Page 1

THE

HOTEL ENGINEER

PP 319986/101

Volume 16 No. 1 2011


THE

HOTEL ENGINEER Adbourne PUBLISHING

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: neil@adbourne.com

contents 13

3

Publishers’ Message

5 Greenhouse Gas Emissions,

Environmental Management Systems and Hotel Sustainability

10 Regulation Update 13 Profile: Andrew McCarthy 14 Regular Maintenance Ensures A

Adelaide: Robert Spowart Ph: 0488 390 039 Email: robert@adbourne.com

Stainless Finish

17 Building Management & Control Systems

Production: Claire Henry Tel: (03) 9758 1436 Email: production@adbourne.com

Administration: Robyn Fantin Tel: (03) 9758 1431 Email: admin@adbourne.com

27 Help, I’m on Fire! (Or, an introduction to

Marketing: Tania Lamanna Tel: (03) 9500 0285 Email: tlamanna@bigpond.net.au

– Optimisation from the inside out

23 On-line Water Treatment/Efficiency

27

Monitoring and Reporting Digital Video)

33 Painting with light SomePlace Else 37 Glass impact hazard warnings 40 Premises Standard – Access Code

Editorial Consultant Max Agnew

Editorial Contributor Thomas Johnson

for Buildings

48 Fire Safety Statements – Unraveling Your Regulatory Responsibilities

51 Back of House 52 Case Study: Travelodge Newcastle –

73

the sustainable benchmark in the Mirvac hotel portfolio

55 Heat Recovery HVAC 59 New wave of gas heating for commercial

swimming pools and spas

61 New Developments In Pool Water

Maintenance Technologies – Part 1

65 Indoor Pool Dehumidification 68 Community Pools Now Required To Meet

Public Pool Water Quality Standards

71 Managing with New Energy Pricing 73 Finer Filtration - Media matters in

swimming pool filters

82 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: InterContinental Fiji Golf Resort & Spa

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.


THE

HOTEL ENGINEER

Publisher’s Message

W

e are well advanced into another calendar year, and it probably reminds us all how hotels have become more extensive and demanding, with the Engineering Department of all large operations becoming responsible for just about everything within the building. Hotels really are like hospitals or even cruise ships – being at work 24/7. In the 22 years since Neil Weenik was the driving force behind the establishment of the Australian Institute of Hotel Engineering (AIHE), we have seen many changes to how our engineering departments operate and cope with all kinds of problems. We hope that The Hotel Engineer assists all readers in keeping up to date with the latest trends and offerings available to everyone in the industry. Over the years we have always had an excellent relationship with many members of the AIHE. Our next edition marks another milestone, where we will join forces and become their official magazine. Meanwhile, this edition includes the annual pool feature. Thanks to Splash magazine, we have an excellent article on the various pool filtration media that are available for your swimming pool. Alan Lewis, our pool and spa expert, recently attended the World Aquatic Health Conference in Seattle, USA. Here in the first of a two-part series he looks at the new technologies available for pool water maintenance - part two will feature in our Winter issue. Mark Crowther is also doing a two-part series on Smart Metering. In thhis issue, he shows how it can benefit your hotel pool. We also look at pool compliance, heat recovery and dehumidification. Amongst our other subjects, Davide Ross and Christopher Wilson of Pangolin Associates provide more on environmental issues and hotel

sustainability. Peter Swanson looks at the world of digital video within the hospitality industry. Drop us a line if you have any topics you’d like Peter to write about – he would be only too happy to assist with any issues you may have regarding all aspects of AV technology. Finally, we thank Derek Hendry and Richard Mumberson for their continued contributions. As always, there are many more articles within. Enjoy!

Regards, Neil Muir Publisher, The Hotel Engineer

View HOTEL ENGINEER online now! THE

Visit www.adbourne.com and click on e ‘Th Hotel Engineer’


Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Environmental Management Systems and Hotel Sustainability By Christopher Wilson

Facility managers, engineers and technical specialists often express exasperation when asked to provide data for reporting on or measuring parameters which they have previously given little regard. These ‘start of pipe’ and ‘end of pipe’ consequences of physical processes within a closed system can be seen as externalities that are the concern of others.

