July 31, 2014

Dear Boston Green Tourism Members,


The presentations from the July 24 meeting are linked below. See the other sections, too.  
Our next meeting will be September 18. 
                               Boston Green Tourism Meeting    

                                            July 24, 2014


Location: Sheraton Commander


Host: Al Vaughn


PresentAl Vaughn, Tedd Saunders, Scot Hopps, Marcella MacKenzie, Cameron Ritzenthaler, Bruce Buckbee, Alex Alexandrovich, John Da Silva, Dan Cook, Peter Kuhn, Kevin Lubinger, Alex Grace, Stephen Beam, Michelle Blakemore, Dan Ruben. 


Sheraton Commander's Recent Green Achievements and Plans

Al Vaughn, Director of Engineering, Sheraton Commander Hotel         


Mr. Vaughn described the Sheraton Commander's recent green achievements, and I want to mention a few of them.


The hotel switched their in-room heating system from steam to air source GE heat pumps from Trane. The new units are quieter and more efficient.


The hotel also installed new, Energy Star tinted windows that have all but eliminated guest complaints about noise, and reduced the hotel's energy bills.


Next winter, the Commander will add new Energy Star bathroom fans that will also reduce noise and energy use.


The hotel boasts a 61% recycling rate, as measured by Waste Management. The three weightiest commodities are food waste (collected by Save That Stuff), cardboard and plastics. Why is the hotel so successful at recycling? Mr. Vaughn attributes it to the visibility of the recycling bins in guest and staff areas; the attention given to the program by hotel management, including he and the head chef; staff who care about recycling; and an effective partnership with Waste Management. 


How Big Data Analytics Helps Hotels Improve Maintenance and Comfort, and Save Energy

Alex Grace, Director of Business Development, KGS Buildings  


The emerging and rapidly evolving field of building analytics is probably the most important recent development in energy efficiency for commercial buildings. This presentation was the first of two on this topic in 2014.


Mr. Grace discussed fault detection diagnostics which evaluates how buildings function by using sophisticated algorithms and cloud computing. It provides real-time reports that prioritize building maintenance projects--allowing building engineers to solve the problems that have the greatest impact on energy bills, risk and asset value.


I encourage you to read Alex's presentation and consider how your hotel can use building analytics to its advantage.


Purchasing Renewable Energy to Benefit Your Hotel

Stephen Beam, Director of Business Development, Renewable Choice Energy  


Mr. Beam gave a compelling talk about why many hotels purchase renewable energy and how they then market themselves as environmental leaders. His company, Renewable Energy Choice, is very creative in helping its clients publicize their use of green energy.


Opportunities from Reusing and Recycling Hotel Furniture

Michelle Blakemore Faroni, Education and Outreach Manager, The Furniture Trust


Ms. Faroni described the importance, advantages and relative ease of furniture reuse and recycling. The Furniture Trust differentiates its service by identifying worthy, Boston area charities that can use the furniture. Often, the charities are chosen by the employees of the donor businesses. 


Seaport Hotel's Tamo Bistro & Bar Earns Green Restaurant Certification


Tamo Bistro & Bar was awarded with a prestigious three-star certification from the


Their list of green projects can be found here by clicking the Tamo 3-star link.  As you can see from the online scorecard, the restaurant earned the most points for excellent composting and recycling programs; their extensive purchase of vegan food; and their energy efficient oven and water heater. 

The Seaport distinguishes itself by producing some of their own food. They grow herbs for their restaurants, and might expand their operations by purchasing a Leafy Green Machine from Freight Farms. The Seaport's beehives are so productive that their honey is used to make beer for the hotel and sweeten their menus. Besides the food it produces, Tamo features food from local farms and fishermen.

"TAMO brings you the best that Boston has to offer with...food inspired by Boston's famous ethnic neighborhoods, the bounty of New England farms and the Atlantic Ocean at our doorstep."

Tamo has both its pre-consumer and post-consumer food waste hauled to a compost facility by

Save That Stuff. They use electrolyzed water for cleaning and EcoLab's greenest product in their dishwasher.


Tamo achieved certification by using green practices and making greener purchases for a long time, conducting new projects to accumulate more points and gathering the considerable documentation required by the GRA. Their effort has been led by Peter Adams, who is the restaurant's Assistant Pastry Chef and green team leader. Head Chef Robert Tobin and Director of Engineering Tom Taylor were some of the other key participants.



Cambridge to Require Energy Benchmarking

This week, Cambridge joins Boston, other cities, California and Washington by requiring that buildings disclose their Energy Star Portfolio Manager score and water use annually. Commercial buildings over 50,000 square feet must report their energy and water use in May 2015. Buildings between 25,000 and 50,000 square feet must first report in May 2016. 

One year after the first reports are due, the statistics will be presented on the Cambridge website. "The City will develop an effective platform to host the data to make it as useful as possible to the marketplace."

The City will develop a plan to implement this ordinance.



Boston Convention & Exhibition Center Expansion to be LEED Certified

The MA bill which authorized the $1 billion expansion of the BCEC requires that the building achieve a LEED rating of silver or higher. 



What's New with Kitchen Ventilation Hood Controls?   

Has your property already installed Demand Control Ventilation (DCV) units for your kitchen exhaust hoods? If not, I recommend that you consider it. New DCV hoods usually have an ROI of only one to two years, after including the Mass Save incentive.


Some facilities have configurations that make installations more expensive, however.


In addition to cutting energy bills, DCV hoods reduce kitchen noise, wear and tear on fan belts and grease depositions inside the hoods.


DCV hoods work by matching their fan speed to the need of the kitchen. During meals, ventilation speeds often reach 100%; but they can slow down to 10% between meals. Restaurants save energy because the fans don't have to work as hard, and the kitchens aren't blowing as much conditioned air out of the building.


The most effective hoods operate by sensing smoke. They don't lose efficiency during their 15 to 20 year lifespan. If your property has a DCV hood that makes adjustments based on temperature alone, it might make financial sense to switch to a superior, smoke-based sensing system. 


The newest generation of DCV hoods has remote access and programmable touchpads. A single system controller can operate as many as 39 hoods.


Two BGT members sell and install DCV hoods. Both offer complimentary walk-through's and energy analyses. They also calculate your energy savings and help secure the Mass Save discount associated with a purchase.


Is Your Cardboard Baler Used to Capacity?

Waste Management's Michelle Lee Guiney told me that many businesses don't use their cardboard balers to their full advantage--and leave money on the table. Baled cardboard fetches a better price than loose cardboard, and loose cardboard takes up valuable space in hotel compactors.     

Michelle cited several reasons for under-utilizing balers: too few staff are trained to operate them; employees can more easily throw boxes into compactors than flatten the boxes and place them in the baler; and, when the baler is full, somebody must create the bale and make room for more cardboard. By addressing these matters, hotels can cut their waste hauling bills. 



WaterSense Offers a New Webinar 

This webinar is the last one in the H2Otel Challenge Webinar Series, organized by the EPA. 

Go here to view or listen to recordings of past webinars.
Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection

Starting October 1, Massachusetts will prohibit businesses from disposing one ton or more of organic material (food, plant materials, etc.) in the trash in a given week. The document linked above answers questions about whether your property is covered by the ban, which materials are included and how to comply with the ban. You can also ask me about how hotels are coming into compliance.

The following meetings will be 2:30 to 4:00.


September 18: TBD

October 23: TBD

December 4: Langham Boston


See you September 18!