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Volume 15 No. 4



Adbourne Publishing 18/69 Acacia Rd, Ferntree Gully, VIC, 3156 PO Box 735, Belgrave, VIC 3160 Melbourne: Neil Muir Ph: (03) 9758 1433 Fax: (03) 9758 1432 Email:

contents 09


Publishers’ Message


State News

5 Digital Signage for Hotels 9 Where technology is headed in 2011 13 HOT11 Conference 15 Regulation Update

Adelaide: Robert Spowart Ph: 0488 390 039 Email:

17 Co-Generation and Tri-Generation 21 Sealing Those Leaks

Production: Claire Henry Tel: (03) 9758 1436 Email:

24 Do In-Room Safes Add Value for Guests?

Administration: Robyn Fantin Tel: (03) 9758 1431 Email:

31 Minimising Risk During the Defects

Marketing: Tania Lamanna Tel: (03) 9500 0285 Email:

27 The Hidden Problem with Plastics


Liability Period

35 The Value of Maintaining Evaporative

Cooling Equipment

41 Townsville’s Exchange Hotel is reborn

with the help of NQAV and Jands

43 Water: Our most valuable commodity 47 Back of House 50 The importance of internet and

redundancy at your accommodation facility

52 Hyatt Regency Sanctuary Cove Keeps an


Eye on Power Savings

57 Science Confirmed at the University of

Queensland (UQ) With 80% Energy Reductions

64 Indoor Air Quality in Hotel Rooms 69 Talking Trash: Controlling Odours and

Germs in Garbage Chutes and Bin Rooms

73 CCTV 76 Going Green and Reducing Your

Energy Costs

79 No Salt Please 83 DIY Pool Water Maintenance – Reducing

Costs and Risks

85 Product News

DISCLAIMER Adbourne Publishing cannot ensure that the advertisers appearing in The Hotel Engineer comply absolutely with the Trades Practices Act and other consumer legislation. The responsibility is therefore on the person, company or advertising agency submitting the advertisement(s) for publication.

Front Cover: Swiss-Grand Resort & Spa, Bondi Beach NSW

Adbourne Publishing reserves the right to refuse any advertisement without stating the reason. No responsibility is accepted for incorrect information contained in advertisements or editorial. The editor reserves the right to edit, abridge or otherwise alter articles for publication. All original material produced in this magazine remains the property of the publisher and cannot be reproduced without authority. The views of the contributors and all submitted editorial are the author’s views and are not necessarily those of the publisher.



Publisher’s Message


n releasing this issue at the beginning of the festive season, some of our readers might not receive their copy in the mail until the New Year. So, belated wishes for your Christmas and the very best for the safe arrival of 2011. We trust the year will be a happy and prosperous one for you all. These thoughts we extend on behalf of all the staff at Adbourne Publishing to each and every reader, contributor and advertiser – the very life-blood of this publication. Peter Swanson is back in this edition with another very informative article, this time on Digital Signage. Derek Hendry discusses how all Hotel Engineers should be aware of Defect Liability periods. Haysam El Hassan from IMC looks at that precious commodity – water, along with water management plans, while among the technology features we look at the internet and Ted Horner discusses Cloud Computing. In our last issue Davide Ross of Pangolin Associates discussed thermography as a technique to target problem areas and improve energy efficiency. This time David takes it a step further by providing an example of how it can be specifically used to detect energy losses with your cool room door seals. We also provide information about the next Hotel Hospitality Exhibition in Sydney which will take in the Hotel Operations Technology Exhibition. A new column is included in this issue from Steve Duggan. He will be writing a series of articles on environmental issues. This first one on plastic – a very convenient product, but it certainly has its share of problems. Steve gives us a real insight with some startling statistics. There is nothing worse than walking near some stinking rubbish. Thanks to Shane Taylor, he takes an in-depth look at ways to control odour in bin rooms and garbage chutes.

Have you heard of Tri-Generation? Derek Simons gives us the lowdown. Thank you to everyone involved in this magazine - we hope you enjoy another issue of The Hotel Engineer.

Regards, Neil Muir Publisher, The Hotel Engineer

s g n i t e e r G s ’ n o s a Se View HOTEL ENGINEER online now! THE

Visit and click on e ‘Th Hotel Engineer’

News AIHE News – Victoria


ello to all! 2010 has been a great year for the Victorian Chapter with some excellent presentations and turn-outs from members. Everyone enjoyed our October meeting at The Sofitel Melbourne with Paul Yardley of Yardley Hospitality showing us a lot of generosity and giving us a terrific presentation.



reetings from NSW chapter. We are reaching the end of another successful year and I feel that over this period we have achieved a great deal of new goals that were set out, but there are many more to be achieved. The membership increase and caliber of Presenters was a notable highlight. The presentation for the September meeting was arranged by Paul Yardley of Yardley Hospitality and Travis Anderson of Philips, who discussed the latest LED Television technology at the presentation. This was followed by the NSW chapter AGM. Election of office bearers took place with all positions declared vacant. I was re-elected as the President of the NSW chapter. Other newly elected members are as follows: Vice President

Carl Van Den Heever


Benjamin Gray


Paul Dimmock

Event Coordinator

Jason Manley

Committee Members

Martin Ryan, Scott O’Brien, Trevor McCarren and Sunny Pan

4 | Vol 15 No. 4 | Hotel Engineer

In November David Zammit of the Grand Hyatt was our host. Steve Field from Sharp showed us the latest 3D and four-colour spectrum LCD/LED televisions which were truly awesome.

All the best to Adam Vince who is taking over my role next year and a big thank you to Peter Barbour who has been my guide and mentor over this journey.

I’ve had four wonderful years as the Meeting Co-ordinator for AIHE Victoria, and wish to thank everyone for their support. It has been fantastic to watch the AIHE Victorian Chapter grow to where it is today.

Stephen Docherty Meeting Co-ordinator AIHE Victorian Chapter

Congratulations to all new committee members and special thanks to Fellow Members, Phil McKendrick and Doug Smith, for their continuing support.

Anura Yapa JP - President AIHE (NSW chapter)

The General Manager Michael Smith of the Menzies Hotel has shown his support to the AIHE during the AGM. His opening speech was insightful and enjoyable. He touched on the essential nature, responsibility, and interaction between Owners, Stake Holders, Guests, and our Staff members, that is required to be performed by HOTELIERS. Michael Smith, GM of The Menzies Hotel Sydney addressing the AGM

This meeting was fully sponsored by the Menzies Hotel Sydney. On another note, our Chapter Christmas gathering will be held at Casa di Nico Italian Restaurant at King Street Wharf on the Friday the 17th of December. I look forward to seeing you all there for what should be an enjoyable and eventful evening. In closing, I would like to thank the committee members, all Engineers and our corporates for their support over the past year and look forward to working with all in the future. Further I would like to thank various hotel General Managers for their support over the last several months. MERRY CHRISTMAS & HAPPY HOLIDAYS.

Regards, Anura Yapa JP President – AIHE (NSW chapter) Chief Engineer, The Menzies Sydney

Digital Signage for Hotels By PETER SWANSON NSW / ACT Business Manager, AMX Australia

This article aims to give you an overview of the world of digital signage. This is a complex area and by no means is the article a “be all and end all” of signage. Hopefully, it will however arm you with knowledge on some of the key considerations to take into account when planning a signage deployment.


here are three main types of digital signage – and no, I’m not talking about screen technologies or the devices that play the content. The three types are based on the different kinds of content you may plan to display and each has potentially different implications and requirements on the hardware and software technology you choose to deploy. The first type is Informative. An informative display provides information regarding things such as events in the hotel, weather, local news and other items. The main focus is on providing the viewer with details that may assist them in their current activities – be that finding the right conference room for their meeting, deciding whether or not to run back to the room for their jacket or simply noticing that an arts or crafts show has just started nearby. There is no imperative beyond informing the viewer so the content may be relatively basic and mainly text based.

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< The second type is Promotional. A promotional display aims to attract the viewer to use other services that the hotel provides – for example, the restaurants, the spa or other facilities that attract additional spending from the guest. Here, the focus is on catching the attention of the guest and then presenting them with offers and options that they would otherwise not have considered. This type of content is definitely of a sales / marketing nature and in order to be effective is usually more vibrant and sophisticated in appearance. The third type is Commercial. A commercial display aims to deliver advertising content to the viewer for products provided by third parties. Such examples might include car rental firms in the local area, or visitor attractions nearby. In this case, there is likely to be some level of formal contract or agreement between the hotel and the third party. This may include the need for specifically formatted content based on the third party’s branding – or content that has been provided by the third party. There may also be a need to demonstrate and report on the time and duration of play out of each file for audit purposes. This will of course depend on the nature of the agreement between the hotel and the third party. The implications of each content type affect different components within the digital signage system. Most signage systems could be generically described as featuring four key components: •

Display device

Signage player

Content input and management server / software

Distribution network

Each of these four components is separately impacted by the type of content and management methods applied to the signage solution.

Display Devices The display device is the most visually obvious element of digital signage, but in many senses is one of the more


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straightforward components to select. The key considerations are usually display size, display brightness, display resolution and energy efficiency / lifespan. Size is frequently dictated by the area in which the screen is being installed and within reason flat panel displays between 40” – 65” are usually sufficient for providing a reasonable signage experience. The type of content may dictate the screen’s size, but this would be the exception rather than the rule. The brightness is a function of the location of the screen and the type of content. A screen in a bright atrium area needs to have much higher brightness output to appear effective compared to one in an internal corridor or lift lobby. Likewise, a screen designed to promote a service or product to the viewer will typically require a brighter image than one which is purely designed as informative (where it is assumed that the viewer “wants” to view the information rather than being “drawn” to the information). The resolution required is highly dependent on the type of content that is planned to be shown – mainly in the sense of ensuring that there are enough pixels on the display to show the information or images that are planned. There is of course a relationship here between resolution and display size – a very high resolution on a small screen will result in illegible text, while a low resolution on a larger display can result in the image looking “blocky” or “uneven”. Most signage systems have high duty cycles and will average between 10 hours per day to full 24/7 depending on their location and function. This means that the device selected must have a long life expectancy and high reliability (typically measured as MTBF – mean time between failures). 3 years of 24/7 usage equates to over 25,000 hours’ use – even at only 10 hours a day the figure is over 10,000. Almost all digital signage applications that are well thought out and implemented become an important part of the environment that they are in, meaning that reliability is a priority. It is particularly important to remember in the case of commercial signage that the reliability of the system impacts not only the

perception of quality in your establishment but may also have implications on the contractual agreement you have in place with advertisers, especially if these relate to number of adverts played each day or similar metrics. It is also important to bear in mind the energy costs. A typical 40” LCD screen may well consume in the region of 200W or more, meaning that at 10 hours a day usage annual energy usage for one screen would be 900kWh or more. Once you start thinking about having 10 or more such displays, you are into the region of over 9MWh on an annual basis. This is a considerable amount of power and the ability to save where possible would obviously be desirable both from a cost and sustainability perspective. Of course, as in all things there is balance and selecting a screen that has low energy consumption but does not meet primary functional needs is not a good plan!

Signage Players and Content Management Software The digital signage player and content management software is more intimately linked to the content types. There are a wide variety of offerings in the market at present and the bewildering range of options means that you are best off establishing a list of needs and expectations prior to starting the process of evaluating which technology is the right fit for your needs. The first place to start is by considering who is going to be responsible for actually generating and managing the content being shown on each screen. In some cases, you may want a company to set up initial content templates that are then updated at a relatively basic level by internal staff. In other scenarios, you may have an IT team member on site who will be responsible for ongoing updates. A third scenario might be an ongoing contract with a technology provider who sets up content based on your instructions and requests. Each of these structures dictates a preference for different types of user interface for the management software and may necessitate features such as unique user login / password access >

Digital Signage for Hotels (continued)

< for different parties, or approval prior to publishing. Approval features enable staff to review externally generated content prior to it being displayed on the screens. Whichever method you choose, it is imperative that you have an effective process in place to keep the signage content up to date and relevant. People quickly stop looking at signage when they realise there is nothing new, interesting or relevant to them – avoiding this is an absolute must! While the start of this article might suggest that you would use signage for discrete functions, the reality is that many signage screens mix a combination of Informative, Promotional and Commercial content with the mix changing throughout each day. This means that you need a signage solution that is well geared to managing a variety of content types and sources through various system topologies and here is where things can start to get confusing. Signage players broadly operate in 3 or 4 categories. The first and most basic are the standalone players where content is loaded on a USB memory stick and plugged into the player for display. This is obviously a very manual approach to updating, but means that the player can operate without being connected to a network – which may be of benefit if it is logistically challenging to achieve a wired or wireless network where you want the screen to be located. The second category utilises a similar approach, but with network connectivity so that players can be updated remotely with new content. The process remains manual and it is up to the operator to instigate an upload.


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The third category features players which are programmed to interrogate a remote server and download any new content. Such players act as “standalone” devices for most of the time, but are scheduled to automatically search for any new content when required. The fourth and final category operates on more of a “client-server” model whereby the players each refer back to a central server for all signage information and content. Effectively, the server manages the actual play-out of the content whereas in the third category it is simply managing the distribution of the content. There are then choices about what formats of content file you may want to be able to display. To name just a few, there are MPEG2, MPEG4, WMV, AVI, RSS, iCAL, .CSV, HTML, XML, FLASH, JPG, BMP, PNG, EPG and the list goes on… and on… and on. The fact is that no single signage system is compatible with every file format and permutation so the exercise is more about defining what genres of content you want to present and then selecting file formats based on your needs in each genre, who or what company is producing the content for you and how you are transporting the files across networks. Genres of content include Video, Audio, Images, Text, Widgets (fully enabled data / image animations such as weather forecast graphics) and Database resources. Most digital signage applications will feature one or more instance of each genre, meaning that any digital signage solution being considered should be able to handle these genres – even if the file formats vary. An important part of getting the best out of digital signage solutions is to accept a level of flexibility on file formats in order to tie in with other features you will likely want. Examples include content / workflow management and processes, reporting/logging of content playout, backup capabilities and ability to interface with other systems. There are also considerations in terms of the procurement structure. Some providers offer cheaper hardware while coupling this with annual license costs,

others structure licenses as an upfront cost (similar to buying Microsoft Office or other software packages) and others simply bundle the software in when you buy the product. Each of these structures can be attractive for different reasons, but it is important to be aware of them when choosing.

Distribution via the Network The final significant consideration relates to the structure of the network that will deliver new content to the signage players. As alluded to in the section on signage players, there are various ways to achieve this. At the simplest level, a person may take USB memory sticks to each signage player and physically insert new content. This is a very basic approach and assumes that there is no physical network connection. It is obviously preferable to have monitoring of systems via a network, so this should only be considered in situations where it is not possible to achieve a wired or wireless network connection – or there is no network to connect to. Assuming a network exists, there are really two main choices within a typical building. The first is a wired connection which provides the greatest reliability and bandwidth for new content downloads. Such network connections are the same as for any regular PC – i.e. Category 5, 6 or 6A cabling depending on the standard of network in the building. For wireless operation, you will need to review the player’s capabilities. Some offer wireless as an option or can be converted to wireless via a dongle attached to the network or USB port. In either case, it is particularly important to review the number of wireless devices in a given area as well as security and other IT implementation considerations. Do bear in mind that when downloading via the network there will be an impact on bandwidth. If this presents as a major issue with your IT team, it may be worth considering a separate network with a bridge/router to the main network to minimise the traffic impact. So, that in a rather large nutshell, is a welcome to the world of digital signage. n

Where technology is headed in 2011 By TED HORNER

The 3 big trends in hotels moving forward are: • Cloud Computing • Mobile Applications • Energy Management


oday we will focus on cloud computing, next edition will focus on mobile applications and finally energy management.

Definition of Cloud Computing What, exactly, is this cloud? Put simply, the cloud is a collection of computers and servers that are publicly accessible via the Internet. This hardware is typically owned and operated by a third party in one or more data center locations In short, cloud computing enables a shift from the computer to the user, from applications to tasks, and from isolated data to information that can be accessed from anywhere and shared with anyone. The user no longer has to take on the task of data management; he doesn’t even have to remember where the data is. All that matters is that the information is securely in the cloud, and thus immediately available to that user and to other authorized users.

Inside the Cloud: How Cloud Computing Works In cloud computing, a network of computers functions as a single computer. This network exists in the cloud of IP addresses that we know as the Internet, offers massive computing power and

storage capability, and enables wide-scale group collaboration. Individual users connect to the cloud from their own personal computers or portable devices (such as Apple’s iPhone or iPad). To these individual users, the cloud is seen as a single application, device, or document. The hardware in the cloud (and the operating system that manages the hardware connections) is invisible. This cloud architecture is deceptively simple, although it does require some intelligent management to connect all those computers together and assign task processing to multitudes of users. Each cloud uses various monitoring and metering functions to track usage so that resources are apportioned and attributed to the proper user(s).

Understanding Cloud Services Any Web-based application or service offered via cloud computing is called a cloud service. Cloud services can include anything from calendar and contact applications to word processing and presentations to business applications, including but not limited to PMS, CRM, CRS and POS. An individual user runs the application over the Internet, typically within a Web browser. The browser accesses the cloud service and an instance of the application is opened within the browser window. Once launched, the Web-based application operates and behaves like a standard desktop application. The only difference is that the application and the working data remain on the host’s cloud servers. On the downside, cloud services can only be accessed when a user has a live >

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Where technology is headed in 2011 (continued)

< Internet connection; they’re not suited for instances where no Internet connection is available.

Why is cloud computing important? For developers, cloud computing provides increased amounts of storage and processing power to run the applications they develop. Cloud computing also enables new ways to access information, process and analyze data, and connect people and resources from any location anywhere in the world. In essence, it takes the lid off the box; with cloud computing, developers are no longer boxed in by physical constraints.

For your hotel’s IT department, cloud computing offers more flexibility in computing power, often at lower costs. With cloud computing, IT departments don’t have to engineer for peak-load capacity, because the peak load can be spread out among the external assets in the cloud. And, because additional cloud resources are always at the ready, companies no longer have to purchase assets (servers, workstations, and the like) for infrequent intensive computing tasks or new hotel openings. If you need more processing power, it’s always there in the cloud – and accessible on a costefficient basis. For a hospitality organization’s end users, cloud computing offers all these benefits and more. An individual using a Web-based application isn’t physically bound to a single computer, location, or network. Their applications and data can be accessed wherever and whenever. They don’t have to copy every document and file when moving from office to home

to remote location. Gone also is the fear of losing data if a computer crashes. Documents hosted in the cloud always exist, no matter what happens to the user’s machine. And then there’s the benefit of group collaboration, for both individuals and organizations. General Managers and other key personnel can collaborate on the same documents, applications, and projects, in real time. It’s a whole new world of collaborative computing, all enabled by the notion of cloud computing. For everyone concerned, cloud computing does all this at lower costs, because the cloud enables more efficient sharing of resources than does traditional network computing. When you tap into the power of the cloud, you get supercomputing power at personal computer prices -- something that offers particular appeal to hotel companies in today’s economy. n


dapting to a changing environment is no easy task but one that can also offer opportunties. This year’s HOT11 conference gets to the heart of these changing technologies and will demonstrate that as the social media revolution continues, organisations are finding new and innovative ways of connecting with their customers and reducing operational costs. For those of us in the hospitality industry it is a challenging, bewildering and exciting time. However you view the future you can be certain that change and innovation is accelerating. New leaders are emerging with the vision to adapt or change their business models to embrace the opportunities created by the social web and the cloud.

With this in mind the HOT11 conference addresses: • Harnessing opportunity from the social web and ‘the cloud’ • Is your Property digital ready – how do choose a system that

incorporates mobile applications, broadband and wireless? • Sustainable technologies and applications – power & water workshops To challenge your thinking and broaden your horizons we are delighted to have secured Paul Peddrick as one of our keynote speakers at this year’s conference. In his role at TIG Global, Paul oversees creative direction and custom application development for the company’s growing client roster of brands, independent hotels, and Destination Management Organizations across the globe. By focusing on the nexus of usability and technology, Paul outlines how to maximize brand development, functionality, efficiency, and revenue in their online presence. Overall we can promise 2 days of thought provoking sessions that will signpost emerging trends and prepare you and your organisation for the knowledge and information challenges of 2011.

We look forward to welcoming you to the HOT11 Conference at the Sydney Convention & Exhibition Centre from Tuesday 15th – Wednesday 16th March 2011 Register online at

Regulation Update By DEREK HENDRY

Aust: New Planning for Emergencies Standard Hotel Engineers need to be aware that Australian Standard AS3745:2010 ‘Planning for emergencies in facilities’, has just been released. This Standard supersedes AS3745:1995 titled ‘Emergency control organisation and procedures for buildings’. The new Standard reflects a more modern and holistic approach to life safety within facilities and as such, there are many significant changes. There is greater recognition for a broader range of emergency situations (that is, other than the fire focus) including those that could be classified as security risks and threats. There is a reference to security officers who are part of the Emergency Control Organisation such as Chief Wardens, and the Standard now has more mandatory requirements. Among the changes, the Standard also requires building owners/managers/ occupiers action as follows: 1) Complete a comprehensive hazard and risk assessment of facilities and incorporate these into an Emergency Management Plan. This will require an upgrade of all Emergency Response Procedure manuals published under the guidelines of AS 37352002 (or earlier versions) 2) Production and installation of Evacuation Diagrams containing content, design and orientation of the diagrams as mandated by the Standard. For a copy of the Standard, go to the SAI Global website at http://www.infostore.