I

t is important to acknowledge though that critical issues such as climate change and natural resource depletion are the responsibility of every individual and can be addressed through a cohesive, strategic approach to ongoing measurement, monitoring, reporting and continual improvement. Collecting and communicating the information required for effective management of environmental impacts and influences requires some change in both personnel and mechanical perspectives. In general, it is much easier to change people’s thought processes than overhaul entire systems or organisations. Along with the appropriate level of consultation, capacity building and role modelling, adapting to and working towards new goals and deliverables can be a seamless and rewarding process. In many cases, existing systems and

protocols can be adapted to suit ideals more focussed on sustainability and positive community outcomes. The broad range of ‘green’ rating systems and reporting schemes can lead to a confusing sense of bewilderment and lack of preparedness due to the wide variety of inputs and outcomes. While these may be useful tools for benchmarking and promotional purposes, they are often lacking in detail as to the necessary initial steps to meeting their level of compliance. There are some key principles and systematic processes that, once observed and implemented effectively, allow for measuring, documenting and improving on a variety of parameters. Requirements and detailed elements of both legislated and voluntary schemes focussed on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and environmental management systems (EMS) can at first appear onerous and difficult to comply with. Being informed and having a plan of action early on can be the key to not having to waste many hours of productive output and to maintaining a civil relationship with upper management issuing yet another unachievable performance directive or marketing experts obsessed with corporate image and at least ‘looking like we are doing the right thing’. GHG Reporting & EMS Overview Understanding the requirements of the various voluntary and legislated reporting schemes means coming to grips with the basics of their foundations. The primary motivation behind efforts to embed organisational reporting of GHG emissions and other environmental impacts is to

Figure 1 GHG Protocol Scopes and emissions sources Image courtesy of Carbon Planet

ensure that they are properly measured and managed. By allowing for this process to occur at the level between the individual and the state, there is increased scope for effective and timely action. >

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< Concepts, structures and protocols encapsulated in GHG reporting are derived from a range of sources that cross over between financial and technical disciplines. Fundamentally, the reporting frameworks used in these schemes are based on general accounting principles which can be summarised as: • Relevance - ensure the inventory appropriately reflects the GHG emissions of the organisation and serves the decision-making needs of both internal and external stakeholders • Completeness - account for and report on all GHG emission sources and activities within the chosen inventory boundary. Disclose and justify any specific exclusions • Consistency - use consistent methodologies to allow for meaningful comparisons of emissions over time. Transparently document any changes to the data, inventory boundary, methods, or any other relevant factors in the time series

• Transparency - address all relevant issues in a factual and coherent manner, based on a clear audit trail. Disclose any relevant assumptions and make appropriate references to the accounting and calculation methodologies and data sources used • Accuracy - ensure that the quantification of GHG emissions is systematically neither over nor under actual emissions, as far as can be judged, and that uncertainties are reduced as far as practicable. Achieve sufficient accuracy to enable stakeholders to make decisions with reasonable assurance as to the integrity of the reported information.1 Following these guidelines, reporting is formulated around an organisational boundary and categorisation of emissions as direct or indirect according to their scope is facilitated (see Figure 1 on previous page). These scopes have been set out in the GHG Protocol, developed by the

World Business Council for Sustainable Development and the World Resources Institute. This document is regarded as best practice in guidelines for measurement and reporting of GHG emissions and has been adopted by both public and private institutions internationally since its initial release over a decade ago. The protocol has been adapted to form the principles outlined by the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) in the standard ISO 14064-1:2006 Greenhouse gases - Part 1: Specification with guidance at the organisation level for quantification and reporting of greenhouse gas emissions and removals. This standard is part of the ISO 14000 series which address a range of environmental issues. The first of these deals specifically with Environmental Management Systems (EMS). An EMS is a structured system or management tool which serves to help an organisation identify the environmental


< impacts resulting from its business activities and to improve environmental performance. ISO has developed two standards for use in implementing and certifying an EMS: • ISO 14001 - Environmental management systems - Requirements with guidance for use and; • ISO 14004 - Environmental Management Systems - General guidelines on principles, systems and support techniques. The system aims to provide a methodical approach to planning, implementing and reviewing an organisation’s environmental management. An EMS is generally implemented in a staged approach, following through consequent steps and repeating elements of this process periodically. Most organisations will have systems for managing their human resources, business objectives and finances as well as occupational health and safety, and security. An EMS will work more effectively if it is designed to operate in line with an organisation’s existing systems and processes, such as the planning cycle, the setting of targets and improvement programs, corrective and preventive action and management review. The first step in setting up an EMS is to identify significant environmental aspects. These are areas in which the operations of an organisation have an interaction with the environment. For example, the purchase of electricity uses fossil fuels and results in the associated environmental impacts of land disturbance and GHG emissions. Once a range of aspects have been identified, specific objectives, targets and programs can be put in place to manage related environmental consequences. Often, these are in the form of GHG intensity performance indicators such as kilograms of carbon dioxide equivalent (kgCO2-e) per room night. Critical to the success of any management system is a policy guideline that is agreed upon by upper management. An environmental or sustainability policy should clearly articulate specific intentions and directions in regard to environmental performance. This is a way of formalising a commitment to managing environmental

