There seem to be two schools of thought in regards to achieving greater sustainability. One is based on a behavioural change to tackle societal and environmental challenges. More precisely in managing resources with moderation, restraint, and constraint (e.g. Reduce-Reuse-Recycle mantra). The other approach focuses on developing and implementing technologies to drive change. Here, the premise is that greater sustainability can be achieved if green technology is developed and deployed rapidly. With this in mind and considering the various sustainability challenges as hotels enter this new decade, what are the three (3) technologies to implement in 2020?"
Our three technologies for 2020 are as follows: 1) Continuous performance monitoring, 2) submetering and 3) renewable energy. Let me take them one by one to unpack our approach.
- First, continuous performance monitoring is a technology used to optimize building performance by tracking preset factors (e.g. temperature, pressure, etc.) and providing real-time alerts if faults or inefficiencies occur. It offers instant feedback if anything breaks compared to reviewing actual utility consumption when bills are received.
- The second technology is submetering. Submeters monitor and record utility consumption (electricity, chilled water, hot water, etc.) in discrete areas of the building or for specific systems and send data usually in 15-minute increments for trend analysis. Submetering helps to reconcile business activity with utility usage (like an increased number of events in a certain ballroom), uncover inefficiencies such as simultaneous heating and cooling or validate conservation measures.
- Finally, renewable energy does not need further introduction. While we rely on renewable energy certificates (RECs) to offset some of our consumption, we continue to explore opportunities for onsite generation and, particularly, we are keeping our eyes on building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV). BIPV are making rapid improvements in efficiency and offer a promise to complement energy efficiency projects in our resorts.