Aust: Access to Premises Update The Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (DDA) has been in effect since March 1993, and prohibits discrimination against people with a disability or their associates in a range of areas including transport, education, employment, accommodation and premises. The DDA is complaintsbased (as opposed to compliance-based) legislation. To date, the DDA has not had detailed technical requirements, so there has been no clear way of ensuring that a building complies with the Act. In contrast with the DDA, the Building Code of Australia (BCA) contains specific provisions for people with disabilities for access to and within buildings, although it is limited to work on new buildings and substantial alterations to existing ones. While the BCA has been gradually modified over the years to align itself more closely with the DDA, the current technical requirements of the BCA are not considered to meet the intent and objectives of the DDA.

Extensive community and industry consultation was carried out, two drafts were formulated, regulatory impact assessments were conducted and public hearings in the Commonwealth House of Representatives were held. The Access to Premises Standard have now been formulated, and contain an “Access Code for Buildings” (ACB) which, in May 2011, will be incorporated into the BCA and replace the existing provisions of the BCA for people with disabilities. In this way compliance with the BCA can be deemed to be compliance with the DDA. Hotel Engineers need to be aware that from 1 May 2011, the BCA more extensively covers features such as lifts, stairs, ramps, toilets and corridors in buildings such as office blocks, shops, hotels, motels, and common areas of new apartment buildings. In addition, various Australian Standards upon which the ACB and the BCA rely have been revised to more effectively provide for people with disabilities.

Moreover, compliance with the BCA, even if it met the objectives of the DDA, could not legally be deemed as satisfaction of the DDA, and for this reason in April 2000, an amendment was made to the DDA to allow the Australian Government’s Attorney-General to formulate ‘Disability Standards for Access to Premises’ (Premises Standard).

Through the introduction of the Premises Standard, the BCA will provide greater certainty for business and those responsible for building work, and provide for national consistency and reducing different regulatory arrangements.

This work was undertaken by the Australian Building Codes Board, the Australian Human Rights Commission and the Building Access Policy Committee (BAPC), which was a community and industry representatives committee.

Hotel Engineers and Managers are advised that there are a number of checks and balances required when selecting and engaging contractors to undertake maintenance and testing of Essential Safety Measures. >

Aust: Sound Contractor Engagement Processes

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< While sound contractor selection processes will not generate revenue, mistakes in selecting the wrong contractor to maintain and test your fire protection systems could be costly. Hotel Engineers, owners and relevant managers should make themselves fully aware of the minimum standards and engage suitable specialist maintenance contractors (SMC) to provide inspections and testing at their buildings or facilities. The first step is to implement a system that specifies your requirements of the contractor. Implement a system; • • •

Ensure your KPI’s can be met (you set the benchmarks) Monitor the effectiveness and relevance of the service delivery Maintain the documentation necessary to substantiate performance (and develop a system to deal with missed services. Ask the SMC how they will report on, and deal with, any services that the agreed payment covers, but are subsequently missed.) Take ownership of the processes and gain control of the contractors

Always verify that the SMC you consider for engagement has the credentials to protect your interests; References Check that the SMC has references from current contracts at similar scale buildings. Not all SMC have the experience or

capability to test and maintain larger scale industrial or high rise commercial buildings. Licensing Ensure that the SMC has appropriate trade licenses for the systems in your buildings or facilities. Insurance Ensure that the SMC has sufficient insurance coverage and provide certificates of currency for; • • •

Public and Product Liability Professional Indemnity Workers Compensation

One Stop Shop Approach Avoid using SMC that claim they can test, inspect, repair and certify all ESM. It is advisable to always ensure repairs and certification is independently verified. Many companies will primarily use sub contractors for the delivery of services. The risk exposure situation with using SMC that use sub contractors is often unclear – for example, the insurances of the primary contractor may not be valid when sub contractors are engaged. Annual Statements Ensure that your SMC is contractually required to provide an annual sign off for the level of testing and standards in order to ensure compliance, and to provide the documented evidence necessary to support your Annual Fire Safety Statement (AFSS). Contracts Contracts or service agreements need to be drafted to include service delivery over a 12 month period. Annual, triennial, 5 year and even 24 year testing and overhaul regimes are mandatory, and these periodical services are often overlooked for the following reasons: • • •

They are not specified to the contractor The SMC contract has finished and as a consequence, the service has not been provided. Inadequate level of oversight and management of maintenance regimes

The importance of benchmarking SMC performance and creating an overlay monitoring and management program to ensure maintenance and compliance objectives are met is clear. What is measured can be managed, and management is about planning, organisation, leadership and control (POLC). n

About the Hendry Group Derek Hendry is the Managing Director of the Hendry Group of Consulting companies, including Essential Property Services. Derek pioneered the ‘private certification’ system of building approvals in Australia, and his nationally based consultancy offices assist clients in all facets of building control and essential safety measure audits. The Hendry Group publish an e-newsletter entitled ‘essential matters’, available online at, and their new service, BCA Illustrated (at www., offers 3000 illustrations explaining and interpreting the BCA as it applies to your building.


Co-Generation & Tri-Generation By SIMONS GREEN ENERGY

The combination of everincreasing electricity costs, along with the positive perception of environmentally sustainable practises, sees us amidst a time of change for businesses of all types, Hotels included.


uture Government Legislation may also play a part. An example of this is the recently introduced Building Energy Efficiency Disclosure Act, which commenced on 1st November this year. The Act requires owners and lessors of commercial office space with a net let-able area of 2000m2 or more, to disclose the energy efficiency rating to prospective purchasers and tenants. The National Australian Built Environment Rating System (NABERS) provides the benchmark for auditing. Similar programs are planned for Hospitals, Data Centres & possibly Hotels and Clubs. The installation of a Natural Gas Fired Co-Generation or Tri-Generation System greatly reduces a building’s electricity costs and carbon footprint, while increasing its energy efficiency. These systems will also provide backup emergency power generation capability, removing the need for a conventional Diesel Fired Generator.

What is Co-Generation & TriGeneration? Co-Generation or combined heat and power (CHP) technology converts gas into both electricity and heat in a single process, at the point of use. The system consists of a natural gas fired engine connected to a generator to provide electricity. The waste heat from the engine and exhaust gases are captured and used to supply process heat requirements, such as space heating potable hot water & steam. The cost associated with providing heat from traditional sources is therefore removed, as the process heat now provided from the cogeneration system is free, being sourced only from the waste heat of the Generator. Tri-Generation as the name implies, refers to the production of three functions – Electricity, Heat and Chilled water. It takes Co-Generation one step further through the use of an Absorption Chiller. The Chiller is also supplied with waste heat from the Generator to provide chilled water for Air Conditioning, thereby replacing a traditional electrically driven Chiller. Absorption Chillers use only environmentally friendly refrigerants, with no ozone layer depleting chemicals. Changing from a traditional electric Chiller to an absorption non-electric Chiller can make a huge difference to facility greenhouse emissions. Absorption Chillers can convert otherwise waste heat to chilled water with COP’s of up to 1.2.

Due to the significant need for cooling in Australian buildings, Tri-Generation will generally be the most cost effective option.

Why Tri-Generation? Savings are achieved directly as electricity costs are reduced through partial replacement of supply with selfgenerated power, and indirectly as other fuel costs are reduced or eliminated by the application of waste heat for these purposes Tri-Generation produces the best results in applications that have a constant and substantial heat &/or cooling load. >

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How Cost Effective and Efficient are Co/Tri generation Systems? When establishing the cost-effectiveness of a Tri-Generation system for any building, one must consider the relationship between its heating, hot water, cooling needs and the electrical loads of the plant. Given the correct mix of heating/cooling and electrical loads, Tri-Generation can produce savings for typical buildings in the order of tens of thousands of dollars per annum. Also as Tri-Generation systems are typically 75% to 85% efficient, which is up to 40% more efficient than conventional technologies, these systems can be significantly cheaper to operate than separate electrical supply and heating operations. In some cases, in addition to displacing mains electricity, Tri-Generators can also sell surplus electricity back to the grid, thereby recouping their initial investment cost more quickly and thereafter generating a healthy financial return.

How to Test if Tri-Generation is suitable for your Hotelâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Operations? Tri-Generation should be considered if your Hotel has a reasonably constant requirement for both heat, cool and power during a normal operating day and throughout the seasons. The heat requirements may be for space heat, process heat, steam or hot water. Prior to the application of a Tri-Generation system to a building, a detailed analysis of the central plant performance and operations should be undertaken. These investigations should also be conducted under various stages of loading and at different times of the year to ensure the cost-effectiveness of the proposed system. Simons Green Energy is one of the only companies in Australia capable of supplying a complete Tri-Generation solution. We handle the SEVA cogeneration systems from Germany and the Shuangliang Absorption Chiller sets from China, to complete system.

Cogeneration systems range in sizes from 5kWe to 3,000kWe, while the Absorption Chillers range in sizes from 1000kWr to 6,980kWr. Our services include sizing, supply, installation, service & maintenance of Trigeneration systems. For more information or in your next project please call Henryk Sliwa or Derek Simons on 02 8338 8660 or 0403 720 105 or email

Simons Green Energy 755 Botany Road Rosebery NSW 2018 02 8338 8660 02 8338 8661


In the previous edition of

The Hotel Engineer, Pangolin

Associates highlighted the use

Water seepage and moisture migration within the insulated wall Deterioration of insulation due to uneven ageing Defects in joining methods.

of Thermography as a novel

technique and solution to identify

Energy conservation in cold storage

and target problem areas to improve energy efficiency. In this current edition, we wish to expand a little more on Thermography and provide a specific example of the significant potential cost savings that can be made from the most humble of areas - faulty coldroom refrigeration seals. As it will be shown, this is a potentially very costly oversight that is so easily remedied with thermography.


hermography is a technique that enables engineers to determine specific reasons for failure of some insulated bodies in providing the required insulation effectiveness and air tightness standards. Defects such as thermal bridges and airflow through gaps can all be visualised through thermography. The following list is an example of the heat leakage sources in insulated equipment that can be detected through thermography: •

• • •

Thermal bridges protruding through the insulation (e.g. hinges, corners and brackets) Uneven destruction of the insulation (e.g. forklift damage) Defective insulation ‘curing’ Defective door seals and gaskets

Performance of a refrigeration cycle is usually described by a coefficient of performance (COP), defined as the benefit of the cycle (i.e. amount of heat removed) divided by the required energy input to operate the cycle [1]. This concept is highly relevant to understand energy use in refrigeration plants, given that the electricity used by the compressors is the major energy input in a refrigerated facility. Although pumps, condensers and other ancillary equipment also consume electricity, the cumulative use of all ancillaries is only 10 to 15% of the compressor energy use [2]. Energy use in a cold storage facility is affected by the amount of heat the refrigeration equipment must remove and the efficiency of the equipment. The main sources of heat in a facility for long-term storage are transmission through walls, evaporator coil fans, lights, air leakage, and (in the case of fresh fruits and vegetables) respiration of the stored commodity [3]. Currently, only refrigerated display cabinets manufactured in or imported into Australia must comply with Minimum Energy Performance (MEPS) requirements, which are set out in AS 1731.14-2003. There are no MEPS requirements for coldrooms, although there is a push from the Australian Government Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities to introduce a standard. The introduction of a standard is somewhat harder for coldrooms than for commercial units because the construction

is highly specific, the efficiency of insulation varies from unit to unit etc. Despite the strong evidence of substantial cost effective opportunities to improve the energy performance of coldrooms, the customer focus on minimising capital costs and entrenched industry practices have impeded the uptake of new efficiency opportunities [4]. However, the cold storage industry is now moving to at least have a benchmark of energy use.

Leaking seals The effect of leaky door seals is often seen as a factor decreasing the insulation effectiveness of a refrigerated space or as an insignificant air infiltration flow when compared to door openings. However, air leakage through defective seals will occur at all times during the equipment’s operation and thus it is a constant drain of energy. In particular, the cost of the increased defrosts due to permanent air leakages is significant. An example of thermal leakage from a faulty seal is shown in Figure 1. The extra energy required to balance the mixture of leaked warm, moist air and the air inside the refrigerated space is significant. Moisture will eventually move towards the evaporator, producing frost,which will eventually need defrosting. The latent heat needed to defrost the excess humidity due to air leakage represents about 50% of the total air infiltration heat load due to faulty seals, thus increasing the total energy costs. Results of calculations on the energy costs resulting from varying degrees of door sealing efficiency for a large cold store (58,500 m3), assuming the existence of five sliding doors (2.3 m x 2.7 m) and two staff access doors (0.8 m x 2 m) is shown in Figure 2 [5]. These estimates indicate that even with a few gaps representing only 10% of the total door seal area per door,

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in catering and hospitality, maintenance engineers are well advised to review the integrity of their coolrooms [4].

Figure 1 Thermographic view of leakage from a faulty seal in the pictured unit

the annual energy costs due to air leakage are substantial (i.e. about $5,000 per year). This is based on a average electricity cost of AUD$ 0.14/kWh, which is an estimate of 2008 electricity charges in Victoria when network and energy charges, line loss, metering and renewable energy levies are included for a plant operating 24/7 and using peak and off peak energy on roughly equal proportion. When one considers that the cost of replacing seven door seals is about $1,200.00 (seals priced at $10.00 per meter and 7 hrs of labour at $50/hr.), it makes sense to take corrective actions (e.g. fix/ replace the door seals) as soon as door seals present any signs of leakage. Single thermographic surveys can commence within a range of $1,200 to $1,400. Table 1 illustrates the estimated cost/benefit ratio weighing expenses and energy saving benefits of preventive and corrective maintenance for a single cold store only.

Table 1 The cost/benefit ratio for cold stores Single thermographic survey


Repair costs


Energy cost savings


Total benefit


Cost/benefit ratio


GHG emission savings (tCO2-e)


The analysis presented was based on a large warehousing cold storage facility, which ranges from warehouses as small as 2,800 m3 to large distribution facilities at over 200,000 m3. Equally, one can easily extrapolate these findings to stand-alone walk-in coolrooms (WICs) (which typically are less than 280 m2) and refrigerated transport (including containers), which will yield proportionately similar potential energy savings.

The potential savings from an annual inspection and programmed maintenance schedule to simply review door seals would certainly add up nationally. One only needs For every dollar invested the return would to account of the existing stock of WICs in be over two dollars per year. Factor in the Australia, estimated to be in the order of significant electricity prices rises over the 64,000 units, consuming an estimated 914 last couple of years, and these benefits GWh of electricity per annum, (equivalent are amplified even further. to approximately 7% of total electricity used in Australia for commercial refrigeration) to realise the magnitudes involved. Given that the majority of WICs (around 60% of stock by quantity) are used in food service environments to provide bulk storage for commercial kitchens involved Figure 2 Energy cost savings from various door sealing options [5]

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Thermography is an attractive preventive maintenance solution for cold stores. Clearly, the financial case for the use of annual thermographic surveys to detect simple aspects such as air leakages through door seals in cold stores is very strong. Thermography can also be utilised as a tool to provide significantly detailed reports which also review ambient temperature distributions of warehouses and cold rooms, uneven degradation of insulated panels, motor, compressor, evaporator and heat exchanger performances and refrigerant leak detection. Excellent savings are made when companies like Thermoview, Food Chain Intelligence and Pangolin Associates combine to provide holistic energy efficiency solutions for your business. If you would like any further information, please contact Pangolin Associates, Food Chain Intelligence or Thermoview. n

References 1.

ASHRAE Handbook. 2005. Fundamentals. Chapter 1: Thermodynamics and refrigeration cycles. pp.1-3.


A.C. Cleland and D.J. Cleland. 1994. Costeffective refrigeration. Massey University, P.N. New Zealand. pp. 2.2 .


J Thompson. 2001. Energy Conservation in Cold Storage and Cooling Operations, Perishables Handling Quarterly Issue No. 105, pp 7-9.


Mark Ellis & Associates Pty Ltd With: P. Brodribb, R. King, T. Fairclough, K. Finn, In from the cold, Vol. 2, 2009.


S Estrada-Flores, Chain of Thought, Vol 1, No. 3, 2008, Food Chain Intelligence.

Silvia Estrada-Flores is Principal Consultant and founder of Food Chain Intelligence, a Sydney-based, niche consultancy firm that specialises in the application and evaluation of innovative technology in food supply chains. Silvia is a member of the International Institute of Refrigeration (IIR), the Logistics Association of Australia (LAA) and the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP, USA). She is Vice-President of the IIR working party on energy labelling in the cold chain. Silvia can be contacted at Davide Ross is a chemical engineer by profession with more the 15 years experience in the area of energy efficiency and greenhouse gas audit services. Davide is a director of Pangolin Associates and can be contacted at

Do In-Room Safes Add Value for Guests?

Gidon Sattinger of Vintech Systems considers this important issue.


ecent industry research has revealed that guests in all levels of accommodation spend not only require, but also expect an inroom safe. This criteria forms part of accommodation choices – and return visits for accommodation consumers. Thus Hoteliers and Accommodation Managers find themselves seeking the best available in-room safes for their facilities – both in terms of value for money, but also in terms of the all important longevity of product. Prevalent in the market today – in all spheres of consumer life – are products

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developed en masse on production lines that are committed in turning out quantity rather than quality. Many of these types of safes are imported from nearby shores at very low cost with little or no technical backup and spare parts availability. Facility managers that are lured into buying these low budget safes then find themselves with troublesome product that soon need to be replaced for more sturdy and reliable models. Hoteliers that elect to buy proven European safes that have been developed and improved over decades of manufacture at the same plant find that the initial expenditure lasts over many refurbishments. These safes are designed to fit into any décor over time and never look out of place. In addition, their reliability through the inclusion and

use of quality steel and tested technology, ensures that -in the main - all that is ever needed are replacement batteries. This is the value that Hoteliers place on quality inclusions that, nonetheless, are reasonably priced and accessible despite exceptional manufacture. For guests, the value is in having the facility of an in-room safe at their disposal. For their peace of mind they need to secure their valuables such as laptop computers, passports and other valuable documents, watches, camera, jewelry and the like. An added factor is the peace of mind of having items locked with their own pre-selected password. Yet for this to be a value added experience of their Hotel stay, this facility needs to be reliable and trouble free. Thus the Hotelier who chooses the trouble free

safe chooses to ensure positive guest experience. As an adjunct, having a secure safe reduces the liability of the Hotelier with regard to his insurer so the right choice at the outset has long term ramifications all round. Quality inclusions of in-room safes that have been specifically designed to ensure a user friendly, highly secure and well built guest room safe generally include some of the following features:

Keypad – Ideally the buttons should be illuminated so that they too can be clearly viewed in the dark. ADA compliance is also an important feature especially for guests with vision impairment. Additionally if the safe you purchase can offer a 6-digit pin option, your guest has the security of up to 500,000 pin code entries.

Memory Events – it is essential that a quality safe has capacity to retain sufficient records. When making a purchasing decision, we advise that you purchase a product that can store up to 500 individual time and date stamped events. Display – A large digit display, clearly presenting the numbers from every angle and especially when they’re hidden in dark cupboards will be an asset and is a desirable feature to acquire.

Interior Illumination – Further on quality and ease of access in terms of design features, if the safe includes an LED which lights up the interior of the safe

as the door is unlocked you will not only please most guests, but also ensure that property is not inadvertently left behind. Intelligent Design – Most safe hinges allow only a degree of opening. Quality design allows the door to open 130 degrees, therefore making it possible to insert a laptop into a small safe box.

Secure Construction –Top quality safes have hidden hinges so that there are no access points where the door can be jacked open by unauthorised users. Key Override – For security this should never be included. Mechanical

Do In-Room Safes Add Value for Guests? (continued)

key cylinders can be breached by unauthorised users and using a key will defeat the purpose of an audit trail. This in turn reduces the security of your safe + highlights that the manufacturer may rely on a key in an emergency rather than a secure technological solution available with quality safes. Hotel’s Handheld Override (Safe Logger Unit) – Sometimes, the threat to a hotels’ security can be the rare unscrupulous staff member. Hotels constantly strive to employ the best and most professional people, but sadly this is not always a

reality. The handheld devise used by the Front Office, requires the entry of two passwords prior to being used to emergency open a safe. This ensures that the two staff will always be aware of any safe opening other than by the customer. In conclusion, there are a number of security facts, awareness and considerations which we would encourage any Hotelier or Security Manager to consider when researching the purchase of Digital in- room safes. Low prices are not everything and quality purchases can be cost effective as well as add the all important value to a guest’s accommodation experience so that it is positive and encourages return visits. Keeping your guests’ belongings secure while they stay with you is unarguably a priority, so while you tend to their wellbeing, give them the peace of mind that their belongings are completely secure with a quality European in-room safe. n

The hidden problem with plastics By STEVE DUGGAN

Welcome to my first article about the environmental issues that affect all of us working with in the hospitality industry as well as the opportunities and possible solutions that can help us make a positive contribution to the environment, our properties, the industry and the community we share.


n this first article I want to talk to you about plastic, a material that was created around 104 years ago and which has made its way into every aspect of our lives. In fact its hard to imagine a day without any contact with plastic - from our household cleaners, food packaging right through to the credit cards and computers and even clothing, we use every day plastics are more useful and versatile than almost anything else in our daily lives. But unfortunately with even with all this convenience there is a major hidden plastic problem, which is having a major impact on our environment and the planet we share. This hidden problem is what am going to cover in this article.

