking, water heating, refrigeration and space cooling/heating represent almost 80 percent of the total use of utility. Reducing energy wastage while lowering overall operational costs in a manner that still enhances the look, feel, and function of the facility is essential.

In addition, hotels have often been given the analogy of a cruise ship or a hospital in that the operation is 24 – 7. Considering a typical hotel room is vacant roughly 70% of an average day– a large percentage of energy used to heat and cool spaces is wasted on empty rooms. Yet many lack a system to eliminate or reduce that waste. Why? Mostly out of concern that it will lead to compromising the guest experience. Twenty-four hours a day and seven days a week. When the guests are sound asleep the systems of the building continue to operate. The heating and ventilation units are running, the hot water is being heated, the laundry is operating, etc. In addition, the MEP systems must blend and work in concert with the restaurant’s décor and operations, with no negative impact on either customers or employees. Behind the scenes, there is so much activity happening, and everything has to work so that everyone can do their jobs and the guests are safe and comfortable. The show must go on.

Take away those services like hot water or elevators, heating or cooling, electricity, kitchen equipment, laundry equipment etc, you simply would lose customers.

Turning properties into an energy efficient environment can help reduce costs and improve guest satisfaction with just a few simple energy savings tips:

  • Add room occupancy sensors to control thermostats and lighting, which saves energy without compromising guest comfort.
  • Install an ozone laundry system to save significant amounts of energy by eliminating the need for hot water, while decreasing costs for bleach and detergent.
  • Install LED lighting in guest rooms and common areas for substantial energy savings.

As an enhanced (though more capital intensive) solution, the smart control concept offers convenience to customers while also giving operators the control of their environment to improve service and help save energy. Through this state-of-the-art system, guests can manage multiple functions in their rooms such as lighting, temperature and curtains and even make housekeeping requests.

The bottom line is that guest satisfaction is the number one priority. Creating ‘green’ sustainable systems will enhance guest comfort and demonstrate your commitment to offer this energy efficient hospitality.

KMB has the vast experience necessary to provide energy efficient hospitality systems designs that will not compromise, but enhance the look, feel and function of your space.