July 20, 2016
Boston Green Tourism
...advancing the green hotel movement
Dear Boston Green Tourism Members,

The presentations from the June 30 meeting at The Langham, Boston are linked and summarized below. See the other sections, too.

Our next meeting will be Thursday September 8 at Boston Park Plaza.

Happy summer!


Boston Green Tourism Meeting

June 30, 2016

Location: Boston Park Plaza
Hosts: Fred Mahoney, Ron Perrine
PresentFred Mahoney, Samantha Sorrin, Tedd Saunders, Bill Scherer, Bob Shatten, Alex Alexandrovich, Karen Weber, Isciane Kponkou, Kevin Lormenyo, Carl Popolo, Pamela St. Aimee, Robert Josie, Rachael Moreland, Kevin Debasitis, Stefanie Seskin, Matthew Goodwin, Suzanne Petri, Dan Ruben. 

Green Initiatives at The Langham, Boston
Fred Mahoney, Director of Engineering, The Langham Boston

Mr. Mahoney discussed projects that make the almost century-old hotel more efficient and modern: 
  • new, efficient chillers.
  • a heat exchanger that uses the steam from the hotel laundry and boiler to heat the chill water to 110 degrees and circulate it throughout the building.
  • a free-cooling heat exchanger for cooling in the shoulder months.
  • new ChargePoint EV charging stations.
  • variable speed drives.
  • LED lighting.
  • window tinting from New England Window Film.
  • demand-controlled conference room ventilation using CO2 monitors.

HVAC Energy Savings with Cloud-Based Software
Kevin Debasitis, Director of Sales - Northeast US, BuildingIQ 
BuildingIQ is an automated HVAC energy management system that uses analytics and modelling to optimize HVAC systems. It reduces HVAC energy use by 10% to 25%, cuts demand charges and qualifies for Mass Save incentives. Hotels will be cash positive immediately, because there are no capital costs and BuildingIQ guarantees that their customers' savings will exceed their monthly fee. 

BuildingIQ provides remote system monitoring, too.

The company's strategic partners include Siemens, Johnson Control and Schneider Electric.

Stefanie Seskin, City of Boston Active Transportation Director

The City's GoBoston 2030 project will improve transportation access, safety, reliability and energy efficiency. It's designed to increase public transportation, bicycling and walking.

Ms. Seskin described Boston's progress in expanding the City's bicycle infrastructure. The City continues to add Hubway stations. Hubway offers 24- and 72-hour passes, which are ideal for visitors. 

Hotels can participate in Boston's bicycling culture by:
  • Providing bikes, locks, lights, helmets.
  • Customizing tours and maps.
  • Sponsoring a Hubway station.
  • Providing complimentary Hubway passes (24- or 72-hour).
  • Installing bike racks in the garage.
  • Working with valet, cabs and delivery vendors to conduct pick-ups and drop-offs without parking in bike lanes.
  • Supporting bike infrastructure projects. 
  • Promoting bicycling for recreation. 
  • Promoting bicycling to get places.
Matthew Goodwin, President, Ver-Tex
Suzanne Petri, Shading Specialist, Lighting Controls Group, Yusen Associates

Many hotels now use daylight harvesting, automated dimmable lighting and controllable window shades, in concert, to reduce energy bills and improve aesthetics. By optimizing the amount of daylight entering guestrooms and common areas, hotels can maximize the positives of natural light (better mood, alertness, productivity, etc.) and minimize the negatives (solar heat gain in warm weather, glare, discomfort, UV radiation, etc.).

Smart automation can assure that shades are in the right position throughout the day, and that lighting levels are optimal. 

Window shade fabrics can be chosen to achieve the desired level of solar absorption or reflection, incoming light levels and insulation value.

Vendors can help hoteliers select the shades and control programs that meet their needs.


Tax Incentives for 2006 - 2016 Energy Efficiency Projects: 
Has Your Property Reaped the Benefits?
When MA hotels implement energy efficiency projects, they usually take advantage of the Mass Save incentives offered by Eversource and National Grid. But fewer take advantage of tax breaks made possible by the Energy Policy Act of 2005.
Section 179D of the Act allows commercial building owners to take tax deductions of up to $1.80 per square foot for energy efficient lighting, HVAC, hot water and building envelope projects undertaken between January 2006 and December 2016.

Congress has extended the Act four times previouosly, and might do so again for 2017.

The Act is technology-neutral. To qualify, a building must exceed the ASHRAE Standard 90.1 - 2001 target (for 2006 - 2015 projects), or the ASRHAE 90.1 -2007 target (for 2016 projects). The sense I get is that most BGT hotels would qualify for at least a portion of the $1.80 / sq. ft. deduction.

The IRS requires that the energy savings be documented in a prescribed manner. For example, they require authentication of the energy savings by a qualified third party. 
Representatives from Energy Tax Savers Incorporated (ETSI) helped me write this article. ETSI helps its clients analyze their potential tax benefits from the Energy Policy Act of 2005 and prepare the documents necessary to apply for the incentives. Their hotel clients have each cut their taxes by as much as $450,000 by using Section 179D.

Local Food Waste to be Converted to Renewable Energy
Hotels using Save That Stuff (STS) to haul away their food waste (aka "organics") will have one more environmental achievement to brag about--their food waste will be turned into renewable energy and fertilizer.
Starting in September, STS will take food waste to the Organics Processing Center located at their Charlestown site. There, it will screened for impurities and grinded. STS will take the purified product to an anaerobic digestion facility at the Greater Lawrence Sanitary District, where it will be turned into methane gas and fertilizer. 

The methane gas will be used to produce electricity and heat. It's considered to be renewable energy, because the methane from food waste would otherwise be released into the atmosphere, where it's a potent greenhouse gas.
If you're curious, here's a 3-minute video that shows how food waste is purified and then processed by anaerobic digesters. 
STS will take food waste from other haulers at their Charlestown site, too. 
The expanded use of anaerobic digestion for food waste is a striking environmental achievement that will make many Boston hotels and other institutions more sustainable.


Rainwater Collection for Hotels and Restaurants 
Bob Drew and Richard Hanson, Ecovie Environmental LLC

Rainwater harvesting can be viable for hotels that have considerable unused roof space or parking lots. Rainwater collection products are becoming cheaper, better and automated. Hotels now use rainwater for cooling tower makeup water, landscape irrigation, laundry and toilets. 

The first article helps hotels and restaurants determine the economics of rainwater harvesting at their properties, how to use the water, what tank type and size to order, how to treat the water and how to pump it.

The second article describes how the Grand Hyatt Atlanta in Buckhead's Director of Engineering designed and installed a system that captures one-million gallons of water per year and directs it to the hotel's cooling tower. The project ROI is 3.8 years. (Note that water is more expensive in Atlanta than Boston.)

The following meeting will be 2:30 to 4:00.
September 8

Boston Park Plaza 
October 13

December 1 

Seaport Hotel

See you September 8 at Boston Park Plaza!
Boston Green Tourism

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Boston Green Tourism | 175 Auburn Street | Newton | MA | 02466