So what is plastic and when was it discovered? The majority of what we know as plastic today is made from one major ingredient: oil. The same kind of oil that fuels our cars. The first completely synthetic version of plastic was discovered in 1907 and the Rayon, Nylon, acrylic, and other polymers then began to hit the market. In 1933 plastics revolutionised the world, with the invention of Polyethylene by two chemists working for the Imperial Chemical Industries Research Laboratory. In fact when we think of plastic most of it comes from Polyethylene â&#x20AC;&#x201C; some examples are food packaging, shopping bags and dry-cleaning bags. >

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The hidden problem with plastics (continued)

What are the problems of plastic? Today we live in a consumer throw away environment, we never really take the time or have an interest in what happens to those plastic items we use on a daily basis once they have been tossed into the rubbish bin. Unfortunately plastic is a major issue for all of us and every day this problem grows. To demonstrate the volume of plastic consumption and in turn the problem here are some amazing figures: •

The number of plastic bags used worldwide each year is estimated to be between 4 to 5 TRILLION.

The Amount of oil used annually to produce those plastic bags is estimates to be between: 17,200,000,000 to 21,500,000,000 gallons.

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The number of plastic bags used by just the American population each year is 110,000,000,000.

The amount of plastic bags recycled in the United States in 2006 was only 2%.

The amount of plastic used worldwide every year just to bottle water is estimated to be between 1,500,000 to 2,700,000 tons.

2 MILLION plastic beverage bottles are used every 5 minutes in the USA. (Earth911 on-line)

Approximately 5 billion amenity bottles are disposed of each year by the top 300 hotel groups.

These are amazing numbers, but with it come a corresponding disturbing set of figures. This is the hidden impact and problem behind plastic. To highlight the problem here are some disturbing facts:

It is estimated that 2.4 million pieces of plastic enter the oceans every hour;

On a deserted remote Hawaiian beach scientists discovered that among the grains of sand, and to a depth of several feet, were billions of tiny plastic flecks. See no beach in the world today is free of plastic particles in fact there are beaches today which have more plastic particles and actual sand.

The plastic garbage trap in the ocean chokes and kills at least a million seabirds every year and 100,000’s marine mammals.

Fragments of plastic collected from the sea around Japan have been found with concentrations of carcinogenic chemicals at levels one million times higher than in the surrounding seawater; and,

in some areas of the Pacific ocean there are six times more plastic bits than plankton.

That every piece of plastic produced that has not been incinerated is still in existence on this planet today.

See the short-term convenience of using and throwing away our plastic products carries a very inconvenient long-term problem. These plastic items and gadgets we dispose of on a daily basic are rarely recycled. Globally it is estimated that we currently recover only 5% of the plastics we produce through recycling. So l guess you’re now asking yourself what happens to the other 95%? Well approximately 50% is buried in landfills (where it will take hundreds of years to break down) or incinerated (which results in air pollution). The other 45% remains “unaccounted for”, meaning its litter in our environment and where it ultimately washes out to the sea. This plastic plague is clogging our waterways and damaging our fragile marine ecosystems, with plastic particles now being found in the marine food chain. See plastic doesn’t biodegrade, it just breaks down to smaller and smaller particles (never completely disappearing) with the aid of sunlight and wave action, and these small particles look like food to the fish and aquatic life that are consuming it. As if that wasn’t bad

enough, it could also be killing us, as we consume the chemicals that the fish have taken in by eating the plastic.

So where does all this floating plastic end up? Our oceans are made up of complex networks of currents that circulate water around the world. This coupled with wind and the earth’s rotation, create what are now called “gyres”. There are 5 major gyres across our oceans, which have been discovered and they are massive slowly rotating whirlpools of rubbish in our oceans in which plastic trash accumulate. The biggest of these Gyres is called ‘The North Pacific Gyre’, and it is huge in size. It currently spans and area roughly twice the size of the United States and is growing day by day.

So what can we do to make a difference? There are a lot of little things that we can do both at home and at work to make a

difference. Every little step we take has a positive influence to our environment. Here are a few suggestions:

1. Implement a recycling program at home as well as in your property, to separate the plastics from other waste.

2. Replace any plastic drinking cups with glass.

3. Use plastic items that contain Eco Pure® , an organic based additive that allows plastic to biodegrade in landfill conditions.

4. If you work or live near a waterway or beach, join a local organization that is dedicated to cleaning up the local environment or rubbish especially plastics.

5. If you see a piece of plastic litter on

the ground, pick it up and put it into a covered bin. Remember even by picking up that piece of litter you are having a positive impact on the environment. n

If you have any questions you would like to ask or comments to make about this article please email me at steve@

Minimising Risk During the Defects Liability Period Since each building or refurbishment project is in many respects unique, for hotel engineers, managing the defects liability period in the first year of the life of new or refurbished facilities can be a daunting task. There are however, items that are common to all projects, and Derek Hendry, Director, Hendry Group, reports on the issues that need to be considered in order to ensure the desired outcomes.


he defects liability period is usually a 12 month period, post construction or fit out, that is in effect, a warranty on the building fabric, installed infrastructure (including testing and maintenance regimes) and workmanship. The project manager or owner normally holds a retention sum under the terms of the building contract for this period, and would only release this sum if all defects have been rectified and if maintenance services have been provided adequately during this period. The financial liability of the property owner and the potential risk of the hotel engineer during and after the period can be reduced considerably through analysing the undesirable outcomes from previous projects; through implementing contractual requirements designed to mitigate (or properly apportion) risk, and through managing the defect issues that present themselves, to offset their future occurrence. In most cases building contractors through to tenants, contribute to the hotel engineer’s risks during the defects liability period, causing contractual clauses to be examined and tested. And at times like these, the lack of clear guidelines (contractual requirements) for those in the process, can lead to the hotel engineer being exposed to risks such as liability for expensive rectification works after the defect liability period, or non compliance penalties, pursuant to state building occupancy regulations. A far better option is to ensure those people who are contracted to deliver a service or product are made accountable to the hotel engineer, and that they are made aware of this accountability early

in the delivery process. There are some items that are highly recommended to be included in a contract, and whilst in the main these items will not “add” extra cost to the contract value, (as they are already performed by most providers), they are not usually offered, since they are not requested. The lack of diligence in the contract liability period may lead to a lack of protection for the contractor, consultant or hotel engineer when issues arise in the post occupation period. Hotel engineers therefore, need to be heavily involved at the commissioning stage with all those involved in the process of building a new building, or altering an existing building or when issuing a tenancy agreement.

Builders Most commercial building contracts require the head contractor (builder) to perform periodical maintenance, including maintenance and testing of essential safety measures; to establish procedures such as cooling tower risk management plans/registration, and to implement maintenance and testing in the building during the defects liability period. The builders contract should have provision in its clauses for compliance with mandatory statutory regulations by the builder during the defects period: • •

• •

Essential Safety Measures requirements Occupancy approval – use, number of occupants, type of use as specified in occupancy permits, occupation certificates or certificates of classification etc. Occupational health and safety requirements Trade waste licences and agreements

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Cooling tower registration, risk management plans and testing and maintenance regimes Hazardous substances and dangerous goods

Regular inspections, testing and maintenance needs to be performed for each essential safety measure nominated, including passive safety measures such as exits, and fire resisting structures during the defect liability period. The hotel engineer needs to ensure the builder keeps a record of all inspections, tests and maintenance works performed in a log book(s), so that the signing of any annual statement will meet regulatory requirements. The hotel engineer will need to establish whether it is a requirement of the builder to sign an ‘annual statement’. If so, this action must be stated in the builder’s contract, (as all active and passive safety measures need inspecting throughout the preceding 12 month maintenance period at different times), and to meet minimum required standards. Hotel engineers should also note that the builder’s auditors, or inspectors of safety measures may not be as rigorous as those independently employed by the hotel engineer, as negative reports have a cost impact on the builder. All statutory fines and penalties imposed on the owner due to unsatisfactory maintenance of safety measures should be reimbursed by the builder. The hotel engineer must check and verify that all conditions on the development consent and construction approval have been met by the builder. This should also include the owners and consultants conditions.

Building Contractors The general standard of commissioning of completed safety measures (for example such items as fire services, exit signs, and smoke control measures), leaves a lot to be desired. Hotel engineers should ensure that contractors (and consultants engaged to design) who install and commission these systems are contractually bound to ensure that commissioning is done to a specific standard. This standard may well

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be in excess of the statutory requirements of the building approval and, therefore, the appointment of a building surveyor to issue construction approvals and occupancy approvals may not be sufficient protection for the hotel engineer. We recommend the contract include specific provisions to require appropriate sign-off of important features in the building. The following is a limited sample list. Specify that a “Contractor Completion Certificate” be provided upon completion of the work. The “Contractor Completion Certificate” should also be accompanied by the following documentation: • •

Certificate of Compliance of the installation from the contractor. Where applicable a commissioning report signing off on a safety measure under the relevant Australian Standard and/ or An independent certification of the installation.

Note: Most state and territory legislation does not require “Contractor Completion Certificates”, however, these documents are critical should “civil litigation” arise as a result of the inadequate installation of safety measures. Engage competent consultants to oversee the building work, sign-off (certify) the contractor’s installation work, and witness commissioning tests. The consultant should then be required to certify that the completed work complies with the applicable Australian Standard and the construction approval. Engage where possible only accredited certifiers to certify the completed works. Note: Certifiers of contractor works may not need to be approved practitioners, and therefore, (like all industries), some certifiers are more competent than others. It is essential that the credentials of the proposed certifier be examined prior to their appointment, to ensure that they have the appropriate qualifications and experience necessary for the proposed works. Industry bodies and accreditation boards (for example the Australian Fire Safety Practitioners Board and the Fire Protection Association of Australia)

accredit practitioners to certify specific safety measures. These organisations should be contacted to confirm a certifier’s accreditation. Check if they have professional indemnity insurance. Ensure that the services consultant and certifier witness full scale commissioning of safety measures where the interfacing of a number of systems are involved (for example fire protection systems, HVAC plant, fire pumps, and EWIS systems) to ensure that all systems operate as intended. Fire Door Certificates from the fire door installer, confirming installation compliance with AS/ NZS 1905.1. standard. A certificate from contractors certifying that service penetrations through fire rated building elements have been correctly fire stopped pursuant to the tested prototype, or smoke sealed for any penetrations through smoke walls. A certificate from the sprinkler contractor and/ or independent certifier, certifying that the sprinkler system installation has been carried out in accordance with the approved drawings, specifications and AS 2118.standard. A certificate from the mechanical contractor certifying that the air handling plant or system providing ventilation, has been installed and commissioned in accordance with the approved drawings, specification and AS 1668.2.standard. Verification from the contractor that fire dampers have been provided and installed in accordance with AS/ NZS 1668.1 standard, and the approved drawings (a location plan should be a requirement).

Consultants Contractual obligations placed on the consultant must include their engagement during the construction phase and the production of documents signing-off the completed works. Typical considerations include: A structural engineer’s field reports, inspection reports and certifications for the structural building work.

Letter of compliance from the consulting engineer for the installation of the emergency lights and exit signs, confirming compliance with relevant Standards (AS 2293.1, AS 3000) and that a logbook is provided on site for the owner. The witnessing of tests done by an independent approved fire safety tester, confirming flows, pressures and installation of the fire hydrant and that the fire hose reel is in accordance with AS 2419.1, AS 2441, AS 1221 standards. Letter of compliance from the consulting engineer for the installation of the smoke and thermal detectors, confirming compliance with the approved drawings and specifications, and AS 1670 and AS 3000 standards, together with evidence of alarm line connection and a copy of the commissioning report. Letter of compliance including commissions testing and report from the consulting engineer for the installation of the emergency warning and intercommunication system (EWIS) (audible alarms and Brigade intercom), confirming compliance with the approved drawings and specifications, and Standards AS 2220.1 and AS 1670.

hotel engineer’s consent in writing. Some intended uses may not be allowed and this can be a significant problem when the tenant is already in occupation. The tenant must be required to provide a copy of any statutory approval or consent together with the approved drawings and documentation to the manager or hotel engineer before building works are allowed to commence. Upon completion of the building works, the tenant must also provide a copy of the council’s or private certifier’s confirmation of satisfactory completion of the building works under the state legislation. The tenant, prior to making any formal applications, must provide the manager or hotel engineer, in writing, the following documentation: •

Tenants Tenants can severely affect the defects liability period by unwittingly interfering in the process. The hotel engineer must ensure that for the life of the tenancy agreement, control mechanisms are in the lease to ensure the tenant seeks the managers or hotel engineer’s acknowledgement or specific written approvals where required. Hotel engineers must ensure a ‘double up’ by contractors doesn’t occur. Do not have a lease agreement requiring the tenant to employ maintenance contractors when the builder is contracted to maintain the same items for the first 12 months. This is a recipe for disaster. The following issues should be considered by the hotel engineer: Any proposed building works or alterations that require a development consent or construction approval are not to be raised with a controlling authority without first obtaining the managers or

Confirmation on the extent of regulatory compliance required. For example, does the whole building have to comply with certain provisions of the Building Code of Australia (BCA) that are not already embodied in the original Building Approval. Confirmation on whether the building surveyor proposes to use performance based solutions under the BCA, and if so, detail these and the impact on the building, relative to increased maintenance costs, before the design is completed for the hotel engineer’s consideration and approval to go ahead. Sufficient evidence that the building surveyor has the necessary skill and experience to perform the tasks required for the proposed alterations. The anticipated safety measures, listing the performance standards and frequency of inspection for the safety measures.

The tenant is to provide to the hotel engineer all supporting documents relied upon by the building surveyor to issue any statutory approval. The tenant shall upon completion of the building works or alterations provide to the hotel engineer a copy of the safety measures issued for inclusion in the buildings safety measures logbook.

The hotel engineer must check and verify that all conditions on the development consent and construction approval have been met by the builder.

If building works in the tenancy area (including works outside of the tenant’s area) causes an increase in maintenance costs for that tenancy or for the whole building, then these costs could be recovered, for example, by the manager or hotel engineer under the lease. The tenant or tenant’s contractors must provide to the hotel engineer statements, certifications or certificates as required by the hotel engineer for inclusion in the safety measures logbook for presentation to the controlling authorities or other interested parties on an annual basis. Commercial leases should ensure the tenant provides uninhibited access at all times for contractors, fire brigade officers, council building surveyors or consultants to inspect, test or maintain safety measures within the tenant’s area, where the tenant fails to comply with minimum mandatory standards. Any legal documentation must prohibit a tenant from approaching a controlling authority requesting any information, service, or inspection or notice to be issued on the property unless first obtaining permission from the manager or hotel engineer in writing. The tenant is to allow for the posting within their tenancy, any statutory documentation required to be displayed by any controlling authority. Ensuring these measures are effectively identified, managed and accounted for, will assist in ensuring risk is apportioned appropriately, and minimised for the hotel engineer or owner where possible. n

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The Value of Maintaining Evaporative Cooling Equipment By BALTIMORE AIRCOIL AUSTRALIA PTY LTD

Cooling Tower Maintenance and Upgrades... What’s in it for You? How about Savings in Time, Money, Energy and Longer Life?


n evaporative heat rejection device enables building owners and operators to take advantage of the operating cost savings inherent in water-cooled systems. A wellmaintained tower enables the entire cooling system toperform at optimum efficiency by conserving both energy and water.

A newly installed cooling tower reliably delivers the design fluid temperature and flow rate. However, since its heat transfer operation creates a “hurricanelike” environment and is a natural “airwasher”, the cooling tower needs routine inspection and maintenance to continue performing as designed.

A Cost-Saving Opportunity Owners and operators who have a working knowledge of cooling tower preventive maintenance and upgrade technology will get the most out of their cooling towers.

A cooling tower is selected to provide a fluid (usually water) to a system at a specific design temperature and specific flow rate (l/s). If the delivered temperature of the fluid to the system is higher than desired, system performance suffers.

Their efforts can yield beneficial results, including:

Owners gain operating cost benefits when they implement a regular, comprehensive cooling tower maintenance program. Today’s building owners are constantly challenged to keep operating costs down and are anxious to learn ways to get the most out of their systems with the least expense. Therefore, owners are motivated to purchase system equipment that is energy-efficient, reliable, and maintenance-friendly. When properly maintained, water-cooled systems meet these objectives.

The cooling tower is often the forgotten component of the system when it comes to maintenance. It’s a good example of the phrase “out of sight, out of mind”.

• •

keeping them running smoothly and reliably increasing cooling tower life expectancy maintaining and potentially improving performance

This article will take a look at routine maintenance and suggest ways to improve cooling tower performance.

Cooling Tower Basics In an open circuit cooling tower, warm water from the heat source is evenly distributed via a gravity or pressurized nozzle system directly over a heat transfer surface called “fill” or “wet deck”, while air is simultaneously forced or drawn through the tower, causing a small percentage of the water to evaporate. The evaporation process removes heat and cools the remaining water, which is

collected in the tower’s cold water basin and returned to the heat source (typically a water-cooled condenser or other heat exchanger). See diagrams next page. Similarly, in a closed circuit cooling tower or evaporative condenser, the heat is rejected indirectly from a fluid or vapour flowing through the coil section by spraying re-circulated water over the coil section, again evaporating a small percentage of the water in the process. The temperature at which the cooled fluid is returned to the system measures tower performance. This temperature can vary depending upon the actual cooling load, water flow, airflow, and the entering air conditions.

Preventive Maintenance Performing routine preventive maintenance is paramount for consistently achieving the desired temperature and flow rate, and plays an important role in maximizing cooling tower operating life. Today, those manufacturers conscious of the importance of maintenance offer many features which simplify these procedures,

Hotel Engineer | Vol 15 No. 4 | 35

Open Cooling Tower 1. Air in; 2. Air out; 3. Hot Water in; 4. Cooled Water out; 5. Water; 6. Wet Deck Surface; 7. Cold Water Basin; 8. Water Distribution system; 9. Eliminators

saving time and money. To perform properly, all tower components must be kept clean and free of obstructions. The following sections describe standard maintenance procedures for optimized operation. These procedures can prevent loss of efficiency in the heat transfer section by maintaining proper water and air flow, as well as preventing corrosion in the cooling tower. Maintenance frequency will depend largely upon the condition of the circulating water, the cleanliness of the ambient air used by the tower, and the environment in which the tower is operating. More detailed information will be provided by the Operating and Maintenance Manual.

Strainer Fundamentally important to the performance of a cooling tower is a method to minimize contact between air and waterborne debris and the system components. This is accomplished with strainers. Strainers in the tower provide a means of keeping debris out of the condenser water loop. Strainers in the cold water basin outlet prevent debris from reaching the pump. Some towers feature low-pressure drop pre-strainers upstream of the hot water basin to prevent clogging of distribution nozzles. This added feature eliminates the need to access the distribution nozzles. Both strainers should be routinely inspected and cleaned as necessary. Some tower designs allow external access to the

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Vol 15 No. 4 |

Hotel Engineer

Closed Circuit Cooling Tower 1.Air in; 2. Air out; 3. Fluid in; 4. Fluid out; 5. Wet Deck Surface; 6. Cold Water Basin; 7. Water Distribution System; 8. Coil; 9. Spray Water Pump; 10. Eliminators

strainers, which enables maintenance to take place without the need to turn off the unit.

Water Distribution The water distribution system should evenly distribute water over the fill section or coil section via either a gravity distribution system or a pressurized spray system. If the water distribution is found to be uneven, the nozzles need to be checked. Clogged nozzles should be cleaned in accordance with the manufacturerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s recommendations. In a gravity distribution system, the nozzles can be externally accessed, visually inspected and cleaned by removing the hot water basin covers on the fan deck. Most pressurized spray distribution systems use nozzles and branches held in place by snap-in rubber grommets, which allow easy removal to clean and flush debris.

Cold Water Basin Since some debris will eventually make its way into the cooling tower, the unit design should facilitate debris removal. A well-designed cold water basin is sloped toward the strainer to keep dirt (which can accelerate corrosion) from accumulating throughout the cold water basin. The basin should be kept clean by occasionally flushing the dirt out of the system through the tower drain. Another way to accomplish this is to install basin sweeper piping in conjunction with

water filtration or separator devices. Water filtration saves maintenance costs by reducing the dirt in the cooling water system, which in turn reduces the time required to clean the cold water basins. It also reduces water treatment cost, as water treatment chemicals tend to work more effectively in clean water. Foreign particles in dirty water can absorb treatment chemicals, thus requiring the distribution of even more chemicals to properly treat the tower water.

Make-Up Though most of the water in the system is recirculated, some water must be added to replace what is lost by evaporation and bleed. Bleed is the defined as the water that is discharged to prevent the accumulation of solids in the recirculated water. The make-up water system provides the means to replace the water via a mechanical float ball and valve assembly or an electronic water level probe assembly (with solenoid valve), which measures water depth in the cold water basin. The make-up water supply pressure should typically be maintained between 1 bar and 3,5 to ensure proper valve shut-off and avoid â&#x20AC;&#x153;chatterâ&#x20AC;?. If the supply pressure is higher than 3,5 bar, install a pressure reducing valve. The operating water level of the cooling tower will vary with system thermal

load (evaporation rate), the bleed rate employed, and the make-up water supply pressure. Some tower designs offer access to the make-up assembly external to the cooling tower, which allows easy basin water depth inspection and adjustment without the need to turn off the unit. The tower water level should be set in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations to ensure no air enters the pump suction, but not so high that water is wasted through the overflow when the tower is shut down.

