October 16, 2015

Dear Boston Green Tourism Members,  
Our next meeting will be Thursday October 22, from 2:30 to 4:00 at Taj Boston in the Newbury Room, floor 3.  
I thank our hosts: Karambir Kang and Maureen Albright.
I hope you can come!
Maureen AlbrightDirector of Engineering, Taj Boston

Ms. Albright will discuss some exciting green initiatives at the hotel. Taj Boston is considering extensive roof gardens; expanding their apiaries; using their roof crops and honey on their restaurant menu; and creating sustainable menus.

She will also discuss the hotel's recent mechanical projects, their experience with the Ecovim food waste dehydrating machine and their progress with recycling at a facility with no loading dock space.

When the presentations conclude, Ms. Albright will show us some of the hotel's green features.

Mr. Bove will discuss the latest developments and opportunities regarding domestic hot water. He will show us how to control water temperature to save energy; how to save water by assuring that showers deliver hot water immediately; and  how to distribute hot water safely and accurately. 

Mr. Bove will also describe how hotels can prevent their hot water systems from spreading Legionella bacteria.

Barry WoodsDirector, Electric Mobility NE

Mr. Woods will tell us what hoteliers need to know about EV charging station technology. 
He will cover the growth forecast for electric vehicles, why hotels should plan for it, the benefits of providing EV charging, charging station technology choices, State / Federal programs and resources in the EV space.

Dmitry Solovyov, HVAC/Controls Engineer and LEED Green Associate, 
Mr. Solovyov will show us how engineering firms can help hotels identify energy efficiency opportunities for their HVAC systems. He will discuss two Boston hotel case studies, including the incorporation of free cooling using heat exchangers. 
Green Program Observations from Rachael Solem, Irving 
credit: roadtrippers.com

House at Harvard

Irving House at Harvard has some serious green cred: 
  • a TripAdvisor Greenleaders Platinum rating,
  • a 100% Energy Star Portfolio Manager score, 
  • the Boston hotel community's only solar array. 
So, I asked Rachael Solem, Irving House's GM and owner, for her insights about green lodging.
Irving House is a 44-room property, built in the 1890's, and serving guests since the 1920's. Its guests come mostly for university or Harvard Square events, or to see relatives at Harvard. They like the hotel's proximity to the school, and its location on a quiet residential street.
The Irving House green program is extensive. As with other hotels, guests comment mostly on the aspects that they notice. The most positive comments are about the composting program. Guests, guided by photos, scrape their own plates into a food waste container, which is later picked up by Save That Stuff. In the afternoon, the kitchen uses compostable plates and cutlery, which go into the food waste container, too.
Irving House also gets positive feedback on their green certifications and their solar panels.

Ms. Solem is happy with the property's solar panels, too. Installed in 2009, they have reduced the hotel's natural gas use by 62% per room night. The system has been almost maintenance-free. 
Some guests recommend improvements to the hotel's green program. Several suggested that the hotel use only LED lights--and that conversion is underway. Others ask for recycling bins in the guestrooms. However, most of the rooms are too small to house bins.
The Irving House experience with bathroom amenity dispensers has been uneven. Ms. Solem likes that they reduce waste. However, she finds them unattractive; challenging for some guests to use, because they require two hands; and difficult to refill. She's looking for a suitable upgrade.
The hotel has had a more positive experience with its low-flow showerheads. The older units drew a few complaints, but not the newer replacements. Irving House staff clean off the mineral deposits twice per year to keep the water-flow strong.
What's next for the Irving House green program? Ms. Solem is considering an apiary, which would surely fascinate many visitors.

Northeast Recycling Council, 2015

This user-friendly 16-page guide helps IT professionals and non-technical staff reduce IT-related energy consumption. 

Computers, peripherals, imaging equipment, and data centers contribute significantly to energy bills. Businesses can slash these expenses without compromising computer security and operations. Computers that take advantage of low-power sleep modes when inactive cut energy consumption per unit in half or more. The most efficient data centers and server rooms use up to 80% less power than average ones. 

RecyclingWorks in Massachusetts website, 2015

This website page helps businesses establish and structure food donation programs. It provides guidance about the types of food that can be donated; finding local food rescue organizations; the packaging, storage and labeling requirements for food safety; and optimal pick-up frequency. It also describes liability protection laws and tax incentives. 

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


October 22:
December 10: 
Taj Boston
Le Méridien Cambridge-MIT


See you Thursday at Taj Boston!