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those records, to ensure that the GHG emissions attributable to the organisation, and any changes in these, are recorded in a timely manner and

aspects and to continually improving on set objectives and targets. Government Frameworks The Australian Government oversees both mandatory and voluntary schemes for measuring GHG emissions. Anyone who is caught up in compulsory reporting should already be familiar with the details of the National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting (NGER) Act (2007) as it is targeted at very high energy users (though the thresholds do step down over time) and has been in effect for two years now and there are severe penalties for non-compliance. For comparatively small scale emitters who would like to make an effort to reduce emissions and be seen to be doing so, the National Carbon Offset Standard (NCOS) has been developed as a way of standardising GHG measurement and offsetting principles. NCOS was launched in July 2010 and takes over from the Greenhouse Friendly scheme.

• quality control practices in place to ensure data quality is maintained.2 Both NGER and NCOS are principle based schemes and rely on participants to follow the precepts outlined above Relevance, Completeness, Consistency, Transparency and Accuracy. With these in mind, any initiative to measure and manage environmental impacts is sure to achieve stated goals and to be of great value to internal and external stakeholders. By implementing effective, systems based management protocols, complying with and participating in the various GHG and environmental schemes available becomes a process of information migration rather than formulation References

To be certified under the standard and receive the logo pictured above, an organisation must have a comprehensive assessment of materially relevant emissions sources performed, undertake to reduce these emissions through the development of an Emissions Management Plan (EMP) and offset any remaining emissions with credits sourced from a select range of projects. The EMP is similar to a very basic EMS and must identify: • the GHG emissions attributable to the activities of an organisation within a given period • an emissions reduction strategy including the emissions reduction measures undertaken and quantity of emissions reduced • the equivalent quantity of carbon offsets required to offset the remaining emissions attributed to the organisation for each reporting period • records required, and the process for establishing and maintaining

1.

The Greenhouse Gas Protocol (2005). A Corporate Accounting and Reporting Standard, World Resource Institute, World Business Council for Sustainable Development (Revised Edition) p.7

2.

Australian Government Department of Climate Change (2010) National Carbon Offset Standard (Revised) p.14

Useful Resources GHG Protocol: http://www.ghgprotocol.org/ ISO: http://www.iso.org/iso/home.htm NCOS: http://www.climatechange.gov.au/ government/initiatives/australian-carbontrust/ncos-carbon-neutral-program.aspx Environmental Management for Hotels: The Industry Guide to Sustainable Operation. Available for purchase at: http://www. tourismpartnership.org/Publications/EMH. html

Chris Wilson is an environmental auditor by profession and has extensive experience in the areas of energy efficiency and greenhouse gas audit services and sustainability consulting services. Chris is a director of Pangolin Associates and can be contacted at chris.wilson@pangolinassociates.com.


Regulation Update By DEREK HENDRY

Aust: Why are Fire Doors Costly to Maintain? The costs associated with inspecting and maintaining fire doors continually grate on hotel engineers and managers, as they are reminded constantly by most maintenance contractors that remedial works are necessary, mandatory, and attract penalties for non compliance, and thus reinforce the need for frequency of inspections and maintenance. This article is not to advocate non compliance with “specified” statutory requirements, or to advocate a reduction in maintenance costs that reduces the safe operation of fire doors in an emergency where state legislation allows the owner/ occupier to determine the extent of inspections and maintenance to be performed. The purpose of this article is for hotel engineers, owners and managers to be informed on the parameters of the legislation which allows them to implement a safe inspection/ maintenance regime. The legislation in three states will be discussed, with Queensland and New South Wales discussed briefly, and the more involved Victoria legislation discussed at length. New South Wales Maintenance of essential fire safety measures has been regulated to differing degrees by evolving legislation over the years, commencing with Ordinance 70 in the early 1970’s, through to the current maintenance regimes under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act and Regulations.

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An essential fire safety measure (fire door) must be able to continue to perform to the relevant regulations and Australian Standard requirements to which it was designed and installed. The owner may decide to utilise AS 1851: 2005 “Maintenance of Fire Protection Systems and Equipment” (see Victoria for further comments) however in New South Wales it is the installation standard to which the door must be maintained.

