How to make your hotel more energy efficient
The idea of sustainability has long ceased to be a buzzword and instead has incorporated itself into the everyday lexicon of architects, designers, hoteliers and developers. It is no longer enough to build a hotel that runs efficiently in terms of the service it provides to its guest, but it must also perform efficiently when it comes to the running of the actual hotel itself in terms of energy consumption, water waste, refuse production and recycling. We have been told time and time again by sustainable designers that factoring in sustainable solutions at the outset of a project may cost more upfront, but the long term benefits and savings are well worth the initial investment. While it might be easier to consider sustainable solutions at the beginning of a new-build project, it can often be harder, more time consuming and more expensive to try and overhaul an existing hotel to meet modern sustainability requirements and energy regulations. However, there are many small changes that can be made and put into practice to get your hotel running more efficiently and well on its way to becoming more environmentally friendly. Here are a few.
Make sure your hotel is airtight
Heating costs can be one of the biggest energy suckers in a hotel, especially one that is located in a colder area. Weak, badly installed windows are effectively a huge hole in the wall that allows hot air to be sucked out if they are not properly sealed, and poor, ineffective insulation can allow massive volumes of heat to pass through it instead of trapping it inside to make your hotel areas nice and toasty. While a complete overhaul of the windows in a hotel may be costly, changing from old single glazed windows to new double glazing can significantly decrease the heat loss from our building and bring it up to regulation standards.
Be smart about lighting
While many design-conscious hoteliers want their light fixtures to be elegant and unobtrusive, switching out old filament lightbulbs for energy saving lamps can make a huge difference in energy costs. LED lights are also a much better choice for downlighting and striplighting, as they are much more energy efficient and are just as powerful as traditional light sources. Another great tip is to install motion sensitive lighting, especially in common areas like hallways and corridors, as these do not need to be constantly illuminated. They will automatically turn off when no movement is detected, meaning you don’t have to rely on someone to remember to switch off the lights.
Water waste is another huge environmental issue. Install dual flush toilets that save on water, air mixing taps and showers instead of baths to save on water, as if your hotel is operating at full capacity, especially in summer, guests will be spending a lot of time in the bathroom trying to wash off the day spent at the pool or down at the beach, or scrubbing off the city dirt.
Upgrade your AC units
During hot weather, the strain on the air conditioning units can be overwhelming for a hotel’s electricity system, so it is a good idea to make sure all of the AC units are working properly and require the least energy possible to run. AC units are not cheap, but the returns will be visible immediately when you see that the running costs of newer machines are a fraction of older units.
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