Bleed To prevent the accumulation of solids in the recirculating water, the tower should be equipped with a bleed line (including a metering connection and globe valve) connected to a nearby drain. In a closed circuit cooling tower or evaporative condenser with a circulating pump, a metering valve to control the bleed rate should be provided at the pump discharge. While a manually adjusted bleed valve is the simplest system, getting the proper bleed rate can be a problem, as cooling tower loads vary throughout the day. A conductivity meter connected to a solenoid valve solves this problem by maintaining the proper cycles of concentration at all times. Also, it is recommended that a separate meter is installed to measure bleed volume, since less water is discharged to drain than supplied to the cooling tower. This can reduce sewer water charges. The bleed rate should be adjusted to prevent an excessive build-up of impurities in the re-circulating water. This is largely dependent upon the local water quality and the evaporation rate. Constant bleed and replacement with fresh water will prevent the accumulation of impurities. To obtain specific recommendations, contact a competent water treatment professional for your area.

Mechanical Drive System The mechanical fan drive system has several components, which should be checked regularly. Many of these components operate at high speed. Follow proper lock-out/tag-out procedures, including locking out all

motor disconnect switches before working on the mechanical system. Cooling tower fans are typically driven by belt or gear drive systems. Both require routine maintenance to ensure reliable, trouble-free performance. Belt drive systems are popular, yet reliable, offer single point adjustment, and have no limit on turndown capabilities for variable speed applications. If a problem does occur, a simple change of the belt is usually all that is required, and replacement components are readily available. Gear drives provide reliable operation, when properly maintained. If a problem occurs, resolution may be more involved if a gear box rebuild or replacement is required. Some manufacturers offer both systems to meet user needs or preferences. To ensure proper operation of a belt drive system, tighten drive belts to manufacturer’s specifications. In gear drive systems, the oil level and quality, as well as shaft alignment should be checked regularly in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations. When starting up a new unit, lubrication for the fan shaft bearings is typically not necessary, since most units leave the factory already greased. However, for seasonal start-up, purge the fan shaft bearings with new grease (per manufacturer’s recommendations). Fan shaft bearings should be lubricated after every 2,000 hours of operation or every three months (whichever occurs sooner). Motor bearings should be lubricated as recommended by the manufacturer’s instructions. For maximum life, it is best to install motors with a “cooling tower duty” rating.

The Importance of Clean Operation Cooling tower components must be kept clean and free of obstructions. Neglecting the cooling tower will lead to higher than desired return water temperatures to the system, which will result in higher energy usage from two perspectives. First, the system (chiller) will consume more energy because it must operate at a higher than necessary condensing pressure (head) to satisfy the load. Due to the higher fluid temperatures provided by

the cooling tower. As little as 1°C higher temperature can result in 6% more energy being consumed by the chiller. Second, the tower must operate longer at higher fan horsepower while trying to attain the design cold water temperature.

Common Problems: Causes, Effects and Solutions Regardless of how often routine maintenance is performed, like any other mechanical component, problems with cooling towers may sometimes materialize unexpectedly. These include elevated leaving water temperatures, drift, and corrosion. Should any of these problems occur, follow the actions listed and contact the cooling tower manufacturer’s representative or water treatment supplier for assistance. Check Cooling Load: If the actual cooling load exceeds the design load for which the tower was selected the leaving water temperature will exceed the design specification. Check Water Flow and Distribution: Visually inspect the water distribution system to ensure the spray distribution nozzles are clean and correctly installed and are distributing a uniform spray pattern over the fill. In counterflow towers, measure the pressure at the cooling tower inlet connection and compare it to the design pressure provided by the manufacturer. For towers with a gravity distribution system, the operating level in the hot water basin (typically between 5 cm and 13 cm) can be correlated to a specific flow rate. Check Air Flow: Cooling towers should be located where an unimpeded supply of fresh air is available to the air inlets. The cooling tower air discharge should also be at least as high as any surrounding walls to reduce the possibility of hot, moist discharge air being recirculated into the air inlets, creating artificially elevated entering wet-bulb and leaving water temperatures. The cooling tower and surrounding area should be examined for air flow restrictions which may cause blockage of the air inlets. Check for clogging or improper distribution of water across the

Hotel Engineer | Vol 15 No. 4 | 37

Incorrect Orientation of Tower and Neighbouring Walls 1. Induced Draft Cooling tower; 2. Prevailing Wind

tower fill and check for proper operation of capacity control dampers in centrifugal fan towers to ensure proper air flow. The dampers, airfoil blades located in the discharge of the fan housing, help achieve tight temperature control and energy savings by matching cooling tower airflow to actual load requirements. Though you may encounter dampers in older existing units, today’s towers tend to take advantage of variable frequency drive technology (VFD’s) to control capacity. VFD’s help save energy, do a better job of following the load, and help reduce wear and tear on the drive system. Check Ambient Conditions: Cooling towers are selected to produce the required leaving water temperature at the design cooling load and entering wetbulb temperature. Whenever the actual entering wet-bulb temperature is higher than design conditions, the leaving water temperature will also be higher. The result is decreased energy efficiency. Drift occurs as air flows through the cooling tower and carries water droplets out of the tower. Drift eliminators are installed in the discharge stream to remove water droplets from the air. In a properly maintained system, efficient eliminators will reduce drift loss to a negligible percentage of the design flow rate. If excess drift occurs, check drift eliminators for proper installation, spacing, and overall condition. Examine the fill for even spacing, to insure there is no clogging or blockage, and check water and air flow as described above. Repair or replace eliminators as necessary.

Proper Orientation of Tower and Neighbouring Walls 1. Induced Draft Cooling Tower

Corrosion is always a concern with cooling towers because of their ability to wash the air of impurities. These impurities cause scale, corrosion, and eventually damage to system components after long-term exposure. If a constant bleed of the system is ineffective to combat scale or corrosion, chemical treatment may be necessary. A successful chemical or water treatment program should satisfy the specific guidelines set by the manufacturer, provide effective microbiological control, and be compatible with the system’s materials of construction as an integral part of the total water treatment program. Potential airborne impurities and biological contamination (such as Legionella) should be controlled through the use of biocides, and such treatment should be initiated at system start-up and continued regularly. For specific recommendations on biological control, consult a competent water treatment supplier. All biological control treatments must be carried out so as the installation meets the requirements of Australian / New Zealand Standard AS-3666 or local legislative requirements.

Performance Improvements Older, structurally sound cooling towers can be retrofitted with upgrade kits to: • • •

conserve energy restore or improve performance facilitate maintenance

To conserve energy, two-speed motors or variable frequency drives (VFD’s) can be added to the mechanical drive system.

VFD’s offer a wide range of speeds to closely parallel operating requirements, and pony motors provide the added benefit of redundancy in the event of a motor failure. A popular energy conservation approach employs a pony motor system with a VFD controlling the lower horsepower motor. To improve performance on water distribution systems, kits are available to replace older, smaller nozzles or troughs with large-orifice, clog-free design. Retrofit fill kits now exist that easily replace the original fill that may be clogged with scale or airborne debris. Access platforms can also be added to existing cooling towers to facilitate maintenance.

Conclusion Paying regular attention to the forgotten system component, the cooling tower, through a regular, comprehensive maintenance program can save time, money and energy while increasing the tower’s life expectancy. A well-maintained tower is a candidate for retrofit kits designed to enhance performance and lengthen its life. Owners and operators save money through preventative maintenance technology. If you are not regularly performing routine maintenance on your cooling tower, implement a comprehensive maintenance program today. n

This article was supplied by Baltimore Aircoil Australia Pty. Ltd.

Hotel Engineer | Vol 15 No. 4 | 39

Townsville’s Exchange Hotel is reborn with the help of NQAV and Jands Townsville’s Exchange Hotel in Flinders St East has received a fabulous multi-million-dollar transformation and now boasts five separate themed areas as well as a bistro and a nightclub on its second level.


orth Queensland Audio Visual (NQAV) supplied and installed a comprehensive audio visual solution for the venue that included the design, supply, installation and commissioning of a vast array of equipment into the multiple zones. Established in the 1880s, the hotel is Townsville’s oldest and is consequently steeped in history. “The project was fast paced, and included many changes to the initial plan due to the age of the building structure in fact there were many surprises that no one could have predicted!” commented Darryl Byrne, NQAV’s Sales Manager. “Consequently the system had to be flexible right from the start to allow for changes as the project progressed.” JBL speakers, particularly the Control series, were supplied throughout the venue. As the Jade Bar was to be utilised as a function room with an intimate feel, a selection of wall mount speakers, including two JBL Control 29AV loudspeakers, two JBL Control 25AV loudspeakers, and one JBL Control SB210 subwoofer, were used. This room also has two local wired inputs, one at the front and one at the rear for local sources such

as DJ’s or Karaoke. The Long Bar is a public bar with three JBL Control 25AV’s, the Bistro also has two JBL Control 25AV’s for background music, also with a local input, whilst the Tiger Bar utilises four JBL Control 29AV’s with two local wired inputs.

The nightclub Zanzi is setup in stereo in particular for DJ’s. Originally this was to be a dance club, with regular open mic, hip hop nights, and the occasional band. As time progressed, this varied to a live music venue, with local, interstate and

Hotel Engineer | Vol 15 No. 4 | 41

Townsville’s Exchange Hotel Is Reborn With The Help Of NQAV And Jands (continued) < international touring bands. The front of house system installed consists of two hanging JBL AM4212 speakers and two JBL MRX518 subs punching out over 8000 watts at peak, or 1670 watts continuous. On top of the front of house are seven wall mount JBL Control 29AV loudpseakers operating as fills for the room. With Zanzi having a stage for bands, a 16 send and 4 return cable snake was installed from the stage to the DJ booth, connecting up to a 24 channel Soundcraft mixing desk. The additional 8 channels are utilised by three Shure SLX wireless systems, local inputs from the DJ booth, etc. To reduce ongoing hire costs, a Shure drum microphone kit, and a combination of Shure instrument and vocal microphones were supplied. Four dbx 31 band equalisers and a JBL EON315 powered speaker were supplied to match the existing fully functional powered speakers for foldback. For keyboard and acoustic guitar connection to the mixing desk, four dbx DB12 active DI’s are used. BSS BLU-160 configurable signal processor and BSS BLU-BOB “break-out box”, offering 8 channels of analog audio output expansion, control the whole venue’s audio switching. BSS was chosen for its reliability, ease of use, full DSP, accuracy and value. The BSS provides a matrix of all inputs capable of being switched to any output. ”The flexibility that the venue has with this setup is outstanding,” said Darryl. “With the installation of a camera fixed to the stage, and the use of the BSS Matrix, the venue is able to sell tickets to a live concert, and a cheaper cover charge for any of the other bars, where the stage can still be seen and heard.” Along with the wired inputs, there are also connections provided for five Nightlife systems, three Austar decoders, five set top boxes for free to air television audio, one Shure SLX wireless microphone with reception across the whole site, and the output of the 24 channel mixing desk. In total there are 21 inputs switchable to any one or a number of the seven zones. Amplifying the signal is a range of Crown amplifiers to match the quality of the JBL speakers, also chosen for their intelligent settings. ”The Crown power amps have multiple impedance, plus a myriad of other features, that are all software controllable from the front panel,” remarked Darryl. “Three CDi 1000’s, two CDi 2000’s and two XTi 4000’s amplifiers provide the power for the speakers to reach the desired SPL the venue is allowed.” Being the backbone of any venue, the audio system needed to be reliable, of significant quality, and easy to use. The system that NQAV designed and installed was based on providing outstanding flexibility, functionality and a good quality sound over and above what the intended outcome that was initially expected.  NQAV also installed some extra lighting on top of what the hotel already owned. The new equipment installed includes two Jands JLX Pro lighting bars joined together to give 12 outlets across 4.7m. These outlets run down to a Jands Wall Mounted Patch System and then either into a 12 channel dimmer or directly into a 240 Volt power point. n

Water: our most

valuable commodity

By Haysam El Hassam | Environmental Scientist, Independent Monitoring Consultants

It is a common misconception that water is generally regarded as an abundant resource. However, approximately 97% of all water on Earth is stored in our oceans, 1.69% is stored underground and another 1.74% is frozen in ice-caps and glaciers.


pproximately 3% of the earthâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s water is classified as fresh and less about 0.01% is available in rivers, lakes and streams for access as water for human consumption (see Figure 1). Moreover, this precious resource is not dispersed equally around the world based on population distribution, for e.g., the Asian continent, which supports more than half the population has only 36 percent of the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s water resources. This situation is exacerbated by the fact that many water resources are shared by multiple countries. Currently there are 263 river basins that are shared by two or more nations and that are home for roughly 40 percent of the global population (United Nations, 2004). Being and island continent, fortunately Australian water resources are ours alone. However, given our geographical location and the effects of drought, utilising our water resources is imperative whether at home or the workplace. The recent drought and the continued impacts of global warming have

Figure 1: Distribution of the Earthâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s water (US Geological Survey, 2010)

brought the issue of water conservation and management to the forefront of environmental and economical research and debate. The quality of water and its components within the greater water cycle impacts on the use of water and water consumption. Aquatic biodiversity, stream and riverine ecology and human uses for water supply, recreation and agriculture are all affected by the physical, chemical and biological parameters of water. Indicators of water quality are classified as Physical (colour, turbidity, suspended solids, conductivity, and temperature), Chemical (dissolved oxygen, nutrients, heavy metals, and trace organic compounds) and Biological (microorganisms including bacteria, parasites, and viruses).

In general, there are three sources of water in any domestic, commercial or industrial process that can be monitored. These include water to sewerage, stormwater and wastewater. Sewage water is any waste discharged into underground pipes and main trunk lines originating from bathroom, kitchen, laundry etc which flow away from communities to sewerage treatment plants. Here, sewage water is treated (usually tertiary treatment) prior to being discharged to the ocean or rivers. Stormwater is runoff that flows across a premise as a result of rain water, surface water or ground water. Stormwater systems (also called stormwater drainage) consist of gutter drains, open channels >

Hotel Engineer | Vol 15 No. 4 | 43

< and underground pipes to channel this increased quantity of runoff away from urban areas and into water bodies in order to avoid flooding problems. As stormwater flows over roads, streets, parking lots it picks up pollutants such as litter (cigarette butts, paper, and plastic bags), animal droppings, sediment, nutrients, oil and grease and other contaminants which end up in our rivers, streams and oceans. Wastewater is water that has been used within a household, commercial or industrial process/activity. This includes cleaning or manufacturing which as a result, contain waste products. Water from commercial and industrial premises is discharged into the sewerage system, usually after it has been treated to an acceptable standard stipulated by a trade wastewater agreement or licence with the water authority of concern. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Trade Wastewaterâ&#x20AC;? is trade waste and any liquid, which may be produced from an industrial or commercial activity. Industrial wastewater treatment systems technology will vary based on the type and concentration of pollutants in the water and can be physical, chemical or biological treatment or a combination of all three techniques. Sewage is considered a subset of wastewater. There is, however, heightened awareness that our increasing use of water and its disposal as a vehicle for carrying our wastes back into the environment is not a sustainable practice. Engineers, scientists, politicians and society in general is now demanding and working towards new ways of water management which can protect our scarce fresh water resources and our environment as well as providing a quality of life which is acceptable to society. With respect to our water reserves, an integrated approach is needed for shortterm and long-term planning to meet future requirements for all uses including basic human needs, environmental sustainability, agriculture, recreation and economic uses. The Department of Energy, Utility and Sustainability NSW (now NSW Office of Water within the DECCW) describe integrated water cycle management as a way of managing water in which

Figure 2: Comparison of systems with no integration (1A) to full integration (1B) (DEUS, 2004 now NSW Office of Water)

all components of the water system are integrated so that water is used optimally. This optimal use should result in minimal impact on the water resource and on other resources and users. For a local water utility this means that the three main urban services, water supply, sewerage and stormwater should be planned and managed in an integrated manner to ensure that the maximum value is obtained from the resource and that an appropriate return to the environment is maximised. A comparison of traditional and integrated approaches to water management has been presented in Figure 2.

Using the concept of an integrated management plan as the basis of a site specific Water Management Plan (WMP) within a greater Environmental Management System (EMS) for commercial and industrial operations and processes is beneficial. Such a WMP should be designed to utilise rainwater tanks as a means of storing stormwater. This enables stormwater to become a part of the non-potable water supply whilst reducing potable water consumption, reducing the impacts from stormwater runoff, and reducing the infrastructure requirements for stormwater amongst other factors. In storing stormwater, >

Hotel Engineer | Vol 15 No. 4 | 45

Water: our most

valuable commodity (contâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d) < choosing appropriate sized storage tanks, pipes, pumps and treatment systems is crucial to optimising water storage and use. Implementing housekeeping procedures and protocols to incorporate correct rubbish disposal (including cigarette butt disposal), gutter and footpath cleaning and correct plumbing will aid in the quality of the stormwater and guarantee that stormwater is utilised and not lost to sewer. Wastewater (including sewage) treatment can also be incorporated into the WMP. Although the cost of such a system may be expensive in the short term, the long term savings generally add up depending on how much waste is being treated and how well the system is being utilised. Site specific wastewater treatment systems can ensure high quality effluent treatment which meets some existing non potable water supply demands whilst decreasing the local impacts on waterways and potable water consumption. Site specific wastewater treatment systems can include the use of water efficient toilets (dual flush), wash basins (push button) and showers (timed). In many office buildings, waterless urinals are now being used in an attempt to reduce water use. Increasingly, domestic, commercial and industrial wastewater is being treated (reclaimed), recycled and reused for irrigation purposes or recycled within industrial processes. Individual households can easily reuse their grey water (water from showers, baths, spas, hand basins, laundry tubs, washing machines, dishwashers and kitchen sinks) in the garden either directly or after treatment using domestic grey water treatment systems. This is aided with local and state government schemes such as water rebates and water saving initiatives. Water Management Plans not only reduce the consumption of water, they in turn reduce the energy use. As such, WMPs should aim at improving wherever possible the energy and water efficiency. This can be monitored with the aid of flow regulators, restrictors and meters. Internal audits as part of the greater EMS can indicate areas of improvement and areas which require attention on a yearly basis. Although water conservation and management plans are important to any business attempting to reduce their water consumption and improve their overall environmental impact, one underlying factor is more significant; water quality. The quality of water should never be jeopardised as this can have severe human health impacts. n

References: DEUS, NSW Government (now NSW Office of Water). (2004). Integrated Water Cycle Management for Local Utilities â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Best Practice Management accessed via Country-Towns-Program. United Nations. (2004) WWDR - Water for People - Water for Life-The United Nations World Water Development Report accessed via http:// United States Geological Survey (2010). The Water Cycle Summary (US Department of the Interior) accessed via. watercyclesummary.html.

Neil Weenink’s

Back of House those days it was more so. The people a mix of Spanish and Guamanian, going back to the ancient wars, and the young women – ugh, here is the major attraction and challenge for the Colonial blue eyes fella [which enjoyment, at another time and er place, I might confess to.]

A Wee Christmas Tale


hing is about GM’s we should note, indeed believe, is that no suspicion of aforesaid GM’s into their past affairs should lay waste to awesome embarrassment by staff or the community at large. OK. The chappie who opened the Hotel was a dour Scot and his wife a charming Swiss lass. He was fresh from Manila and brought news of a Chief Engineer we surmised had vanished into the “Dark Satanic Mills” or some such. Indeed he had. But word had leaked, not uncommon in those days where Colonials were to be found most places East of Aden, and as with hundreds of others, this poor fellow had gone Troppo. I had known Archie for many years; a fine Hotel engineer and a great sportsman. But with the benefit of hindsight, one can see it was inevitable he would turn. A marine engineer away from home for months; home being at best the bare essentials managed by Marg his formidable wife inseparatable from the rolling pin with a glass of Mother’s ruin. I was unattached at the time and with Archie would frequent the many bars and strip joints along the waterfront. Manila has always held me in fascination, but in

Meanwhile the dour Scot and his charming Swiss wife settled in, we duly opened the Hotel and as mostly happens, the GM toddles off with the satisfaction of a job well done and salary nudged accordingly. And it was about then that the troubles began with the arrival of the next GM and his extraordinary wife, one Gerta. The troubles being GM Helmut’s lust for whiskey which was shared unfortunately by Gerta. Add to this the willingness of Shift Engineers to appease ‘the top brass’ by going with the tide when offered a tipple now and again, and you have a situ ripe for trouble. Which is when the new F&B fellow came in and typically of his kind, wished to waste little time in establishing his credentials, that is, to garner the profit line. Now you must understand that on this hotel site we had nothing, absolutely nothing save the sea, and I think I may have previously mentioned same. The Japanese had blasted every living thing from the topsoil, with the Americans ditto shortly thereafter - indeed the Spanish had likewise ditto some hundred years prior. But what we did have were boulders, heaps of them and it was these that were used in the F&B fellows Grand Design for a pool and a bar. Saltwater and beer respectively.

