November 3, 2015

Dear Boston Green Tourism Members,

The presentations from the October 22 meeting are linked and summarized below. See the other sections, too.

Our next meeting will be Thursday December 10 at Le Meridien. 


Boston Green Tourism Meeting
October 22, 2015
Location: Taj Boston
HostsKarambir Kang and Maureen Albright
PresentMaureen Albright, Rahul Taman, Tom Taylor, Tedd Saunders, Samantha Sorrin, Kevin Lubinger, Cameron Ritzenthaler, Hugh Leahy, Karen Weber, Shimon Warden, Bob Shatten, Danny Maki, Ari Cassarino, Christopher Bove, Barry Woods, Dmitriy Solovyov, Dan Ruben. I missed one or two people.


Green Initiatives at Taj Boston  

Maureen Albright, Director of Engineering, Taj Boston
Ms. Albright praised the hotel's two Ecovim food waste dehydrators. They can each convert 250 pounds of food waste / day into a rich soil amendment that employees take home. The units don't require water, venting or enzymes--just electricity and a drain. Odor hasn't been a problem. The machines need little maintenance. The Taj hasn't noticed a change in their electricity use since acquiring them. 

By reducing food waste 90%, the hotel saves on disposal costs and complies with the MA food waste ordinance. Hoteliers who want to see the machines in operation should contact Ms. Albright.
The Taj recovers heat from their steam condensate and uses it to preheat their domestic hot water. This project, which conserves much energy and water, is described in this newsletter
The property's six rooftop apiaries have been so successful that the Taj will soon add four more. The bees produced 100 pounds of honey this year, which the hotel's chefs use in their cocktails, pastries and appetizers. Many guests have commented favorably about the bees. The Sales team gives small jars of honey, marked with the Taj logo, to potential clients. 
The Taj is developing plans to grow vegetables on their roof, too. Guests would select their food, chefs would then cook it and the guests would eat it in Taj Boston's rooftop restaurant, pictured above.

Air Flow Regulators;  Guestroom Lamp Promotion
Kevin Lubinger, Program Manager, Energy Efficiency, Eversource
a. Hotels tend to vent more air than necessary--forcing their HVAC systems to work hard. Constant Air Regulators (CAR's) assure that guestroom ventilation meets code, but doesn't exceed it. Optimizing ventilation is one of the best ways to cut hotel energy use. A
presentation about CAR's is in this newsletter.

Sheraton Boston completed the installation of CAR's in their bathroom vents. The energy efficiency impact has been impressive. Recently, six more Boston hotels have applied to Eversource for financial incentive to install CAR's. 

Contact Mr. Lubinger ( if you want to learn more about CAR's and the associated incentives.
b. Eversource is also subsidizing an 8-watt RemPhos Merlin LED Table Lamp until Dec. 31. During the promotion period, hotels can acquire the lamps for $8 each. To learn more, contact Mr. Lubinger.

Christopher Bove, President & Sales Manager, R.L. Stone Co.
Domestic hot water systems can multiply the naturally-occurring Legionella virus in their water supply, because they create a good medium for this virus. Outbreaks of Legionnaire's Disease have been increasing, with implications for guest and staff health and hotel liability. 

Stronger regulations based on ASHRAE standard 188-2015 have become more common. Mr. Bove described strategies for preventing Legionnaire's Disease in his presentation.
Here are other domestic hot water systems trends: 
  • Installing high efficiency (95%+) heaters. 
  • Reducing or eliminating hot water storage--using instantaneous heating instead.
  • Right-sizing and insulating pipes.
  • Installing ECM pumps, which cut pumping energy by 75%.
  • Using electronic mixing valves instead of thermostatic ones. The newer valves improve water temperature control, reduce costs, require less maintenance and are safer to operate.  
Barry Woods, Director, Electric Mobility NE

Plug-in electric vehicle (PEV) sales growth has been strong in recent years. Faster growth is expected as PEV's and charging stations get better and cheaper. Every major car manufacturer sells a PEV, or will soon sell one

Hotels benefit from having charging stations (known as electric vehicle service equipment, or EVSE's), because they attract guests, the PEV owner demographic is desirable and EVSE's are a symbol of the hotel's environmental concern. 

Level 2 stations are the logical choice, because they charge cars quicker and cost the same as Level 1 stations.
Smart chargers have more functionality (more data, credit card charging capability, etc.) than basic chargers. However, basic chargers are cheaper, and functionality can be added as needed.
Mr. Woods advises hotels to let customers charge their cars for free, because charging costs are low, the hardware needed to bill customers is expensive and free charging can build customer loyalty. He also recommends: 
  • staying ahead of the curve with multiple stations.
  • providing dedicated PEV parking.
  • monitoring charging station use and the PEV market. 
  • taking advantage of strong MA incentives for installing EVSE's.

Dmitry Solovyov, HVAC/Controls Engineer and LEED Green Associate, Baker Engineering & Controls
Engineering firms and Eversource help hotels identify ways to make their HVAC systems more efficient. Mr. Solovyov provided two examples.
Baker Engineering installed a heat exchanger and variable frequency drive that enables Taj Boston to use "free cooling" when outside temperatures drop below 45 degrees. The project saves 200,000 kWh's and $30,000 per year. Also, it will extend the lifespan of the hotel chiller. The project payback period is one year. It qualified for an Eversource incentive.
Baker Engineering recently proposed an HVAC retrofit and free cooling project at Langham Boston that would upgrade HVAC system functionality, improve hotel comfort and reduce costs. The project would pay for itself in two years.

Green Walls Boost Winter Mood

Interior green walls are trending here in Boston and around the world, according to Cityscapes' Michael Rivers. Like other plantings, they improve ambiance, morale, productivity and indoor air quality. 

Some settings have enough natural or artificial light to support living walls. Others require a boost from grow lights. The two Sheraton Boston installations pictured above (left and center) thrive on the hotel's artificial lights alone. 

Westin Waterfront's green wall is on the right. 

Cityscapes has a fine presentation on the benefits, variety and beauty of green walls. Janice Goodman's presentation about plants' impact on the hotel atmosphere is here
Matthias Kassner, Energy Manager Today, October 27

Wireless LED control systems make it easier to upgrade, adjust and expand lighting systems. 

For example, they enable sensor-based daylight harvesting. Daylighting typically reduces illumination costs 20% - 30% by automatically adjusting light output based on a room's naturally available light. 

Wireless technology is now inexpensive, easy to install and requires minimal maintenance.  

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

December 10:
Le Méridien Cambridge-MIT

I'll post the 2016 meeting schedule soon. See you December 10 at Le Meridien!