Part 12 makes it mandatory on the property owner to ensure that fire doors comply with either the Australian Standard or are maintained in a state which allows the fire door to fulfil its purpose. While the objectives and intent of both Subdivisions 1 and 2 (buildings) relative to fire doors may be the same, Subdivision 1 is prescriptive and refers to the Australian Standards as applied by the relevant building surveyor, whilst Subdivision 2 nominates a performance standard.

Queensland

For new buildings or buildings having recent alterations (Subdivision 1 or combined Subdivisions 1 and 2 buildings), the building surveyor must determine the extent of inspections required for fire doors and place these requirements in writing to the owner upon completion of the building works.

The Queensland Fire and Rescue Service require fire doors to be maintained by the occupier under Section 54 of the Building Fire Safety Regulations. This means that if a “fire safety installation” is installed in a building, then the applicable Australian Standard must be adhered to (in our example AS 1851: 2005 “Fire Protection Systems and Equipment will apply). Inspections are to be performed by a appropriately qualified person. Victoria Part 12 of the Building Regulations 2006 and AS 1851: 2005 “Fire Protection Systems and Equipment Services” will cover fire door maintenance in Victoria. Part 12 contains two Divisions, Division 1 – Maintenance of Essential Safety Measures is broken down into three subdivisions. Subdivision 1 applies when fire doors are contained in a building built after July 1994 or an existing building where the fire doors have been altered under a building permit. Subdivision 2 applies to fire doors in buildings that existed prior to 1994 and have not been altered.

The current Australian Standard AS 1851: 2005 stipulates quarterly inspections. We strongly recommend property managers request the building surveyor to nominate four inspections per year. (Note: a hospital, nightclub, shopping centre, etc. may deserve a greater number of inspections). If required to use the previous Australian Standard AS1851:7, as is stipulated on the Occupancy Permit or Maintenance Determination, twelve inspections per year (eleven Type 1 and one Type 2) will be required. For existing buildings (Subdivision 2) the owner has an obligation to ensure that the fire doors will function adequately in the event of an emergency. Building legislation in Victoria does not compel existing fire doors to comply with >


< the current Australian Standard for maintenance under Subdivision 2 of Part 12. Indeed, even the Australian Standard specifies that unless this standard has been invoked by a controlling authority, under legislation it is not applicable. (Refer to Clause 4.3.2 (b)). Prior to 1994, the fire door maintenance standard was not invoked by Victoria’s legislation. Consequently for existing buildings, it is the property owner who is required to determine the extent of inspections required in the pursuit of ensuring the doors are maintained adequately. The maintenance standard can be used as a guide. We do not believe that it is the intent of the Building Regulations for “essential safety measures” in existing buildings (Subdivision 2) to strictly comply with all new Australian Standards created after the building was constructed. It may well be for certain installations, like emergency lights and exit signs, that some essential safety measures should comply with the current standard, but not fire doors (as the Standard stipulates). Staff are finding that a significant number of fire doors should never have been tagged (that is, where the installer certifies installation in accordance with the installation Standard), due to defects at installation stage, but are required to be maintained with the current maintenance standard (sometimes the contractor represents the same company who installed the door). This situation should be considered intolerable, especially when the defects are minor and can be very costly to repair. Many fire doors that are installed in sprinkler protected buildings deserve consideration, especially when they were installed in a period when no maintenance legislation existed. Minor defects that some contractors say are acceptable in a non sprinkler protected building are called up as maintenance items by other contractors in sprinkler protected buildings, and in such case a judgment call should be made by “appropriately qualified” inspectors/ person as to the extent of remedial works required.

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VIC - MFB and CFA Fire Safety Guidelines Released Hotel Engineers are advised that the MFB and CFA have developed a new fire safety guideline (GL-33) entitled ‘Performance Based Design within the Built Environment’. Developed in consultation with members of the fire safety engineering and building surveying industry, the guideline builds upon the foundations that have been laid by the International Fire Engineering Guidelines as well as encompassing the statutory matters contained within the (Victorian) Building Act and Regulations, and the Building Code of Australia (BCA). The guideline itself is self explanatory and addresses many of the procedural issues that fire safety engineers, building surveyors and fire authorities are confronted with when a performance based design approach is utilised. For more information go to the MFB website at http://www.mfb.vic. gov.au/media/docs and look for Guideline_33_Performance Based DesignWithinTheBuiltEnviromentV2