Meanwhile Gerta, with not much to do much of the time, set her sights on the F&B fellow and the plot, so to say, thickened. It had come to pass that the local villages were visiting the Stone Bar [F&B fellow architect] with increasing frequency, the reason being that the GM, his wife Gerta, and the F&B fellow knew a good thing when they were on to it. Thus trollies of Hotel food via the kitchens adjacent were eagerly transferred via the Stone Bar into WW2 Jeeps and away, away. Came the day however, and it was Christmas Day that year when I was set up to be Father Christmas arriving by a small boat from away away out to the horizon. Closer and closer I came – all dressed out in appropriate garments and giving tidings of good cheer, and all along the beach were hundreds of children and their families. ‘Father Christmas is here!’ they sang. Incredible moment for them and for me as no one had seen me set sail. And then I saw them. I saw the scallywags taking food from our kitchens to the Stone Bar and others taking it away away. And I thought oh hell; here we have the classic tale of the rich giving to the poor at Christmas. Except that on this occasion the rich were making a further bit on the side. Oh hell, I said again, as Father Christmas this year, I can see both sides of this, can’t I? Happy Christmas.

Neil & Madeleine

�err� �hristmas Merry Christmas

Hotel Engineer | Vol 15 No. 3 | 47


An Integrated Approach to Guest Room Entertainment & Internet By ROSS CoLDWELL

Converging all the key elements of a guest’s expectations of quality information, communication and entertainment into a single easy-to-use interface.


ifestylepanel Pty Ltd develops leading-edge in-room display and information technologies for use in the international hotel market.

We deal to the all too common difficulties and frustration guests have trying to work or being informed or entertained in their hotel room. The simple things, like access to the internet, movies, television and other hotel services, and being able to easily communicate with their business, family and friends while away from home. The LSP System meets those needs neatly and simply by integrating the range of guest services a hotel has to offer, such as movies, television, the Internet, Skype communications, hotel information, advertising and online shopping, all into a proprietary system driving a High Definition LCD display panel with easy-to-use remote control and wireless keyboard. Many international hotels are now facing high cost capital outlays to upgrade their outdated, typically analogue in-room entertainment systems, often having to deal with multiple vendors. The LSP System and business model allows the hotel to undertake such an upgrade with little or no capital outlay, and with little or no disruption to existing guest services. Subject to a site survey a hotel’s current coax infrastructure may be used. Installation is quick, efficient and leaves a tidy room setup. No set top box is required, no tacked-on hardware – the panel is cabled discreetly directly into the wall, and it can quickly start generating revenue for the hotel. Importantly, the hotel has only the one vendor to deal with. LSP controls and manages the entire process, from installation through ongoing provision and management of the system including movies and other entertainment content. The LSP system has real time online reporting with simplified billing. It can be integrated with all leading PMS systems, and the interface customised for the Hotel’s branding. Access to web-based online compendiums and information pages is available. The LSP System allows for tuning to all panels in the hotel via remote access bringing a significant benefit as there is no requirement to visit individual rooms to manually adjust the TV. Laptop Internet access will work regardless of the Guest’s computer setup, be it DCHP or Static IP. Guest email does not require changes to POP or SMTP settings.

All the key elements of the Guest’s expectations of quality information, communication and entertainment converge into a single easy-to-use interface

A Guest VPN is supported by the LSP system and Port forwarding requirements can be configured remotely by LSP support staff as and when required. The LSP System delivers: •

fast and secure internet browsing

access to WebMail services and inbuilt VOIP Skype service

discretion - all Internet history is removed from the system at the close of each internet session

simulcast movies viewable immediately or bookmark to view any time later – all with full trick-play functions

discrete movie billing with non-disclosure of titles

The LSP System is an easy to manage service utilising dependable industry class hardware and software platforms, with full 24/7 support for Hotel staff and guests. LSP manages it all and offers the Hotel a real point of difference. n

Ross Coldwell is the Managing Director of Lifestylepanel Pty Limited and can be contacted at

Hotel Engineer | Vol 15 No. 4 | 49

The importance of internet and redundancy at your accommodation facility By SAM BASHIRY | Broadband Solutions Pty Ltd

No matter what size or type of accommodation establishment you are running, more and

Splitting your Bandwidth

more guests are choosing

Typically a 4-5 star accommodation facility will have three separate internet links to cater for different segments of the hotel: one for the back office; another for guest internet; and finally a link for the conference centre. This setup has mainly come about due to hotels not being able to get enough bandwidth at a reasonable price to cover all the areas in one connection, particularly since fibre connectivity up until recently has been very expensive and other technology such as shdsl is limited to only 4Mb/4Mb.

accommodation facilities that can keep them connected to their everyday lives, particularly the social internet savvy Gen Y and the up and coming internet generation Gen-Z who will be a prime target market in just a few short years.


ith the introduction of social networking sites, Blackberries and iPhones, guests want to be able to upload their holiday pics on the spot, write a blog or tweet about their latest adventure, talk to family and friends and keep in touch for business leaving smaller accommodation providers and those with slow internet connections out in the cold. Well, providing internet and even Voice over Internet (VoIP) to customers doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have to be difficult or overly costly and will start to pay for itself when guests keep coming back. All you need to do is sit down and work out the best and most reliable option for your accommodation facility and choose an ISP that can give you a business grade solution with no

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Hotel Engineer

hidden fees to make upgrading your technology over time hassle free.

Thankfully times are changing, with the introduction of Midband Ethernet (Ethernet over Copper) and Midband Fibre (Ethernet over Fibre) and you can now get higher bandwidth connectivity for a fraction of the price. Midband Ethernet provides speeds of anything between 2Mb/2Mb to 40Mb/40Mb while Midband Fibre provides speed connectivity between 2Mb/2Mb to 100Mb/100Mb, giving hotels a more cost effective and efficient solution for their business. So what are the advantages of having one large internet connection into your hotel? Wouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t this make it hard to restrict each area of the business from saturating the bandwidth making it extremely slow for others? This is where the beauty of bandwidth splitting and QoS can assist your hotel in streamlining your bandwidth

allocation to different areas of the business, creating greater efficiencies and utilisation of your link. This will also play a big part in video conferencing. Public telepresence rooms in Hotels will allow many major companies access to an audience - customers, suppliers, remote workers and business partners. Using managed telepresence services will helps companies hold more productive meetings as travel expense reductions are often secondary to the benefits businesses realise in terms of time saved and productivity increased by not travelling. More team members can participate in meetings and collaborate around the world. Broadband Solutions in partnership with Cisco will be rolling out telepresence in to some of the major hotels in Australia in the very near future. This is where it is important to be able to split bandwidth and also offer QoS (Quality of Service). For example Broadband Solutions can provide you with a 40Mb/40Mb Midband Ethernet which can then be split in to 4 segments i.e. 10Mb/10Mb for guest use, 10Mb/10Mb for conference use, 10Mb/10Mb for administration back office and finally 10Mb/10Mb for video conferencing. The bandwidth can be split anyway you like based on your individual hotels requirements, therefore if you have a major upcoming conference that requires video conferencing and you need 30Mb/30Mb bandwidth for it, then you simply need to contact Broadband Solutions to let us know and we will reconfigure the setup for you so that you have a dedicated 30Mb/30Mb for the conference and the remaining for guests, back office and video conferencing. At Broadband Solutions we can offer you this product at the ISP level on our network rather than you having to do it at the hardware level at your end which can be costly and complicated and in some instances not as effective. Once we know your requirements we can provide you the bandwidth on a number of VLANs that terminate into your router in your Hotel. This service is carried in an “ Assured Delivery” class of service across the Broadband Solutions national MPLS

backbone and has corresponding end-toend performance characteristics.

Redundancy Guests never want to hear that your internet is down – they expect the facilities they looked for in a hotel at the time of booking to be working at all times during their stay. To avoid costly reimbursements and to ensure your hotel is doing everything possible to limit internet downtime, purchasing internet redundancy through your provider is a must in this day and age. Choosing an ADSL2+ or fixed wireless connection as a fail over redundancy option can significantly reduce the chance of outages and impact on your business should your main link go down. This works by the redundancy connection automatically taking over as soon as your router detects an outage on the main link. Once the outage has finished the router will automatically switch back to the main link and resume working as normal. The redundency is done by using BGP (Border Gateway Protocol). This is made possible by Broadband Solutions having interconnects to a number of Tier one upstream providers within their network. We do this by installing a Cisco 1841 at the end users premises which is configuerd and managed by Broadband Solutions. Then we provide the end user with two seprate internet links i.e. one Midband Ethernet the other ADSL2+ through two seprate upstream providers that connect into the Cisco 1841. In case of an outage the redundent link will take over with in on average 90 seconds and once the outage has been rectified the primary link will take over from the redundent link automatically with in on average 90 seconds. Put simply, internet connectivity is now more than ever a must in all accommodation facilities, however it is very important that you do not compromise your hotel’s reputation. Make sure that you partner with a trusted ISP that understands the hospitality industry and its internet requirements to ensure you are recommended the best possible solution for your hotel’s individual needs as it will not only save you money

Guests never want to hear that your internet is down – they expect the facilities they looked for in a hotel at the time of booking to be working at all times during their stay.

but it will give you the flexibility to continually advance and add to the IT & Telecommunications in your hotel to provide you with more bookings and ongoing revenue. n

Broadband Solutions is an Australian Telecommunication and Internet Service Provider that specialises in Internet & Telecommunications Technology solutions for the hospitality industry. Our trained Account Managers can provide you with an integrated system that works with your management systems in an easy to understand, no fuss solution. Call us today on 1300 683 000 to see how we can upgrade your systems to become a more efficient and cost effective hotel.

Hotel Engineer | Vol 15 No. 4 | 51

Hyatt Regency Sanctuary Cove Keeps an Eye on Power Savings T

hat’s exactly what Hyatt Regency Sanctuary Cove found when it implemented Smart Hotel Solutions’ Energy Eye system.

According to the property’s Director of Engineering, Ian Crookston, the hotel was keen to find a power saving solution that was not only effective, but was cheap, quick and practical to install. “The Energy Eye system was chosen because the Energy Eye components communicate wirelessly. This allows the installation to be located where wiring would be very difficult or otherwise visible,” he says. “It also makes installation much faster and less expensive. On average a room only took forty five minutes to complete fully” and the install was done while the hotel was operating normally. Doron Danon is Smart Hotel Solutions’ Managing Director. specialises in finding and implementing best fit technologies and systems that maximise energy savings for hotels. Energy Eye is one such solution. He’s been supplying world class hotel room innovations for the past twenty years,. Two years ago, with all the talk about rising energy costs, strict green regulation and dwindling resources, he saw an opportunity. His business premise was simple. “I identified enormous wastage in hotel rooms. In light of rising energy costs, there was a chance to help hotels save a large amount of money.” The Hyatt Regency Sanctuary Cove was a case in point. “Simply put, Hyatt needed to maximise the in-room energy savings without affecting of compromising guest experience and service,” he says.

All hotels are wanting a greener, cleaner and more sustainable industry which is what is desirable, the fact remains that change comes at a cost. But when green solutions offer very real savings for industry participants, everyone’s a winner.

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Hyatt Regency Sanctuary Cove’s problem was Danon’s bread and butter. His solution was both clever and straight forward. He set up a sensor operated system to help reduce electricity costs due to HVAC and lights being left on when a room was unoccupied. The Energy Eye System utilises a wireless door sensor and wireless PIR motion detection sensor to determine whether someone is in a room at any given time. The PIR sensor only has to detect motion once to put the room into an occupied

Crookston says he was also impressed with the versatility and adaptability of the system. “Because the system monitors whether a room is occupied we also incorporated two other functions. Firstly the room’s lights switch off if the room is not occupied for more than fifteen minutes. The second adaptation was an LED light mounted above the entrance door which illuminates when a room is occupied. This allows hotel staff to know that there is a guest in the room and prevents the need for staff to ring a door bell to see if the room is empty and disturb the guest. This particularly assists housekeeping when cleaning rooms and engineering when we want to act on maintenance requests.” As for actual bottom line savings, Crookston is confident the proof will be in the pudding. In fact, he says quantifiable savings have already been noted.

room mode and it will remain in this mode indefinitely and not interfere with HVAC operation while guests are in the room until a door is opened. And if there’s no motion detected within a preset time frame, the system won’t start. Danon explains further. “The Energy Eye achieves doesn’t interfere with guest HVAC or light operation once the guest is in the room. This is achieved due to the motion sensor only having to detect the motion once to put the room into occupied mode during timer operation. Also when the room is vacant, Energy Eye will refresh the room air automatically every two hours thus not allowing humidity or mould build ups in the room. Danon says the beauty of the system is its relative simplicity. And that extends to installation as well as usage. “Due to the fact that Energy Eye is a wireless system, typical installation times are about thirty to forty-five minutes per room. Due to the wireless technology and quick install times, installation costs are reduced making it very cost effective and practical. The Energy Eye system can be installed at any time as a retrofit and does not have to be done during refurbishment program. It’s really a very neat solution if you want to reduce energy use, save money or meet environmental regulations.” But Danon would say that. What about the end user? Over to Ian Crookston again... “After trials over a month in two rooms - one with and one without energy eye - results indicated that with both rooms occupied the same total number of nights, the air-conditioning chilled water valve was open only one sixth the time compared to the room where the system wasn’t fitted. The longest length of time on any one day the room was physically occupied was thirteen hours, the general average being ten. Before, our air conditioning units would run twenty four hours a day. So the system has to provide a reduction in load on the main chillers.

“By the end of April it will be the first full month where all guest rooms will have been fitted with Energy Eye and reduction of kilowatts per hour on the main chillers power can be totally assessed then. But an indication of around a $3,000 reduction was recorded in terms of the value of power consumed by the chillers in March despite there being a greater number of cooling days similar room nights than we recorded in the same month last year.” n


Who to Choose to Look After your Lifts, Escalators & Moving Walks Vertical transport is often referred to as the “heart” of your building. This metaphor is often met with raised eyebrows and a smirk, but it’s not a far stretch when you consider what your lift does. Just as your heart pumps blood through your veins your lift pumps people throughout your building, when it stops so does the access to your building.


ust like your heart requires a healthy eating plan and exercise to keep it working properly, your lift requires proper maintenance to keep pulsing people though your building. This being said, many Building Managers are given the often difficult task of choosing a lift maintenance provider (Heart Specialist) with potentially limited knowledge to assist with decision making. Should price be the only factor? Would you choose your Heart Specialist based on the cheapest price?

Lifts are not all created equal: Vertical Transport continues to see increasing technological advances, software and programming. Does the company you have asked to tender have trained technicians in the software make and model of your lift equipment? Each make and model of Lift, Escalator and Moving Walk have spare parts that are specific. Does the company you have asked to tender have a stock of spare parts readily available, which are suitable for the lift / escalator installed at your premises?

Apples for Apples or Will You get a Lemon? Service Agreements can be complicated documents to comprehend. You should ensure that you are comparing like for like terms and conditions. Among the many things to consider are: Guaranteed numbers of service visits, Are after hours calls included? Are all replacement parts included? Look closely at the exclusion clauses, having “access” to a service doesn’t necessarily mean it’s free of charge.

Ask for Assistance: If you are unsure of anything in relation to offers provided, seek clarification from tendering companies, ask questions, do your research.

Independent Advice: If you are still not sure, you may like to seek some independent expert advice so, use the services of a Lift Consultant.

True Value for Money: Don’t just look at the dollar figure on the offer. Remember that lifts and escalators are an expensive and technologically advanced item of plant, to ensure that your lifts/escalators safely reach their full life expectancy they need to be service correctly by trained and qualified technicians. Needless to say that lifts and escalators move precious cargo, mums, dads, children, you and me, and need to be serviced correctly for SAFETY. n Joanne Fell SERVICE CONTRACTS MANAGER LIFTRONIC PTY LIMITED

For more information on Liftronic products and services contact the Liftronic offices on 1800 663 922 “Elevate your expectations for reliable lift service”

Hotel Engineer | Vol 15 No. 4 | 55

Science Confirmed at the University of Queensland (UQ) With 80% Energy Reductions WAYNE RYAN | Director, Smactec Pty Ltd

Though not specific to hotels, we thought that the findings in this article would be of interest to all building owners and engineers involved in energy management.

This paper details the energy outcome of an Australian developed air conditioning technology retrofitted to a University of Queensland building and it is not the intent of the author to discuss or detail the sciences incorporated in the technology. The author would be pleased however to send data to interested readers. The engineering, design, installation and maintenance has proven to be as simple as current practice.

INTRODUCTION Over recent years ASHRAE have been promoting Dedicated Outdoor Air Systems (DOAS), which claim to reduce conventional air conditioning energy by 15 to 30% and potentially become the future system of choice.(1)  AIRAH published an ASHRAE article in its Equilibrium Journal, June 2009.(2) The ASHRAE DOAS involves dehumidifying introduced outdoor air

through a desiccant process, enabling the de-coupling of humidity and temperature control. This concept of de-coupling temperature and humidity control was also promoted and presented by the late Dr. Allan Shaw in AIRAH Journal papers September 1998(3) and August 2001(4). Dr. Shaw’s de-coupling, however, is achieved through the utilization of direct expansion or chilled water air conditioning. Dr. Shaw’s 1998 paper received that year’s AIRAH W.H. AHERN Award. Embodied within his 2001 paper, Dr. Shaw calculated that a conventional design for a Brisbane part load condition required 4.91 times the energy to achieve the same temperature and humidity conditions than his new design.  (A reprint of table 1 from that paper is included as an appendix). As calculated by Dr. Shaw, his new method reduces air conditioning energy consumption by 80% from that of a conventional system. This paper outlines the operational and energy outcomes of the Shaw Method of Air Conditioning (SMAC) installation at the University of Queensland (UQ) Duhig Library Building located at the St Lucia Campus in Brisbane.

DESCRIPTION OF DUHIG LIBRARY Duhig Library comprises 4 identical air conditioned floors. The air conditioning consists of two constant volume air handling units, each serving 2 floors, hence the cooling and heating loads on

these units is nominally identical. Air conditioning operates continuously to maintain 23ºC and 55% RH at all times.  A fixed minimum outdoor air of the same quantity (nominally 20%) is introduced to each air handling unit. The existing control strategy for humidity control is to drive open the associated air handling unit’s chilled water valve whenever the space humidity exceeds set point and then switch on electric reheats as required to counteract the resulting over cooling and restore zone temperature to set point.  Chilled water is provided to the building from one of the University’s district cooling systems and is maintained at nominally 6ºC at all times. Duhig has comprehensive electrical metering measuring both light and power and the HVAC system.

RETROFIT A DOAS, entirely configured as SMAC was installed by Johnson Controls to both air handling units and it was commissioned in September 2009. The electrical energy consumption during October 2009 was compared to October 2008 identifying a

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preliminary reduction of approximately 50% of the total buildings energy consumption. The only works performed during this time was the installation of SMAC. Johnson Controls and the Properties and Facilities Division staff at UQ considered that additional metering was required in order to determine the full accuracy of energy reductions attributable to SMAC.

MEASUREMENT During November 2009, separate meters were installed to measure the energy consumption of the electrical heaters for each air handling unit. In addition, separate chilled water flow and differential temperature sensors were installed to each air handling unit’s chilled water circuit such that the chilled water energy consumption of each air handling unit could be calculated. Furthermore, the SMAC system on the air handling unit serving the lower 2 floors was disabled and the controls reinstated to their original strategies.  All electrical and chilled water sensors were connected into the Building Automation System (BAS). Under this revised configuration, one air handling unit can operate utilising SMAC strategies and the other using the original, conventional strategies. Consequently, a comprehensive comparative energy analysis can be achieved.  The temperature and humidity set points on both units are identical. An algorithm within the BAS was programmed to convert cooling kilowatts to an equivalent electrical KW based upon a chiller Coefficient of Performance (COP) at a supply chilled water temperature of 6ºC. This was the basis measurement for the conventional unit. For the SMAC unit serving the upper 2 floors, the supply chilled water temperature demanded by SMAC control strategies were logged. The upper floors are considered to have a higher sensible cooling load due to roof heat gains, however no corrections for this were taken into consideration.

than SMAC, at a Brisbane part load outdoor air condition of 27.0ºC dbt /23.0ºC wbt. Figure 1 (next page) is a BAS read out from the 1st March 2009, when the ambient conditions at the time were 26.7ºC/24.0ºC wbt and hence similar to the Appendix (27ºC/23ºC). The instantaneous energy consumption shown in the BAS read out comparing the two air handling units shows the conventional unit (AHU-1 Standard) is consuming 190 KW of electrical energy and the SMAC unit (AHU-2 SMAC) consuming 30.9 KW of electrical energy.  This equates to the conventional unit’s having 6.15 times the consumption of the SMAC unit and an 84% efficiency improvement. The actual efficiency improvement measured at Duhig Library is consistent with Dr. Shaw’s calculations (80%) based upon psychometric analysis and further validates his scientific claims. An additional column in the BAS print out shows the accumulated KW hours consumed since November 2009.  The conventional unit’s total is 233,521 KWh, whereas the SMAC unit is 43,073 KWh for the same 3 month’s of operation. In this time, the conventional system has consumed 5.4 times that of the SMAC representing an 82% energy and greenhouse gas reduction improvement.  Extrapolating this data for a full year and with a conversion of AHU-1 to SMAC provides a nominal 1 million KWhrs reduction or equivalent to 1,000 tonnes of CO2-e.  This outcome on a comparatively small building clearly supports the findings of McKinsey and Co., in their report “An Australian Cost Curve”(5)., and in which they claim that energy efficiency gains to commercial air conditioning has the potential to reduce Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions by 25 million tonnes annually by 2020.  25 million tonnes represents almost 5% of Australia’s total.



