conservation is a critical part of any environmentally
responsive hotel, with every effort taken to reduce
total water utilization in each of the three primary
water-using areas: the hotel proper, which includes
the guestrooms and public and "back-of-the-house"
areas; the food-service facilities; and the laundry
installation. To that end, low-flow fixtures and fittings
are used throughout the building.
water-conservation programs, through which guests
can elect not to have bed linen and bath towels changed
every day, are standard in environmentally responsive
hotels. In addition to conserving water, these programs
reduce the use of cleaning chemicals, as well as the
fuel needed to produce hot water for laundering. Because
these programs are voluntary, participation varies
significantly by property, depending on the hotel's
type, its location, and, most importantly, the effectiveness
of its efforts to convey the importance of conservation
and the manner of participation. On the low end, 5-percent
participation has been reported at some properties,
with participation in more successful programs exceeding
Water-conservation efforts are enhanced by minimizing the
amount of wastage associated with hot-water distribution.
Key to this is the maintenance of hot-water-pipe temperature
throughout the distribution system. While extending
hot-water circulating piping to reduce the lengths
of uncirculated dead-end sections is helpful, the
most popular approach is using self-regulating electric
heat cable. Self-regulating electric tracer cabling
can maintain temperature to almost the very end of
use of grey water is another significant water saver.
For hotels, depending on the details of the grey-water
installation, total fresh-water consumption can be
cut almost in half, with associated reductions in
both water and sewer charges. Grey water uses either
mechanical-treatment units or, if the building is
in an appropriate location, natural-treatment facilities,
such as "constructed wetlands" or "living-machine"
technology. The earliest successful hotel grey-water
systems have been in continuous operation for almost
35 years, and their value has been proven economically
and practically. In addition to its use for the flushing
of water closets and urinals, grey water also is widely
utilized for irrigation and washdown. Another primary
use of grey water is cooling-tower makeup. Grey water
is directly usable in cooling towers, provided that
attention is paid to the proper use and rotation of
biocides to control algal slime and growths.
a hotel requires extensive irrigation, water conservation
also can be achieved by collecting and storing roof
conservation in environmentally responsive hotels
involves both the design of systems to minimize pumping
energy and the capture of all available waste heat
to reduce the cost of producing domestic hot water.
Several creative designs have utilized a hotel's walk-in
refrigerator and freezer compressors to pre-heat hot
water. In addition to providing "free" heating, the
water-cooled compressors actually reduce power consumption.
quality is another environmental consideration. Recent
history has indicated that the overall quality and
safety of the nation's water supplies is increasingly
being compromised and cannot be assured. That means
that designs must both provide levels of treatment
beyond the minimal levels currently embraced and fully
assess potential threats. Water quality also has an
impact on the proper operation of water-conserving
fittings such as shower heads, in which scaling from
hard water can reduce flow.
both safety and energy conservation, distribution
temperatures should be kept low (110 F). Unfortunately,
this temperature is insufficient to assure the elimination
of the Legionella organism. Resolving this conflict
most often involves the use of a storage tank with
internal temperatures great enough to prevent Legionella
growth and outlet tempering to minimize distribution
conservation in laundries concerns the use of equipment,
the installation of devices that permit partial reuse
of laundry-waste discharge (for example, the final
rinse being used for the subsequent initial wash cycle),
and consideration of the use of low-temperature washing,
which both uses environmentally friendly washing chemicals
and significantly reduces heating energy.
equipment also can be used in water-conservation efforts;
however, much of the conservation gain in work areas
of kitchens comes through the education of workers
as to the benefits of conservation and their role
in attaining reductions. Gas conservation also is
attainable through the education of staff.