Balustrade Audit - Know Your Risks Hotel Engineers, building owners and managers are advised to consider commissioning an audit of the balustrades of their building(s) in terms of Building Code of Australia compliance and risk minimisation strategies. Recent balustrade audits undertaken have found numerous non compliances for the balustrades in various classes of buildings. Clause D2.16 of the BCA requires balustrades to have a minimum height of 1,000mm above floor levels and 865mm above stair flights (including handrails). The clause also prescribes maximum opening dimensions for balustrades and in addition, limits the “climb-ability” of the balustrade. Due to the prescriptive nature of the above balustrade requirements and the resulting numerous court judgments in recent years that have been in the plaintiffs favour wherever the balustrade was found to be less than 1,000mm high,

it is recommended that a comprehensive balustrade audit of all balustrades to determine non compliances with Clause D2.16 of the BCA, be undertaken. Hotel Engineers, building owners and facility managers can then make informed decisions to incorporate into their risk minimisation strategies and future building upgrades.

NSW - Department of Planning Publication Hotel Engineers might benefit from the recent publication by the NSW Department of Planning, of compliance policy and associated guidelines, to outline how it goes about compliance and enforcement work. The objective of the publications is to assist stakeholder understanding, and to assist the Department in ensuring approved projects operate within their conditions. For more information go to http:// www.planning.nsw.gov.au , click on ‘Development’ and go to ‘Major Projects Assessments’. 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 www.emau.com.au, and their new service, BCA Illustrated (at www.bcai.com.au), offers 3000 illustrations explaining and interpreting the BCA as it applies to your building.


Profile: Andrew McCarthy Novotel Barossa Valley Resort Sunrise casting light over the quaint Barossa Valley with kookaburras and birds chirping from the trees describes a setting which most of us would only dream of experiencing. Yet for Andrew McCarthy, this sets the scene for his daily commute to work.

A

s Maintenance Manager of the Novotel Barossa Valley Resort, Andrew considers himself lucky to live and work in one of the most desirable regions of Australia. While only having held his current position for the past two years, Andrew has worked at the 140-room resort for over a decade. Each morning Andrew gets to indulge in his true passion: his collection of English BSA motorcycles. He loves being able to ride one of his vintage bikes through the tranquil Barossa Valley on his way to work. Andrew’s job at the Novotel was not always destined for him. He was first employed as an apprentice carpenter and worked with the South Australian Government’s Department of Housing and Construction for eleven years. His apprenticeship taught him a wide range of skills which enabled him to become a Site Foreman on a number of projects. It was after this time however that Andrew began his ‘ten-year holiday’. He

moved from Adelaide to one of South Australia’s most charming regions: the Riverland. It was here that he worked for himself doing a variety of jobs. He worked as a fruit-picker, started a canoe hire business and became a Penrite Oil agent, all while continuing to work as a carpenter on the side. Andrew started his family while in the Riverland. As much as he loved the lifestyle of the region, after a marriage breakdown, he and his daughter moved to the Barossa Valley to give her a better education. There, Andrew met a wonderful woman, and now also has a six-year-old son. During his time as Maintenance Manager, Andrew has overseen a big shift towards improving the environmental credentials of the Novotel Barossa Valley. He now maintains the resort’s LED (light-emitting diode) lighting, water-saving shower heads and energy efficient mini-bar fridges. However, the biggest change he now looks after is the resort’s waste water treatment facility, where treated grey

water is now used to irrigate the adjacent Tanunda Pines Golf Course. It’s just a shame that Andrew doesn’t play golf! In addition to the golf course next door, guests at the resort can enjoy tennis, basketball and badminton facilities, heated pool, gymnasium and bike hire. If relaxation is the key, then the day spa or wine tasting options are also available. An ambition for Andrew is to improve the grounds of the resort by creating more native plant areas for guests to enjoy. Andrew is highly respected at the Novotel for his strong work ethic and attention to detail. He is always motivated to keep the resort running at the highest standard as he finds the satisfaction of the resort’s guests the most rewarding aspect of his job. This hard-working attitude is reflected in a quote from his father which Andrew lives by: “The true measure of a man is how well he looks after something”. Judging by Andrew’s respected status in the industry, one would agree that he has truly lived up to this measure. n

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Regular Maintenance Ensures A Stainless Finish By ASSDA – Australian Stainless Steel Development Association

Always rub stainless in the same direction as the grain. It is generally easy to tell the right direction, but be careful with handrails as they are usually polished around their circumference.

Use soap, mild detergent or a 1% ammonia solution in warm, low chloride water

Dry the surface after cleaning to reduce smearing

Smears will be reduced if the surface is dried afterwards.

Rub in the same direction as the grain

Be aware that if the stainless steel is coloured or has a very smooth (mirror) finish, excessive brushing or rubbing may reduce gloss or even scratch the surface.