The Appendix demonstrates that Dr. Shaw calculated a conventional design consumes 4.91 times the energy required

SMAC is the ultimate DOAS and has successfully been applied to hospitals, art galleries, industrial facilities, office

buildings and a library in Adelaide, Melbourne, Brisbane, Darwin, Singapore and Thailand. Whilst this paper discusses the outcome at a close controlled temperature and humidity installation, readers should not consider it only applicable to those applications. In Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide office building installations, it has also been bundled with Induction Variable Air Volume (IVAV) systems. The Adelaide project has been granted a 5 star NABERS office commitment agreement. Readers are referred to an EcoLibrium article December, 2009(7) by P.C.Thomas and G.S.Rao of Team Catalyst and in which they detail that 66 Waterloo Road, Macquarie Park, N.S.W. achieved 5 stars NABERS office and included Induction Variable Air Volume (IVAV) as one of the technology solutions.  Furthermore, in their paper and under their conclusion, they pointed out that further energy reductions could be achieved through the application of a DOAS.  Experience with IVAV and as proven in an actual comparative evaluation project in Adelaide, demonstrates both IVAV and SHAW provide similar reductions, however in complimentary applications the two technologies provide greater savings than the sum of both. With these combined technologies, air conditioning energy reductions of over 50% on retrofits is being achieved.  Based upon energy simulation by a prominent consulting engineer, SMAC consumes 50% less cooling and heating energy than chilled beams, and when coupled with IVAV, results in comparable fan energy savings to passive technologies. Additional benefits arising from SMAC include: • • • •

the highest quality of air conditioning a more even spread of temperature reduced peak electrical demand reductions in cooling tower water and chemical consumption

With reference to an EcoLibrium paper “ High Tech Sustainability at Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation Queensland University of Technology”(7) the author claims a 25% reduction in

Hotel Engineer | Vol 15 No. 4 | 59

annual operating costs, whereas SMAC has reduced Duhig Library’s total energy by 50% whilst maintaining the highest quality of air conditioning.

ECONOMIES – COSTING AND MARKET CONSIDERATION Based upon energy savings alone, the pay-back at UQ is 2 years. This installation is a retrofit. For new projects, additional costs are minimal as they can be offset against reduced chiller sizing and reductions in electrical services.

| Appendix

A comparison has been conducted in Adelaide which concluded for a new

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building the combination of SMAC with induction variable air volume (IVAV) is 33% lower cost than installing a passive chilled beam technology and 40% lower cost for a retrofit. SHAW plus IVAV is less expensive to install and maintain, uses less water, reduces peak electrical demand and is more efficient than passive chilled beam technology. The installation of SHAW does not require any special training to contractors and hence does not incur any additional contingency costs that may be applied by contractors in applying a new technology.

CONCLUSION ASHRAE states that DOAS which provide 15 to 30% energy reduction may become the future system of choice. SMAC is proving to achieve 30 to 80% savings and takes this to the next level. The 84% energy reduction achieved at Duhig Library is attributable to a single technology. It can, however, be configured to compliment other air conditioning energy efficiency technologies such as energy recovery, variable air volume (induction or conventional), active chilled beams, co-generation or tri-generation and high efficiency chillers.

A COMMON OCCURRING OPERATING CONDITION WHERE MOISTURE CONTENT OF THE OA IS ABOVE THE ROOM MOISTURE CONTENT – DESCRIPTION OF CONDITION STUDIES OA-27°c dbt/23.0wbt; OA 300lps (20% of Supply Air) Room Condition 24°Cdbt; Supply Air to Room 1500lps Room Sensible Heat Load 9.0kW Rm Sens Ht Ratio 0.70

Appendix 1:     Brisbane Part Load condition Comparative Study New Design (SMAC) versus a Conventional Design Extract from AIRAH Journal August 2001   DUHIG LIBRARY

Table 1: Data extracted from BMS  - March 1  2010

Hotel Engineer

Furthermore, the DOAS installed at Duhig is applicable to air conditioning applications in most climatic conditions and is truly a universal solution to the profligate wastage of prime energy in air conditioning and can rightly claim to be the Ultimate DOAS. Dr. A. Shaw’s paper in 2001 also discussed a similar comparative analysis for Adelaide and this has also been previously validated with the installation at the Art Gallery of S.A. (AGSA) and in which energy savings of 60% were achieved. The AGSA project has since been awarded 3 NATIONAL AWARDS of excellence from NECA, AIRAH and FMA. Broad acceptance of SMAC is fundamentally with design engineers and through this paper and those papers referenced, we trust will come to understand that SMAC is a simple, inexpensive and effective methodology than can be widely implemented to significantly reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. SMAC is of world importance to reduce excess use of energy and Australians should be proud that it was invented in Australia.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS I thank the Facility Management staff of The University of Queensland for their acceptance and permission to install DOAS to their Duhig Library Building. Innovation to proceed with any new air conditioning technology requires the participation of a well informed and competent client. I would also like to thank the staff of energy efficiency service provider Johnson Controls Aust. (JCA) who recognized the energy saving potential of the SMAC and who recommended and carried out the installation, monitoring and reporting.  Without their willingness, competence and support the world class and important works of the late Dr. Allan Shaw would remain a curiosity. n


ASHRAE May 2008 DOAS and Humidity Control Michael & Larranaga, Ph.D., P.E. Mario G. Berovides, Ph.D., P.E. H.W. Holder Member ASHRAE Enusha Karunasena, Ph.D David C. Straus, Ph.D


ECOLIBRIUM June 2009 Reprint ASHRAE May 2008


AIRAH JOURNAL September, 1998 Control of simultaneous heat and mass transfer in the reduction of Global Warming Dr.A. Shaw Ph.D., Life Member ASHRAE, F.I.E. Aust Member ASME.


AIRAH JOURNAL August 2001 A quantitative evaluation of a new method of air conditioning. Dr.A. Shaw Ph.D., Life Member ASHRAE, F.I.E. Aust., Hon. Member AIRAH


McKINSEY & CO. February 2008 An Australian Cost Curve for Reducing Australia’s Greenhouse Gas Emissions.


ECOLIBRIUM December 2009 Surpassing Expectations. An integrated approach to design, delivery, commissioning and POST Occupancy evaluation. mP.C. Thomas and G.S. Rao, Team Catalyst.


ECOLIBRIUM June 2009 High tech sustainability at Institute of Health at Biomedical Innovation Queensland University of Technology. Brian Schmidt B.E. (Mechanical – University of Queensland)


BASF Launch ® Phantom Insecticide BASF has increased its commitment to the Australian Pest Control Industry with the launch of an exciting new product – Phantom® Insecticide.


hantom Insecticide is a major breakthrough in pest control in Australia with unique properties that make it unlike any other general pest control product. Phantom is a liquid SC formulation for the control of ants, cockroaches and bed bugs as an internal treatment and contains the active ingredient chlorfenapyr which is the only member of a new class of chemicals - the pyrroles. Scott Kleinschmidt, Technical Manager for BASF Pest Control Solutions in Australia, explains some of the unique properties that Phantom brings to the table. “The most important and unique physical property of Phantom is that it is undetectable to pests. This means they will not avoid the treatment and will travel through the treated areas and unknowingly pick up a lethal dose. “Other repellent insecticides can lock pests into specific areas or just make them a problem elsewhere in the room being treated. Thus the pest manager will often try and spray as many areas as possible in attempting to completely flush them out of the structure. This means much higher volumes of chemicals used and longer treatment times for the pest manager,” Scott said. “Because Phantom is undetectable to the pests, the treatment is professionally targeted to cracks & crevices and the

harbourages which means much less chemical is used and the treatment can be completed in less time,” he said. “Also you can’t effectively use gels or baits in areas where repellent insecticides are being used. Whereas with Phantom, this is actually recommended as part of an integrated pest management approach. This is both more professional and efficacious. Phantom is a water-based formulation and has virtually no odour making it a perfect fit for sensitive situations such as motel/hotel rooms, apartments, kitchens etc,” Scott said. Scott also explained that Phantom has a unique mode of action. “The active ingredient is a pro-insecticide which means it is converted to its active form inside the insect. This active form targets the mitochondria within cells throughout the insect’s body, preventing it from generating energy. Without this energy, cells cease functioning and the insect dies. “However this process is not instantaneous giving Phantom a delayedaction mortality which is an important feature, as it ensures pests gain maximum exposure to the treated surfaces thus improving efficacy. They continue to behave normally and go about their regular routines for a short time before dying” Scott continued. The positives don’t end there -“Phantom has a long residual life on all internal surfaces. One of the reasons for this is the fact that it has very low water solubility which means it will not be easily wiped or washed off surfaces. This is particularly important in wet areas such as kitchens and bathrooms, especially in commercial situations,” he said.

Because Phantom is undetectable to the pests, the treatment is professionally targeted to cracks & crevices and the harbourages which means much less chemical is used and the treatment can be completed in less time.

Scott explained that due to its unique mode of action, Phantom is very effective against pests that are resistant to organophosphates, carbamates, pyrethroids, and chitin-synthesis inhibitors. No instances of target site cross-resistance have been observed anywhere in the world. Phantom is now Australia’s first insecticide to be endorsed by HACCP Australia and can be applied as a spot or crack and crevice treatment inside domestic, commercial, industrial and public buildings including food processing establishments, shops, houses, factories, offices, schools, hospitals, storerooms and ships. Ensure that your Pest Manager is using the latest in undetectable technology to eliminate general pests today. For more information about Phantom Insecticide call 1800 006 393 or visit

Hotel Engineer | Vol 15 No. 4 | 63

Indoor Air Quality in Hotel Rooms This article is based on material prepared by Lindsay Pelser from IAQ Consulting and presented by Inar Bruveris at the AIHE NSW Chapter meeting in Sydney in March 2010

The HVAC engineer’s role in delivering clean, appropriately conditioned air and removing contaminants is vital. Some knowledge of Indoor Environmental Health will assist with that delivery. In many cases structural, cleaning, maintenance, material use and other activities that affect the environment are outside the control of the individual. Nevertheless, wherever possible the HVAC engineer should encourage features and decisions that create a healthy building.

Hazard Recognition Occupational hazards generally fall into one of four classes of environmental stressors; chemical, biological, physical and ergonomic.

Chemical Hazards Airborne chemical hazards exist as concentrations of mists, vapors, gases, fumes or solids. Some are toxic by inhalation, some can irritate the skin on contact, and some can be toxic by absorption through the skin or through ingestion. Air contaminants are commonly classified as either particulate or gaseous. Common particulate contaminants include dusts, fumes, mists, aerosols and fibers.

Biological Hazards These include bacteria, viruses, fungi and other living and non-living organisms that can cause acute and chronic infections by entering the body.

Physical Hazards These include excessive levels of ionizing and non ionizing electromagnetic radiation, noise, vibration, illumination and temperature.

Hazard Evaluation Air sampling will determine whether a hazardous condition exists. Samples may be collected for a single substance or multicomponent mixture.

Hazard Control The principles for controlling the occupational environment are substitution, isolation, ventilation and air cleaning. Local exhaust ventilation is more effective

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for controlling point-source contaminants than is general ventilation. A building HVAC system is an example of general ventilation.

Air Contaminants Many of the air contaminants that cause problems in indoor environments include synthetic fibers, dust, bioaerosols, gases and vapors and may be generated by building materials, furnishings, equipment and occupants and their activities inside the space or brought in from outdoors. Building operating and maintenance procedures that may foster the growth of biological organisms.

Particulate matter Particulate matter includes airborne solid and liquid particles. Examples are dust, smoke, fumes and mists. Dust size range from 0.1 to 25µm smoke particles around 0.25µm and fumes less than 0.1µm.

Health Effects of Exposure The main concern is particles that are smaller than 2µm. This is the size that is more likely to be retained in the lungs. The best way to control the problem is by filtration - often the cheapest form of air cleaning, but can also be the poorest, as often incorrect filters are used. Other means are ventilation and exhaust.

Bioaerosols Sources of bioaerosols are floor coverings. Carpet cleaning may even promote resuspension into the air. Whirlpools and spas are another source of viruses and may persist up to 8 weeks on non porous surfaces.

Illnesses Related to Exposure in Buildings Allergic, Rhinitis, Sinusitis

Stuffy/ runny nose, nasal drip

Mould, pollen, dust mites

Building related asthma

Coughing, wheezing, chest tightness

ETS, mold and dust mites

Contact dermatitis

Dry skin, itching , scaling

Range of microorganisms , chemicals

Eye irritation

Itchy eyes and dryness

Low RH, VOCâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S particulate matter common problems

Nasal irritation

Stuffy congested nose, rhinitis

Low RH, vocâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s and particulate matter

Central nervous system

Headaches, fatigue, irritability, difficulty concentrating

Organic compounds, noise, lighting and carbon monoxide

Poorly maintained and nearly blocked cooling coil

Poorly maintained cooling coil

Blocked filters

Rusty and dirty cooling coil drain pan

continues next page >

Hotel Engineer | Vol 15 No. 4 | 65

Figure 1: OdourVac

Indoor Air Contaminants Indoor Air Quality has become a major concern as people spend up to 90% of their time indoors. Indoor air contaminants can be higher than outdoors. Symptoms include coughing, sneezing, eye, throat and skin irritation, nausea, drowsiness and headaches.

Sources Building material and furnishings, sources have been well studied, particleboard made up of woodchips bonded with phenol-formaldehyde or other resins, carpet underlay, paint, all emit formaldehyde and VOC’S Ventilation Systems. May be a source for VOCs- the interior of the HVAC systems can have large area of porous material used for acoustics, this can absorb odorous compounds and hold nutrients and with moisture can become a breeding ground for microorganisms. Other parts of the HVAC system that can be a breeding ground are condensate

drain pans, fouled cooling coils, filter media deodorants sealants and encapsulants are also sources of VOCs.

• • •

Cleaning agents and other consumer products can act as contaminant sources, such as liquid detergents, spot removers, cosmetics.

The introduction of unconditioned fresh air directly to the HVAC unit return air can cause mold and mildew and should be avoided.

Occupants emit a wide array of pollutants by breath, sweat and flatus.

Goals for Hotel Rooms/Bathrooms

Floor dust is different to dust in the air. Floor dust is a mixture of organic and inorganic particles, hair skin scales and fibers from carpets and furniture Odour is another IEQ problem; Sources of odour from both humans and the room are a large perception of Air Quality. HVAC systems emit an odor when turned on from drain pans and coils.

Design Conditions for hotel rooms • • •

Winter 23-24ºc RH 30-35% Summer 23-26ºc RH 50-60% Ventilation 15-30L/s per room

• • • • • •

Exhaust 10-25L/s per room Filter Efficiency 10-15% Noise Level RC Level 25-35

Comfort Temperature Humidity (low humidity in winter) Clean air – dust filtration Healthy Environment (IAQ indoor air quality) Removal, flushing out of chemical hazards, aerosols, biological hazards such as mites, spores, viruses carried by dust particles

Sources of Dust • •

Vacuum cleaning Negative pressure in the room - lack of proper, treated and filtered make up air system continues next page >

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Indoor Air Quality in Hotel Rooms (continued)

Is this sufficient to prevent a steamed up mirror, or lingering odours? No.

Typical exhaust flow rates – Toilet 5 L/sec to capture the toilet odours

An alternative locally designed system is Odourvac (see Figure 1 previous page).

Shower exhaust rate to keep bathroom clear of steam – approx 35 L/sec

Make up air • •

Poor filtration Dust entry via normal occupant traffic

Poor Filtration Limitations of a typical hotel room fan coil unit, a product of last century. Approx 50 Pa of pressure drop for filtration is available; this is far insufficient for today’s clean air requirements.

Bathroom Ventilation How much exhaust to remove steam and odours? AS 1668 requirement 25 L/sec. Other toilets require 10 air changes per hr, which is, for 2.4 m ceiling, 6.6 L/sec per msq, or for a 2.5mx2.5m bathroom, 41.2 L/sec

Uncontaminated make up air source is essential:

Maintenance •

To keep the hotel room at positive pressure, provide outside air with a flushing action, to prevent a build up of aerosols, fumes etc.

Poorly maintained equipment such as filters, cooling coils, condensate drain pans are a source of pollution for indoor air quality goal.

Access for maintenance

Removal, flushing out of chemical hazards, aerosols, biological hazards such as mites, spores, viruses carried by dust particles

Proper maintenance is difficult if access has not been one of the key requirements during the design stage.


For example, AC equipment buried in ceiling spaces, with tiny access panels provided.

After commissioning, which should be done with doors closed to balance exhaust air, BMS systems do not monitor air volumes, nor measure them, and so if there is any doubt, a volume recheck is necessary.

Some recent designs allow for removal of the complete ceiling underneath the fan coil unit, such as in a corridor space leading to the main room. n

Talking Trash: Controlling Odours and Germs in Garbage Chutes and Bin Rooms By Shane Taylor | Purifying Solutions Pty Ltd

As the warm summer months approach, the attention of managers and maintenance staff will be increasingly drawn to the refuse chute where residents and holiday makers discard prawn shells and the remnants of other tasty treats, with little after-thought to where their rubbish goes or the hygiene implications it creates.


he demand for odour and germ control products is always highest during the heated summer months. Although odour control is only one aspect of a healthy garbage system, odour complaints are often the driving force behind a building manager’s decision to take action. “Perhaps the most important questions to ask when selecting an odour management system, is whether it also provides germicidal control for airborne pathogens”, says Bruce Taylor, whose company consults to the hospitality industry on air quality control for refuse systems. Understanding that a refuse chute is literally a dumping ground for discarded waste, it is surprising how little attention is often paid to the health & safety issues that follow. In recent studies, it was found that at least 30 different biological and bacterial growths occurred on the inner

surface of garbage chutes and within the confined air space of the collection room and chute, including Salmonella, E. Coli 0157, Dysentery, and Legionella.1 Because garbage chutes have a naturally occurring updraft, often referred to as ‘the chimney effect’, it is easy to understand that the same garbage chute used to carry waste into the rubbish bins can also transport airborne bacteria back to lot owners, tenants and guests, potentially causing illness, injury and disease. Mark Frampton, a solicitor on the Gold Coast, advises that the Body Corporate (Owners Corporation) is required to respond reasonably to that risk is required.2 Historically, it was not uncommon to use a wall mounted odour neutralising product that would spray a scented neutraliser into the chute and/or bin room, with the liquid bottles being refilled periodically by a contractor. While these systems still exist, it has become increasingly frequent that hotels and apartments are upgrading to solutions which further assist with their fiduciary duties by providing germicidal control in addition to odour management. Ozone-based products have become increasingly popular for use in garbage systems, particularly in Queensland, where Ozone is now used in more hotel and apartment garbage systems than all other product-types combined. The reason for this transition to Ozone, is that Ozone is both an extremely effective deodoriser and germicidal agent. Most new installations see a noticeable improvement to the air quality within their garbage system in less than an hour of operation.

Ozone is simply a molecule made entirely of 3 atoms of Oxygen (O3). In comparison the Oxygen we breathe every day to live is 2 atoms of Oxygen (O2). Ozone generators typically work by creating Ozone from the Oxygen that is in the air surrounding us. When Ozone comes into contact with an odour or other pollutants (such as bacteria or viruses), the Ozone destroys the odour or pollutant by a process called Oxidation, and leaves regular Oxygen in its place. In garbage environments, the Ozone generator is usually running continuously 24 hours a day dispersing Ozone into the garbage chute and compactor or rubbish bin. It is important that care is taken when selecting a product for your garbage system, and it is highly recommended to choose a product which has been purpose engineered to run continually in commercial garbage environments. Creating Ozone is usually done by one of two technologies, with both having advantages in different areas. These technologies include ‘Corona Discharge’ which simulates the way nature creates Ozone during lightning storms and ‘Vacuum-Ultraviolet (V-UV) Light’ which simulates the way nature creates Ozone with the sun’s ultraviolet light. Corona Discharge technology excels where very high concentrations are required, such as most water treatment applications. The disadvantage of this technology for commercial garbage systems is that Corona Discharge technology usually produces Nitrogen by-products in addition to Ozone. These by-products occur because the Corona

Hotel Engineer | Vol 15 No. 4 | 69

Talking Trash: Controlling Odours and Germs in Garbage Chutes and Bin Rooms < Discharge electrical spark that is used to split Oxygen atoms in order to create Ozone also fractures Nitrogen molecules, thereby creating Nitrogen Oxides. This is because ambient air is made up of about 78% Nitrogen and only 21% Oxygen. When

Nitrogen Oxide comes into contact with water vapour such as humidity in the air, it typically creates a corrosive substance called ‘Nitric Acid’. One solution for reducing or preventing Nitric Acid from Corona Discharge products, is to use an air dryer. This, however, is where things can get complicated – just because a product includes an ‘air dryer’, does not mean it is necessarily effective at removing sufficient humidity from the ambient air to prevent Nitric Acid production. If you are considering a Corona Discharge product, we highly recommend that care be taken to ensure it uses a correctly sized ‘electronic heated desiccant air drier’ as opposed to inexpensive devices such as moisture sinks. For applications such as disinfecting water supplies and swimming pools, the Nitrogen Oxide/Nitric Acid is often insignificant and will not cause any harm. However for garbage chute applications this should be an important consideration, as Nitric Acid is extremely corrosive to steel which is often found on the end of garbage chutes (see photo at left). The second method of creating Ozone is by using Ultraviolet technology. This method has a number of significant advantages in garbage applications, for example, when Ozone is produced by Ultraviolet light it does not produce any corrosive Nitrogen by-products. When discussing Air Purification, there are two seemingly alike but very different ways in which Ultraviolet light is used. Firstly, there is a germicidal light wave (UV-C) and secondly, is the ideal Ozone producing light wave (V-UV).