DON’T •

Use bleaches or abrasive powders or pastes

Use a damp cloth on its own – it will smear corrosive deposits without removing them

Use steel (wire) wool, scrape with steel tools or use cloths that have been used on ordinary steel

Use scourers – they will scratch the surface

Use concentrated bleach or hydrochloric acid-based cleaning products

Rub or brush excessively.

WHAT IS TEA STAINING?

The beauty of stainless steel in a hotel environment is both its visual appeal and its ease of maintenance.

C

ommon areas where stainless steel will be found indoors include bathroom, laundry and kitchen fittings, handrails in the foyer and hallways, and possibly decorative features. Outside, stainless steel may be used for handrails, water features, sculptural pieces, or around swimming pools. In all instances, stainless steel holds its appearance best if it is washed regularly. When cleaning, use a cloth or soft brush to wash the stainless steel with soap, mild detergent, or a 1% ammonia solution in warm, low chloride water.

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Like most materials, stainless steel may become stained or discoloured over time, impairing the overall look. This brown discolouration – tea staining – occurs more readily within 5km of the surf, but it is a cosmetic issue that does not affect the structural integrity or the lifetime of the material. A number of design guidelines can help avoid tea staining but, if it does occur, then rain washing and/or regular washing as described above will remove deposits (such as salt) that can cause corrosion. If tea staining continues to occur, then chemical cleaning and passivation may be required. For more detailed information and design guidelines to avoid tea staining, refer to ASSDA’s Technical Bulletin: Preventing Coastal Corrosion (Tea Staining), available for download from www.assda.asn.au

CLEANING RULES DO •

Clean routinely to prevent stubborn stains building up

Use cloths or soft brushes to avoid scratching the surface

TROUBLESHOOTING There are some common stains or marks that may require particular attention in a hotel environment. Cement and mortar Cement and mortar splashes should be washed off before they set. Mild acids such as vinegar may be needed but not those using chloride rich chemicals. Never use brick cleaning liquids which contain hydrochloric acid. Be very careful that loosened particles don’t scratch the steel surface. Fingerprints, oils and grease If a mild detergent or ammonia solution as described above doesn’t remove


unsightly marks, use some glass cleaner on a soft cloth. A small amount of alcohol, methylated spirits, acetone, mineral turpentine or eucalyptus oil may also be used. Then rinse with clean water and dry. If the surface has a directional finish, always finish off by wiping in the polish direction with a soft, absorbent cloth and very hot clean water to reduce smears. You can give longer protection to high traffic areas (eg foyer handrails) by lightly rubbing with olive oil or baby oil, followed by a polish and shine using a soft cloth. Proprietary formulations are also available, including lanolin base gels used by yachting people. Hard water scale Heavv limescale from hard water can be loosened by soaking in a hot water and 25% vinegar solution. Rinse well with a solution of water and sodium bicarbonate or a solution of 1% ammonia, then rinse again with clean water. Always wipe dry.

Paint (eg following renovation) Apply paint stripper, taking care to follow the safety instructions. You may need to use a nylon brush or scouring pad as a last resort, but avoid metal scrapers at all costs – they will damage the surface. Rust marks Apply cream cleanser with a soft damp cloth and rub gently. If the mark still won’t shift, it might be necessary to use a proprietary cleaner, which are usually based on dangerous chemicals and must be handled with care according to the manufacturer’s directions. After cleaning, it is important to neutralise the acid with a 1% ammonia solution or a solution of baking powder and water, then rinse with clean water and wipe dry. If the rust has worn away the surface, it can be repaired with professional polishing but you will need expert advice. Tea & coffee stains Discolouration from tea and coffee stains can be removed with hot soapy water or

by soaking in a solution of boiling water and sodium bicarbonate. Remember to rinse well and wipe dry. Remember to rinse well and wipe dry.

REGULAR CLEANING ENSURES OUTSTANDING APPEARANCE Stainless steel is an ideal material for both functional and decorative features in a hotel. While smart design and grade selection are essential to its long-term performance, a suitable maintenance program is equally important. Regular cleaning as described above will ensure an outstanding appearance for the life of the fittings. n For more information, contact ASSDA on (07) 3220 0722 or www.assda.asn.au


Building Management & Control Systems Optimisation from the inside out By Jon Clarke M. AIRAH OMIEAust

Introduction Abstract A Building Management and Control System (BMCS), is the core element of a building, and the optimisation of its performance, requires a holistic approach with an in-depth understanding of the building envelope and the building services, including the mechanical and electrical systems. The balancing of systems to work in harmony with one another whilst using minimal energy, requires an intelligent reaction from the control system in response to demands, and does not necessarily require expensive replacement of control equipment. With the ongoing drive to maximise buildings; operational efficiencies, and encourage sustainability in design, the performance of these systems is the key to raising the bar in energy efficient buildings. Unfortunately there are many building management systems operating with inappropriate control logic and using a fraction of their capability. With state of the art digital controls now standard in most buildings, why is it that a large proportion of “intelligent buildings” suffer from excessive energy use and in some cases poor environmental conditions?