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When microorganisms such as bacteria are exposed to UV-C light, their DNA is disrupted which removes their reproductive capabilities and kills them. Nowadays, UV-C air sterilisers are often combined with a photo-catalyst, which work together to create a powerful oxidising agent called Hydroxyl Radicals. This technology is being increasingly used in hospitals and other public areaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s to help prevent the spread of diseases such as SARS and Influenza. Ultraviolet Ozone generators are very different from UV-C Air Sterilisers. Instead of using a germicidal light wave, UV Ozone generators use a light wave from the V-UV spectrum which is optimal for creating Ozone. This is the same process found in nature that sustains the Earthâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Ozone layer. While UV-C technology only treats air that is exposed to the germicidal light, this is not the case with UV Ozone generators. This is because UV Ozone generators do not use the UV light itself to treat

contaminated air, rather they use the UV light to generate Ozone, and it is the Ozone which is then dispersed to carry out the deodorisation and disinfection process. For garbage applications, a well-designed UV Ozone generator holds a number of significant advantages over their Corona Discharge counterparts. This is primarily because when Ozone is generated by Ultraviolet light, it does not create the corrosive Nitrogen by-products which are common to Corona Discharge Ozone generators. As a result, this eliminates the risk of medium to long-term Nitric Acid corrosion in a steel garbage chute. The second primary advantage of UV Ozone generators is that the amount of Ozone being created is stable regardless of humidity levels in the air. Comparatively, if a Corona Discharge Ozone generator is not using extremely dry air or 100% Oxygen gas, then the amount of Ozone being created will generally fluctuate relative to the humidity levels on any given day.

While there are generic Ozone products available, we highly recommend using a solution that has been specifically engineered for 24/7 operation in challenging garbage environments. An example of this is the Garbage Doctor Platinum Edition, which combines an industrial grade V-UV Ozone Generator for providing Ozone treatment within the garbage chute and bin or compactor, with a separate sterilisation chamber that simultaneously uses both a Germicidal UV-C light and Hydroxyl Radicals to provide additional treatment to the air within the bin room itself. n References 1.

Maurice Baum I.H., Environmental Research & Restoration, Inc.

2. Corporate_Liability.html

Purifying Solutions Pty Ltd Phone: 1300-ODOURS Website: Email:

The need for COOL Roofs…


ustainable building design and energy efficient living leads to environmentally responsible economic growth. Cool Roofs offer us one of our most simple and effective Global Warming mitigation strategies. When you do the math, you find Roof Surfaces represent 20-25% of the built environ and act as “Solar Radiators” – so much so that around 93% of a building’s HEAT GAIN can be attributed to radiant energy (meaning the sun’s rays converted to heat after absorption). It makes sense to employ a first line of defense that combats the specific heat source and that means reflecting the suns rays before they are absorbed and converted to heat. By contrast, Insulation only treats the symptom of absorbed and stored heat. COOL ROOFS reflect maximum amounts of the suns rays and light reflected is reflected as light, NOT HEAT, reducing the build up and storage of heat in urban environments. In Australia, most commercial buildings have Galv or Zincalume roofing which act as poor reflectors of solar energy. By reflecting more of the Suns energy these surfaces can be 20-40ºC cooler translating into cooler occupancy zones, lowering cooling energy demand and thus delivering cost and energy emission savings.

Dulux® InfraCOOL™ HEAT REFLECTIVE COATINGS optimise the Total Solar Reflection of a treated surface providing the opportunity to upgrade existing roofs surfaces and create more sustainable structures. InfraCOOL™ Technology means surfaces reflect both the visible or “colored” light and invisible InfraRed light which accounts for over 50% of the suns total light energy. It doesn’t have to be WHITE to be COOL… Because InfraCOOL Technology maximises reflection of infra-red radiation, even dark colours can be made cooler. InfraCOOL Charcoal, for example can be up to 16°C cooler than conventionally formulated Charcoal without changing the visual colour. A cooler surface means less heat penetration resulting in cooler occupancy zones and this means lower use of energy – translating into energy cost savings and reduced associated greenhouse gas emissions.

Uses & application of Dulux® Acra-Tex® InfraCOOL™ technology Dulux Acra-Tex InfraCOOL technology can be applied to either metal or concrete roofs including conventional roof tiles, extending the roofs life cycle by 10+ years. Dulux can also deliver InfraCOOL benefits throughout the range of Acra-Tex elastomeric membranes wall coatings reducing heat penetration into buildings and lessening the thermal stress on concrete and masonry facades. To find out more about InfraCOOL™ Technology from Dulux® go to or contact Paul Augello, Business Specifications Manager, Dulux AcraTex P: 03 9263 5865 E:

CCTV By Simon Hensworth BSc (Security Science), (ICCP-Advanced) | GHD Pty Ltd

Research into the effectiveness of CCTV as a crime prevention tool has shown mixed results, with some case studies suggesting CCTV has reduced crime levels and others suggesting that no improvement in crime figures resulted. Some applications of CCTV have even experienced


CTV as a crime prevention tool can be expensive to implement, manage and maintain, and may be completely ineffective if installed for the wrong purpose and if support measures are not put in place. There are also privacy and legal issues that need to be considered. The choice to implement CCTV should not be taken lightly and there are many considerations that should be carefully assessed to make informed decisions prior to implementing CCTV.

increases in crime levels after

CCTV’s Role in Security

CCTV is introduced.

Security comes in many forms; examples include: locks, fences, barriers, guards, patrols, CCTV, access control, intruder detection, security management and security policies and procedures. With so many potential security measures available it can sometimes be a challenge to determine what specific action should be used to manage risk for a particular application or situation. Selection of security measures should be based on clear objectives, minimising loss, cost/benefit, and a formal documented security risk management process. It is also beneficial for the individual/s determining security requirements to have experience in managing security risk, a good knowledge of what security can and cannot do, technical knowledge of security, when required, and criminology theory. Ideally, security solutions should: Deter would-be offenders, Detect offenders/ incidents, Delay offenders for a period long enough to Communicate an alarm, and Respond to an incident to prevent

it occurring or at least minimise loss in the event it has occurred. All of these roles should be accomplished swiftly and efficiently to provide effective security. The order in which these roles occur is also vital. Consider which of the above roles of security CCTV can achieve. CCTV may deter some types of offenders, but not others. If CCTV is actively watched (or “monitored”) CCTV may assist in detecting incidents. CCTV generally does not assist in delaying offenders or responding to incidents, unless its coverage is sufficient to allow monitoring staff to follow or track a perpetrator until a response force can detain them, which can be expensive in personnel, hardware and intelligent software. Therefore to achieve effective security, CCTV requires other supporting strategies to facilitate all roles of security. This may include strategies such as: monitoring facilities, monitoring personnel, access control, barriers, lighting, and a timely response capability.

Strengths and Limitations of CCTV CCTV can have a range of strengths and limitations. In order to use CCTV effectively it is important to understand what CCTV is capable of. The following sections outline some examples of CCTV’s strengths and weaknesses.

CCTV’s Strengths Recorded CCTV may assist in after-theincident investigation. If CCTV is located adequately to record quality images of an incident or crime, images may assist Police by providing general information that

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CCTV (continued) could assist a subsequent investigation. For example, the colour of clothing an offender was wearing, vehicle make/ model, registration plate details etc. CCTV can deter some types of crimes/ offenders. If offenders are aware of the presence of CCTV, and the offender perceives that CCTV may increase the likelihood that they will be captured on footage and caught as a result, then CCTV may deter them from offending in the area. Monitored CCTV may be able to assist in identifying incidents. If CCTV is actively watched (or “monitored”) monitoring staff may be able to identify incidents and initiate a response to prevent incidents or, more likely, reduce the consequences of the incident occurring. Similarly, some CCTV systems may be able to make use of video analytics (computer based processing) to detect some forms of unwanted behaviours. CCTV may assist safety perception. Using cameras in areas may help normal users of the space feel safer and therefore more likely to use the area. More people using the area may increase potential witnesses to potential crimes or unwanted behaviours (potentially deterring wouldbe offenders), so increased perceived safety may actually lead to increased actual safety.

CCTV’s Limitations Cameras can become the target of theft or vandalism. CCTV cameras can be expensive and may be desirable targets of theft. Offenders may intentionally try to damage cameras in an effort to avoid being captured on footage, or opportunistic vandals may throw missiles at cameras simply for amusement. Consideration should be given to the location of cameras to facilitate security of the camera, but also allow the camera to be easily maintained. Offenders may avoid the immediate areas in view of CCTV or take measures to hide their identity (eg. by wearing particular clothing). To provide the most value

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for evidential purposes CCTV should provide clear images of an offender’s face. Offenders know this and may take precautions to obscure camera views of their face by wearing hats or hoods. Crime or unwanted behaviours may be displaced by CCTV (eg. to a different location, time, or crime-type). For example, a known trouble spot may be identified and subsequently fitted with CCTV, but the offenders/incidents may simply be moved (displaced) to another location where there are no cameras. Offenders may learn or test response times (if CCTV systems are monitored) to avoid apprehension. If CCTV is not monitored (actively watched by monitoring staff) then CCTV is not likely to assist in initiating a response to prevent or manage an incident. If CCTV is monitored incidents may be noticed as they occur and a response to an incident may be initiated. There is a delay between the time an incident is identified and the arrival of a response capability (eg. guard or Police). This is often referred to as the response time. Ideally a response time needs to be swift enough to prevent or manage an incident. If it is not offenders will be able to commit offences and leave the scene before they can be apprehended. Offenders may test how long a response time is before committing offences so they can time their activities to avoid being apprehended. If CCTV is not monitored (actively watched by monitoring staff) then CCTV is not likely to assist in initiating a response to prevent or manage an incident. If there is no immediate response to incidents the deterrent-value of CCTV may be reduced as offenders may realise that they can still offend without being caught, especially if they take measures to disable cameras or hide their identity. CCTV may create a false sense of security. People may feel safer if they know the area they are in is fitted with CCTV. However, if CCTV is not monitored a response to an incident is not likely to occur. Therefore, an area may actually be no safer if it is equipped with CCTV and individuals (potentially with a false sense

of security) may place themselves at risk unknowingly. CCTV in housings, and CCTV lenses outside housings, can be defeated by paint or other substances so that the cameras lose vision or the vision is seriously impaired. If the cameras are not being monitored constantly, critical footage may be missed.

End Note In order to maximise the potential benefits of CCTV, it is recommended that careful consideration be given on a case-by-case basis, so that specific objectives for CCTV can be clearly determined for each case, and consideration given to the likely success of CCTV to manage risk prior to implementation so that a cost/benefit analysis can be undertaken. In this respect it is critical that the intended purpose be clear, that the risk be assessed in terms of the known or anticipated threats, and that CCTV be considered in the context of holistic security measures tailored to address the identified threat and risk. Many States in Australia have Security Licensing requirements for individuals who provide advice or design of Security. It is therefore recommended that licensed security providers be consulted in the security risk management process. n

About the author Simon is a Senior Security Professional with global engineering consultancy GHD. Simon has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Security Science from Edith Cowan University and is an ICA (International CPTED Association) certified CPTED practitioner (Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design). Simon has provided security solutions for many clients with major assets in Western Australia and is involved in all aspects of security, security technologies, promoting security and security awareness. Before undertaking any activity related to this article, it is recommended you consult a licensed Security Professional. Simon Hensworth BSc (Security Science) (ICCP – Advanced), GHD Pty Ltd T 61 8 6222 8640 E

Going Green and Reducing Your Energy Costs Written by Michael Newton and Dr Keith Watts | Watt Utilities

“The cheapest and cleanest

Option 1 – GreenPower

energy is the energy that you

The easiest option is to offset your business by using GreenPower. It doesn’t have to be 100% of the electricity bill it can be a percentage like 10%. What is GreenPower? It is a government accreditation program for renewable energy. It is bought by your energy provider on your behalf. Renewable energy is generated from sources like mini hydro, wind power and biomass which produce no net greenhouse gas emissions. When you choose to buy a GreenPower product the few cents extra you pay in addition to your electricity account each day is invested in the renewable energy sector. Your purchase of accredited renewable energy does not mean your electricity will come directly from a renewable source to your property. Instead the equivalent amount of new renewable energy is added to the electricity grid on your behalf every year so you will be responsible for a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.

don’t use”


here are many ways you can reduce your carbon footprint and play your part in business to help the environment and save on your bottom line. The misconception about going Green or looking at alternative solutions to reduce your carbon footprint is that is it going to cost your business money. Yes there may be an initial upfront cost yet you need to look at the return on investment and then the ongoing benefits it provides to your business. In many cases after payback your business will be in front not only on the bottom line, you will be also be in front on the social and environmental issues that we are confronted with today by just making that decision to think green. It’s all to often easier to have the Ostrich syndrome of sticking your head in the sand yet if you look at the options it is not difficult to make a decision that will start your business stepping in the right direction. If you are driven by the bottom line and cost reduction is your motivator then consider some of the options below, these alone could entice you to seriously think about efficiencies within you business that will have significant impact on reduction in the bottom line, by default you are heading in the green direction. So what are your options and how difficult is it, you may be asking?

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For further information go to the government website

Option 2 – Demand Side Management and Demand Reduction Reducing and managing your electricity demand plays a significant role in going green. “The cheapest and cleanest energy is the energy you don’t use”. Taking this option not only has a positive impact on your bottom line it expands to wider economic impacts and has significant environmental benefits. There is an interesting statement listed on the CSIRO website about Demand-side Resources,

it says, demand-side resources could be worth up to $1 billion per year to the National Electricity Market while helping to keep the lights on during extreme events. Not small change by any means. DEMAND reduction has to be a key topic if we are to develop a sustainable approach on the development of new power infrastructure. Our electricity supply is often taken for granted by most people yet it is now a matter of concern. With our population growth, temperature shifts in the extremes with heat waves and cold snaps and our general our demand for power increasing will we get to a point where our demand for electricity is greater than supply. Think of the electricity network this way. It is all about supply and demand. Electricity generally cannot be stored so it has to be produced based on the demand at the time. If the demand for electricity keeps growing and we hit capacity with current infrastructure, where do we get further supply from if a power station takes 8 years to build, and we don’t have enough renewable sources?. We have seen examples over the last 12 months where the network has hit peak demand with the heat waves in Melbourne and South Australia which caused turmoil in the network and shut down non essential supply to cope with this demand. If we build more power stations to fuel this demand you do the math, the economic and environmental impacts are significant to say the least. So if you want to be serious about making a real difference and also have reduced electricity costs start learning about DSM (Demand Side Management). DSM is a term that you as managers or owners of property will start to hear in the near future if you have not already. DSM what does it mean? In technical terms it is the process of managing electrical load and managing peak demand, both in quantity and in timing of use. The bottom line is you save money by reducing your peak demand and the total consumption of electricity. Peak demand costs your business significantly pending on the tariff or contract that you are on, it also has an big impact on the electricity network providers, as explained above.

How do you as a business manager, owner or operator play your part in reducing your own businesses demand for electricity? START SIMPLE then work out where you will achieve the best return on investment. Understand and assess your property, undertake an energy audit; that way you will know and understand what are the critical areas within your operation that use power and how the critical areas use it. Education is the key. Below are some of the ways to reduce demand and your electricity consumption. • Reduce lighting operating times in car parks and stairwells through intelligent control • Look at efficient lighting like Energy Efficient globes, T8 – T5 converters or LED • Hot water systems such as Heat pumps • Renewable energy sources like Solar or Wind

• Air Conditioning and Refrigeration: Establish minimum performance and monitoring standards. These devices cool to a controlled temperature then turn off or power down, this cycling can be controlled to minimize demand and peak prices. • Swimming Pool and Spas: don’t run filters and non essential items in peak times, put a timing controller on the system and switch on if Off Peak. • Power Factor Correction: Speak to your electrician • Pumps and Compressors: look at using in Off Peak times In your effort to GO Green and save money maybe you can use some of the savings you generate from DSM initiatives to invest back into green power, then you have a double benefit to the environment with NO or minimal cost to your business. n


report co-authored by Rick Maddox and Grant Flynn of Aria Professional Services and Dr Keith Watts, Managing Director of Watt Utilities on “Barriers to Implementing Demand Side Management in Gold Coast Accommodation Facilities”1, reveals some very stark challenges that are faced within the high-rise and accommodation sectors today when tackling this issue. They include the lack of knowledge of the potential benefits; lack of information on how to do it; perceived cost inhibitors; and the lack of incentive. Rather than dwell on barriers, decision-makers and those who want to see change need to focus on what can be controlled. They can: • Increase management awareness • Increase commitment by bodies corporate to investing in DSM on common services • Encourage body corporate or on-site manager to take a leadership role in DSM promotion to individual unit owners • Identify benefits for bodies corporate and individual unit owners • Increase availability of information on DSM and energy efficiency • Identify opportunities resulting from implementation of DSM





he Hotel and Tourism industries continue to grow at an impressive rate, generating an increased turnover for those placed to provide quality service to cater for the needs of the expanding hospitality areas. New technology has become an ongoing process in the engineering field, and to meet these challenges, engineers must avail themselves of every opportunity to increase their knowledge base. With up-to-date knowledge, Hotel Engineers are better equipped to communicate with staff and management, and to work within a budget. It was down this pathway that the need for a technical publication such as The Hotel Engineer was born. That it has developed so significantly since provides this area with a forum for ideas and discussion. This innovative magazine specifically targets the needs of engineers and maintenance people in hotels, providing them with informative features on the latest ideas, developments and technology that is taking place around the globe in their specific world.

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NO SALT PLEASE Electrolysis of tap water can efficiently disinfect pools and spas By ALAN LEWIS | Pool Consultant


ack in 2005 an international conference entitled “Integrated Concepts in Water Recycling” to be held in Wollongong and organised through the Environmental Engineering Department of the University of Wollongong announced a “call for papers”. Without giving it too much thought, I surmised it might be helpful to include something which involved the integration of backyard and public pools as major consumers of water, in the effort to conserve or recycle backwash water from pool filters. This almost coincided with the imposition of strict water rationing for gardens, lawns, and washing cars, or paved areas, in most cities around Australia in the midst of a long period of drought. Writing about this in 2010 after a very wet winter – when even deserts are blooming, may seem a little unnecessary. Now with world wide debates raging over Climate Change; and efforts in all parts of the world focussing on ways to contend with potentially dire shortages of potable and recreational water, the need for vigilance and action in this area is just as pressing as ever. My submission to the conference was accepted as a poster, and subsequently published in the conference publication – a tome of no less than nearly 800 pages. This plethora of scientific papers and presentations, dealt with ways and means of desalinating, recycling, harvesting or purifying, waters from any and every source. Soon after this I also published in the Pool and Spa review an article in the same vein, entitled A Strategy For Pool-Water Recycling. This caused quite a bit of controversy because I was then advocating that we should make every effort to minimise the use of salt in chlorination of pools, at levels which in effect makes it unsuitable for recycling as irrigation water for the gardens and lawns. I was accused of trying to undermine the salt water industry. At the time it was evident that a Swiss company called Adamant Technologies was launching a new concept using Boron Doped Diamond electrodes as a way to achieve that very same objective. Now Australian Innovative Systems (AIS) after years of research, have brought to the world market a product which can in fact

no salt successfully disinfect pool water by electrolysis of tap water; and do that with a TDS (Total Dissolved Solids) level less than 500 mg/l. This level allows for proper balancing of water at normal Calcium Hardness (no softeners required) and Alkalinity levels, as required by the Langelier Saturation Index (LSI) where indoor pools need to be heated using non corrosive (or scaling) water. More importantly it makes the water recyclable for irrigation of the gardens and lawns which are usually found adjacent to the pool. Needless to say, any system which refrains from buying water that totals roughly $10 per kilolitre at the consumer’s tap (though only $1-2 to the consumer personally), and then “salinating” it beyond suitability for irrigation, should be encouraged. The Ecoline series of products achieves just that. A recent analysis has shown that at current prices (which of course may fluctuate),

Hotel Engineer | Vol 15 No. 4 | 79



Noble Metals an investment in such equipment for a pool should round out at a cost of about $200 per year for the eight yearly electrode replacement, expected by the manufacturer. That would easily beat the annual cost of chlorine needed to disinfect a pool. This of course does not take into account the cost of the energy required to electrolyse the water to compliant levels of disinfection. I am told that this energy demand is no more than any other type of salt chlorination which nevertheless still require that copious amounts of salt be dosed over the year after dilution from rain and backwashing. There are further ways in which the life of the Ecoline cell can be lengthened. These include: •

The careful control of the flow of the water through the cell.

The maintenance of a low pH. This can be achieved with CO2 or mineral acid for pH reduction so as top retain it at 7.2-7.4 thus raising its efficiency.

Keeping the LSI (Langelier Saturation Index) at the right levels at all times.