The most important asset for any commercial building is the occupants. A key asset for the occupants is the environment, especially in regards Hotels where the occupants equal revenue and therefore occupant satisfaction is paramount. It is therefore not surprising that, historically, the environmental conditions have often taken priority over energy efficiency in regards to the control of the building services. It has only been in the last ten years that green initiatives have required building designers to consider the environmental impact, across every process of construction, from building materials to operational sustainability. A large percentage of excessive energy usage can be attributed to existing assets which should feature high on any corporate agenda for potential carbon reduction. How and what to optimise are the fundamental questions. Each building is unique, to some degree, with variations in infrastructure from the façade to the mechanical services, all of which should complement each other. The building will only perform to the potential of the weakest component. One component which presents a high degree of contention is the Building Management and Control System (BMCS).

Background Over the last 25 years, the BMCS industry has evolved at a rapid pace to keep up with the latest trends in digital technology. Prior to the digital revolution, pneumatic

or electronic controls were used. These older style systems offered limited functionality and intelligence, and have since become obsolete. In the case of many buildings they have been replaced with direct digital controls (DDC). Systems with DDC controllers are software driven with intelligent communications. They claim to have the capability of achieving optimum environmental conditions, and provide detailed analysis of the buildings performance with fancy looking animated multicolour graphics. The perception of these systems from facilities managers and building operators tells a different story - they are regarded as “black box” technology, misunderstood and often blamed as attributing to the root-cause of their buildings operational problems. In many cases, it is indeed evident that the BMCS is contributing to inefficient building performance, and in some cases, poor environmental conditions.

Clever stuff Intelligent control systems are no different to any other computerised system. They process information and provide an output based upon pre-determined routines, (control sequences). As with other computerised systems, incorrect information or routines will provide an incorrect result. A typo buried deep within the software code has the potential to cause significant problems. Each manufacturer of BMCS has its own interpretation of plant control and use standard application libraries of control

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logic. Building designers also have their own interpretation of how systems should be controlled and it is not often that the two completely align. Therefore, there are usually some modifications required, which creates bespoke control logic for each building. In the IT world, software is rigorously beta tested off site for bugs and to provide improvements. In the BMCS world, software is often tested and commissioned on site, in limited timeframes and unfavourable conditions. Control sequences not only require appropriate testing for errors, but also need tuning for accurate response to changes in demands and conditions. Control sequences with PID control loops1, require tuning which can take a significant amount of time to achieve optimum performance. A typical BMCS can consist of hundreds of control points, all of which must be configured, tested, and calibrated for accuracy. A typical high rise building could have in excess of 300 controllers on the network.

What to optimise, and how to optimise, is a subject that is constantly under debate. As technology changes, thought processes are provoked to seek the ultimate balance of comfort and energy. It is interesting that, even though technology has improved dramatically over the last decade, the incumbent control algorithms within digital control systems are relatively unchanged. Were these systems way ahead of their time, or have they not caught up with changing trends? If a control system is replaced, and the performance rating of the building is increased, it is not evident whether it is the new system, or the re-commissioning process that has made the difference.

Life Cycle The life expectancy of anything digital can be relatively short. This is not due to component failure, but the software technology it operates on. The majority of BMCS systems use the Microsoft Windows(r) platform for the workstation. As operating systems are revised and upgraded, the BMCS manufacturers follow suit. In parallel with this, the computer hardware manufacturers are pushing the boundaries for speed of processing. There comes a time when older operating

Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s all in the Balance To create a balance, a control system must be in control, and that means having complete authority. For instance, the hierarchy of a system must allow for each level of control to operate to its limits before the next step in a sequence is initiated. This may seem perfectly logical but, there are many cases of systems fighting each other. An example of this is base building air conditioning systems being influenced by supplementary systems installed by tenants. The interaction of field equipment also plays a vital role in maintaining stability. For instance, correctly sized control valves2. To realise the maximum efficiency potential of an air conditioning system, a holistic and dynamic balance between air handling, cooling and heating systems must be achieved. This not only requires a sound foundation within the BMCS hardware and software, but also requires some learning from the building behaviour. Sequencing of equipment in response to changes in demands, must consider the combined Coefficient of Performance (COP) of any associated equipment and not just the item of plant in isolation3.