Ensuring the pool is kept clean at all times, and that no algae develops in “dead areas”; or that clogged skimmers are not left unemptied for too long.

Neglecting to backwash at regular intervals (2-3 weeks) means that the organic matter captured in the filter is constantly demanding more disinfectant to break it down.

Brushing the dirt and debris that accumulates on the steps or swim-outs where automatic cleaners can’t get to them.

For the Hotel Engineer there are additional advantages – in having an Ecoline electrolyser. In particular this is true for Hotels in remote areas; island resorts; or outback country areas where safe cartage of chemical disinfectants add to their cost and present logistical impediments to the supply. Those hotels with facilities which include gyms, learn to swim schools, and/ or large outdoor pools will find that and the Ecoline electrolyser will avoid the need for huge chlorine storage tanks . Thus, handling and chemical safety issues are simplified with this environmentally friendly system. Beyond that, it will surprise many to realise, that electrolysis of the natural salts and minerals in the supply water, actually disinfects the water more efficiently than similar systems which rely on huge residuals of salt in the pool. The salt itself is an impediment to disinfection in otherwise pristine water. High TDS acts as a kind of barrier – or “protection” against the attack of the mixed oxidants on the bacteria and viruses in the water. Research has shown that the special, Iridium and Ruthenium oxide, electrodes developed by AIS for the Ecoline systems are far superior than other well known materials or metals used in this kind of electrolytic cell such as Carbon; Boron Doped Diamond; Platinum; Titanium; or high grade Stainless Steel.

Hotel Engineer | Vol 15 No. 4 | 81

NO SALT PLEASE (continued) In this case we are referring to the expensive and rare metals which are part of a special a group found grouped together and immediately adjacent to Gold and Silver in the centre of the atomic table, because they share similar and unique properties. These are known as the “Noble Metals”; namely Platinum; Iridium; Palladium; Ruthenium; Rhodium & Osmium.

no salt

The outstanding output of mixed oxidants that these cells produce, efficiently destroy (disinfect) the pathogens that are likely to appear in the water, and at the same time reduce unwanted Disinfectant By-Products (DBPS) to their benign components. Both the DBPs and the Oxidants found in the water will depend to a large degree on what chemicals are in the source water. For example in Sydney’s eastern suburbs we can find at times up to 1.8 mg/l of monochloramines. These are the precursors to the development of small levels of chloroform in the pool. Once chloroform has passed thought the Ecoline cell a few times it is expected that the it together with other THMs (Trihalomethanes) will be reduced considerably by the electrolysis. On the upside, this type of electrode can produce Free Available Chlorine (HOCl – Hypochlorous Acid); and Chlorine Dioxide (ClO2) from very small residuals of salt as tiny as 10 mg/l. Compare this with the need for 4000mg/l for common salt chlorinators. More importantly the Ecoline series are prolific in their production of Hydroxyl Radicals ( OH˙) which are the most powerful of oxidants we could find in nature; and from this precursor we have a whole range of oxidants which can be found under various conditions: dissolved oxygen (O2) ; the Oxygen ion (O˙); Hydrogen Peroxide (H2O2); Ozone (O3); Hydrogen ion; (H+) - even the Hydroperoxy ion HO2 All of these combined – even in small quantities – are quite potent to the pathogens, yet benign to bathers; children or swimming teachers. This too has been proven with microbiological testing which is the ultimate proof of the efficacy of the disinfection. While we still need to prove scientifically that electrolysis can break down some specific DBPs efficiently in public pools, the signs are that this may be one of the best ways of achieving that. The key to this would be better control of our supply water and less monochloramines in our tap water. More research is needed in this area, before we can be certain that unwanted DBPs are not presenting a threat to bathers’ health in public pools. It now remains for other Australian electrochemical industrialists to rise to the occasion and join the effort to reduce the need for heavy salt residuals for purposes of electrolysis, to minimise DBPs, and improve the health of our pools both private and public. n Correspondence:

DIY Pool Water Maintenance – Reducing Costs and Risks Sparkling clean pool and spa water, nothing says rest and relaxation like lazing around the Hotel pool on holidays. The swimming pool and spa is one of the biggest assets to a Hotel or Resort, and is certainly something the holiday maker considers when choosing a destination.


aily and weekly maintenance of your pool water and plant is essential for any Hotel Engineer. Do you or your staff do it or do you outsource the maintenance? Doing it yourself can be a great way to cut operations costs, but only if you know what you’re doing. If you get it wrong, it can go really wrong; costing you more money in repairs and consumables, and potentially costing you cancelled bookings and bad press, or even legal costs if your guests get sick. It also means you have a trustworthy person carrying out your pool water maintenance. You know you won’t be cutting corners or being careless of your obligations under your state health department guidelines. And you do know your obligations, don’t you? Your health department may have very specific requirements regarding to how often you have to monitor pool water quality, even down to the kinds of equipment to use. They will also recommend pool water quality parameters (chlorine, calcium, pH and acid balance etc) and how often you carry out microbiological tests.

Your hotel pool may fall under a specific category, depending on size and which state you operate in, which guides how it should be run and maintained. These categories are based on risk factors, influenced by kinds of patrons who use the pool, bather loads, and the kinds of activities they are used for. A high risk pool might be one used by infants and small children, shallow high use pools, or

pools with access by the general public. A low risk pool might be a pool accessed by a small group of residents and guests, such as in a block or residential flats, small bed and breakfast type accommodation or a boutique hotel. Depending on your health department guidelines, the bather load, water temperature, and depth of your pool, it

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DIY Pool Water Maintenance – Reducing Costs and Risks (continued) may have to be tested up to four times a day, and depending on the outcomes of those test may have to be dosed with chemicals. It is much more cost efficient to carry out these tasks yourself, rather than have a service technician visit, two, three, even four times a day. Even if you are using automatic dosing systems, they still have to be calibrated against manual test results on a regular basis. A wide range of factors will impact on your pool water maintenance regime. Do you know how bather load, heat and rain can affect pool water quality? Prolonged heat + increased bather load + rain water can equal algal bloom. Windy days can blow dirt, leaves and pollution into your pool. High patronage of families with small children increases the risk of faecal contamination, which if untreated can lead to transmission of illnesses among your guests. What happens if there is a ‘faecal contamination incident’ in the pool? If you have to call a contract pool service technician, you could be waiting hours for them to turn up, all the while your pool has to stay closed, disappointing your guests, then there’s the time it takes to clean up and bring that water back to healthy parameters. Having trained staff onsite to deal with cleanups, testing and rebalancing pool water means the pool has to stay closed for a shorter period of time. But you’re not a pool expert. How do you get all the information and training you need to ensure you are maintaining your pool water for the health and safety of your patrons? The National Swimming Pool Institute of Australia’s Accredited Specialist course in Domestic and Commercial Pool Water Servicing can provide you with the knowledge to safely and effectively maintain your pool water quality and plant, to health department guidelines. It’s cost efficient, with a minimum investment of $750. You’ll reduce your risk factors. You know you can rely on yourself to carry out the necessary tasks to maintain healthy pool water and you’re not relying on under-qualified or under-experienced contractors. And it means you’re complying with your health department guidelines. And if your are in Queensland, you’ll be complying with the local council requirements under the Toolbox initiative; which strongly recommend NSPI’s Domestic and Commercial Pool Water Servicing course for all operators of commercial pools. And there is no time away from the business, as NSPI offers Recognition of Prior Learning and correspondence delivery. And all their training and assessment materials are specifically designed for the pool industry by skilled and experienced industry professionals. If you would like more information about NSPI’s training and assessment please call 07 3252 6702 or email Contact you state or territory health department or local council for more information about guidelines for pool water maintenance. n


HOTEL ENGINEER TECO LED Edge Lit LCD TVs Everyone is conscious about electricity usage, so why not look at LED Edge Lit LCD TVs to reduce some of that expense. TECO Australia has a range of LED Edge Lit LCD TV’s to suit most applications, ranging from 19” up to 32” models all with excellent energy ratings, which will reduce your energy consumption compared to the use of old CRT TVs, and in some cases are more energy efficient than Plasma and LCD TVs. As we approach the switching off of the old Analogue transmission and switching on the new Digital transmission why not consider LED Edge Lit LCD TVs, you will receive all the new TV Channels along with a crystal clear and vibrant picture, making your Digital experience more enjoyable. TECO Australia full Television Product Range can be found at Or by telephoning your local TECO Australia P/L office.

TECO Air Conditioning Systems Air conditioners up to 65kW must meet Minimum Energy Performance Standards (MEPS) set by the AGO. MEPS levels are continually being raised so that new systems are increasingly more energy efficient. Also, from 1st July 2010 systems using R22 HCFC refrigerant can no longer be imported into or manufactured in Australia. Most systems that used R22 have been replaced with systems using R410A CFC refrigerant. Now is an ideal time to consider replacing any older systems with new systems that will provide ongoing more efficient performance and be utilising the new refrigerant. TECO provides a range of Fixed Speed and Inverter Wall Mounted Split systems and a range of Window Wall units all operating on R410A and all with Wireless Remote controls. The systems range from 2.0 kW up to 8.0 kW capacity. Details of the systems can be found at or by telephoning your local TECO Australia P/L. office. Air Curtains are an efficient means of controlling airflow in and around conditioned spaces and reducing insect and dust contamination. TECO has two models in 900 wide and two models in 1200 wide configurations. Details of the units can be found at or by telephoning your local TECO Australia P/L. office.

Product News

Hotel Operations Technology Conference The Hotel Operations Technology Conference & Exhibition is one of Australia’s longest standing technology events and in this ever changing environment where we are constantly bombarded with new information – it’s relevance as a worthwhile educational and interactive experience has definitely increased. The 2011 program created by Ted Horner, Show Director & Industry Consultant, gives engineers the opportunity to keep informed on the latest developments in IT, Wireless & broadband, Energy management and sustainable technology along with a dedicated workshop day with in-depth case studies specifically designed for hotel engineers. Commencing on Tuesday 15th March at the Sydney Convention & Exhibition Centre, the two day program offers excellent networking and detailed relevant information with valuable take-outs at very cost-effective price. Alongside this year’s conference is an exciting and comprehensive exhibition (hotel hospitality + design 2011) with many new products and technologies previously not seen in Australia. The highlight of the exhibition will be the sustainable “Hotel Room of the Future” in the technology sector. Bookings for the conference & exhibition can be secured at or

Facilities Management Training Program Maintain and improve hotel operations


rganisations, regardless of industry sector, appreciate the rising costs of occupying buildings and providing support services to maintain and improve the business operations. Facility Managers/Supervisors, Work and Asset Managers are all key contributors in the improvement of quality, reduction of risks, and overall profitability of an organisation. This program provides an opportunity for those already involved in a facilities management role to gain formal recognition and practical expertise. Learn while on the job and begin immediately to apply your skills to meet organisational demands. There are no academic prerequisites and you are able to enrol at any time. UNE Partnerships offers two competency based courses that take you through the Facilities Management Unit (FMU) Management Cycle, developing and enhancing skills, knowledge and attitudes in the FMU -- leading to effective and efficient operation of built assets and the organisational activities that function within them. • Facilities Management Certificate for Supervisors • Facilities Management Diploma for Managers The Facilities Management training program is designed to assist participants to improve their skills in: • managing people • maintenance of corporate assets • minimising risk exposure in the workplace. Skills Outcome • Plan operations of work areas within a facility • Manage the operations of the facility under your responsibility • Contribute to the risk management process within your FMU • Be able to procure good & services • Assist in the administration & finalisation of contracts • Maintain sections of a facility under your responsibility according to operational requirements • Contribute to budget • Monitor & maintain costs and records • Contribute to the selection, training, supervision & motivation of staff For more information please visit or call 1800 818 458

Hotel Engineer | Vol 15 No. 4 | 85



Product News

INTRODUCING The E-Z-GO® RXV™ Experience “Game Changing” technology today… A revolution in Golf Car Design and technology… As the world’s leading manufacturer of golf cars and utility vehicles, E Z GO now unveils its new, much anticipated fleet golf car. E-Z-GO has raised the bar with the new RXV, which sets a new standard for the golf car industry. Engineered to deliver reliability, superior performance operating efficiency, and safety, achieved through an array of enhanced features and innovations. The E-Z-GO RXV represents a major step forward in golf car technology. The new vehicle delivers exceptional value through reduced energy and maintenance costs, and an unsurpassed experience for golfers through best-in-class power, control, comfort and safety. The RXV’s classic yet contemporary lines make it a smart addition to the E-Z-GO family.

EXC ELLENC EINMO T IO N Numerous innovations make the RXV a “Game Changer” for course operators and golfers AC DRIVE MOTOR (ELECTRIC): Unprecedented for an electric golf car, the RXV’s drive train uses an alternating current motor, not the traditional direct current motor, generating more power and longer operating times between battery charges. Incredibly the RXV is up to 30-percent more efficient than direct-current golf cars, boasting a 48-volt motor enabling a 10-percent improvement in daily range. DUAL-BRAKING SYSTEM (ELECTRIC): A fail safe park brake automatically engages when the RXV stops, requiring now foot pedal engagement. The industry first auto braking system brakes automatically on steep slopes when needed and can easily hold a 40-percent grade. This “drive by wire” system maintains constant speeds safely and easily. THE RXV WARRANTY – AN INDUSTRY FIRST The reliability of the new RXV is backed by the most comprehensive warranty in the golf car industry – a limited four year, bumper to bumper coverage on most items, with three years on the primary running gear. E-Z-GO’s batteries are guaranteed to last for four years, 1,200 rounds, or 23,000 amp hours – whichever comes first – for 36 holes of golf a day every day.

“Our passionate and talented E-Z-GO team considered every safety, mechanical and ergonomic element of the golf car, producing a vehicle of exceptional quality,” says John Garrison, President of E-Z-GO. “In designing the RXV, we listened to our customers and incorporated the feedback into the vehicle. Our goal was to completely re-imagine the golf car in a way that produced measurable results for course owners, along with performance that truly enhanced the golf experience. I’m proud to say our team has delivered on all counts.” “E-Z-GO has raised the bar with the RXV, which sets a new standard for the golf car industry,” says Jack Nicklaus, owner of a record 18 professional major championships and the designer of more than 260 golf courses internationally. “In my mind, E-Z-GO is without question the premier golf car and utility vehicle provider.”

OPERATIONAL SAVINGS: • NO brake cables, drums, or pads • NO lubrication required • ALL bearings are sealed • Low front end maintenance • NO brake pedal adjustments • NO accelerator cable adjustments NUMEROUS OTHER BENEFITS OF THE RXV: • 360 degrees Energy transfer bumpers • Kawasaki high-performance 6.7Kw engines (Petrol) • Improved golfer experience • Fresh exterior styling • Environmentally friendly operation • Enhanced safety design features

Our Passion is Customer Satisfaction and Quality

The RXV and all E-Z-GO products are available from the Exclusive Australian Master Distributor

AUGUSTA GOLF CARS PTY LTD Unit 8 / 2 Link Drive, Yatala, QLD, 4207

Phone: (07) 3807-8895 Fax: (07) 3807-3899 E-Mail: Website:

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HOTEL ENGINEER The Safety Cooling Tower

Product News

Superchill cooling tower range, which includes the German designed Modupol range and the low noise and super low noise fibreglass forced draft towers. The MPCT tower is a modular tower, with an extremely strong and durable pulltruded fibreglass frame. The basin and fan cowling are made in traditional high quality marine grade fibreglass. The full size removable side panels are made from preformed plastic and are designed for easy removal and handling to allow entire access for cleaning and maintenance. The panels are very light and small enough for one person to handle without the risk of any injury.

The locally designed and locally manufactured new Superchill cooling tower type MPCT (Modular pulltruded cooling tower) is the latest and safest addition to the high quality

The tower is designed to fully comply with the Australian standards and has the best and most efficient drift eliminators and air intake louvers available on the market. The air intake lovers are double the thickness compared with most currently offered local cooling towers. This reduces light ingress into

the tower basin and helps prevent algae and bacteria growth. It also reduces water splashing outside the tower and reduces noise level. The best fill for this tower is the high quality 2H plastics cooling tower fill called Sanipacking. (see for more information) This fill is arguably the safest cooling tower fill available. It is made from moulded polypropylene (PP) and treated to prevent bacteria growing on itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s surface. To distinguish this high quality fill from normal fill the colour of the fill is blue. The polypropylene fill is also extremely long lasting and can withstand temperatures up to 80 degrees. Superchill is working closely together with 2H plastics and we are the local distributor and manufacturer for the number one European fill producer GEA 2H Water Technologies (former 2H Kunststoff). For further information please contact Superchill Australia or 2H plastics Australia or or 1300667 018 and 03 9793 6166



hile growth in the number of construction projects is good news to the industry, it may prove to be a double-edged sword. With so many companies winning tenders, suppliers are hard-pressed to supply the materials and equipment needed to their clients, which is can result in major delays for companies who then find themselves scrambling to meet their project deadlines. The financial consequences for construction companies who fall behind are staggering: not only are they increasingly being faced with contractual penalties, but the damage that can be made to the reputation of a company is incalculable. It is therefore no wonder that contractors are looking for ways to mitigate the risks of project delays, with many turning to rental solutions for their equipment supply. One company which is well-suited to supply fast-track rental to the construction industry is Aggreko, the specialist power and temperature control supplier. Aggreko can supply and install short, medium or long-term rental equipment at short notice. Its equipment and services can be delivered and integrated into a site often with minimal interruption, while providing the necessary infrastructure to keep your construction program on time. All of Aggrekoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s equipment is designed to be durable while flexible in its operation. Whether it is a small air conditioner to keep a switch-room cool, a replacement chiller or cooling tower capacity, all this equipment comes fully serviced by qualified technicians, providing a turn-key service for customers. As more construction projects come on-line in the coming years and existing projects continue to require resources and equipment, it seems likely that the risk of project delays due to lack of equipment supply will only increase. It is in this context that the benefits provided by equipment rental companies such as Aggreko, including flexibility, lowered risks and turn-key service, become even more apparent.

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Product News

How to get a cheap receptionist By STEVE TUSAK | Check Inn Systems


ages are on the rise, penalty rates are prohibitive, so how do you keep your reception desk staffed without going to the wall? Check Inn Systems has been addressing this problem since the year 2000 through the introduction of Self Check in Kiosks and keysafes intended to provide a premium guest experience whilst keeping a lid on costs. The prices have become very affordable.Starting with the new 4 key KeySafe at $995 inc GST, this works out to just $0.70 per day amortised over 4 years. A full reception kiosk that can securely issue keys to prebooked guests, accept payments, sell rooms and even breakfasts can be had from $9,995 plus GST and installation. Kiosks have come a long way in the past 10 years. The new releases of software and hardware from Check Inn Systems are highly flexible and fully compatible with the latest motel technologies. Working with leading PMS vendor RMS, over several years,  we have been able to provide a self check inn kiosk solution that is always synchronised to the property management system and offers clients only those rooms that are clean and marked available to the kiosk. If rooms are sold by Wotif,, roamfree etc. availability is update into the property management system automatically and those rooms are withdrawn from sale. If guests with one of these pre-bookings wishes to chech in after hours, they can use their reservation number or other personal details to do so without disturbing the hosts. Interfaces to other property management systems such as the very popular Satin are are also becoming available from Check Inn Systems Key management is also a major annoyannce for most property managers with guests forever taking keys with them, losing keys or locking themselves out of rooms at 3am. Our kiosks provide a very flexible range of solutions to deal with virtually all situations. Where physical keys are use, the kiosks can hold a spare set of keys. Where room cards are used, the kiosks can write room cards for VingCard, Onity, Saflock, Adel and others under control of the manager - even dialing in remotely to reissue room cards on demand. The new range of Keyless Access (numberpad) locks from Check Inn which are remotely managed from reception or even via internet further improve the ease of management of room locks. Fully compatible with most existing keyed door locks and able to be controlled from the kiosk, they provide a simple way to offer keyless access to the room for the specific agreed rental period. n

Vm3 Purefier Vm3 Purefier supplies state of the art products providing the solution to control moisture, malodour, volatile pollutants and microbes including pathogens in air. Vm3 Purefier products are applicable to almost any odour problem including, but not limited to aged care facilities, funeral homes, hospitals, hotels, schools, waste bins, medical waste, volatile organic compounds, industrial emissions, chemical and body fluid spills. The products eliminate malodour, control moisture and malodorous gases, are antibacterial and antifungal to United States health system standards, slow decomposition, capture and reduce volatiles, control malodorous liquids and significantly reduce poisonous and explosive gases including methane, hydrogen sulphide and ammonia. They are also suitable for the control of mould, mildew and malodour in damp areas of buildings such as basements. Independent laboratory tests show that Vm3 Purefier products are suitable for the control of the following bacteria and fungi, these being five of the major causes of, amongst other things, hospital acquired infections: • Aspergillus niger • Candida albicans • Pseudomonas aeruginosa • Staphylococcus aureus

• Escherischia coli

Vm3 Purefier products are available as pads, filters, or in bulk form, are mineral based and biodegradable. Application is energy free.

88 | Vol 15 No. 4 | Hotel Engineer

Profile for Adbourne Publishing

The Hotel Engineer 15_4  

This innovative magazine specifically targets the needs of engineers and maintenance people in hotels, providing them with informative featu...

The Hotel Engineer 15_4  

This innovative magazine specifically targets the needs of engineers and maintenance people in hotels, providing them with informative featu...

Profile for adbourne