With rapid design and construction programmes dictating compressed commissioning periods, it is not surprising that many of these complex systems fall short of being fully tested. This is detrimental to the intelligence of the buildings design, performance, and the end user!

Re-commission or Replacement Re-commissioning returns a system to its original design. Optimisation seeks to improve the original design, overcoming problems that may have been encountered during the construction phase. This process is also known as retro-commissioning, which has been highly publicised in the USA, with case studies claiming significant results of energy reduction in existing buildings.

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systems are not supported or compatible with new hardware. This not only affects the workstation, but also the laptop computer used by the maintenance engineer. The functionality of a system directly relates to how efficient a building performs, not the speed of the hardware. The replacement of a control system should always include analysis and improvement of the functionality.

An Intelligent Response A control system is reliant upon feedback in order to calculate the action to maintain a required setpoint. This feedback can be derived from field sensors, or internal calculations from the various zones throughout the building. Optimising a control system to achieve a comfortable environment, using minimum energy, not only requires the functionality to


be appropriate, but also the control setpoints. But what is an appropriate setpoint? A typical hotel may have hundreds of occupants; each with subjective opinions of what is hot or cold and therefore individual room controls are typically provided. This may satisfy the occupant, but does have an energy penalty if the individual control is not limited and monitored to some degree. Interfacing to hotel booking systems to setback the air conditioning for unoccupied rooms will provide a high level of over-riding control to reduce wasted energy however, air conditioning systems in large common areas supplying multiple zones across multiple floors, all of which are requesting slightly different demands, require intelligent controls to find the best temperature or air quantity to satisfy the demands without over heating or cooling. Generally systems are engineered to use an average or maximum demand (hi select) calculation to determine setpoints, in combination with a PID control loop. This method can be influenced by rogue zones, which are not reflecting a true representation of conditions, and PID control loops typically have one speed of response4. One approach which can overcome both of these issues is a principle called “trim and respond”, which can be applied to most BMCS systems. The principle of “trim and respond” uses zone demands to flag votes, dependent upon the conditions. Single votes can be ignored, which eradicates rogue zones. Critical zones, however, can be given multiple votes, giving them a priority. These votes will influence how the system responds. For example, votes for cooling could trigger the system to reduce supply air temperature by preset increments over a time period. This increment is increased to a maximum level as more votes become active. Alternatively, if there are not any votes, or as votes reduce, the system trims the supply air by increasing the temperature at a less aggressive increment. In general, this principle of control is easier to tune than traditional control loops, and can be applied to many applications where multiple zones are supplied from a common source for instance, static pressure control. This principle has been widely used

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in the USA with very effective results. ASHRAE published an article in 2007, (Increasing VAV System Static Pressure Reset), detailing the benefits of “trim and respond” logic.

Consider the Source A chain reaction, triggered from changes in demand levels, will ripple through the building from the local terminal units to the air handling units, chillers and boilers, consequently serving them as the source. It is therefore imperative to allow plant to operate only if really necessary. Having too many optimisation routines can cause just as much instability in air conditioning systems as not having any at all. A system too sensitive to changes in demands can lead to plant operating inadvertently. Time schedules should dictate if there is enough time left in the occupancy period for plant to be effective, if enabled. Simple, logical, sequencing will provide results; complex strategies have a tendency to trip them selves up under certain conditions. This is where a well structured BMCS can really make the difference to how a building performs.

Dashboard Control Large BMCS systems will generate a plethora of information that is necessary for the operation of the building. How this information is presented to the building operator is sometimes daunting and not particularly user friendly. This can lead to misinterpretation, resulting in incorrect adjustments of setpoints or control parameters. An intuitive building performance dashboard indicating a global overview such as ambient conditions, average space conditions, and setpoints, can assist an operator to make an educated assessment of the building performance. One of the most common complaints from building operators is, not having global

commands; making set point changes both laborious and time consuming. Optimisation may provide a building with substantial energy savings, but like any performance enhanced system, it requires ongoing tuning and adjustment to sustain the performance. A BMCS can provide the ability to achieve this, but ultimately, will only do as it has been instructed. n

About the author Jon Clarke is an associate with Norman Disney & Young in Sydney, with over 25 years experience in the controls industry.

Footnotes 1. At the heart of every control sequence is a Proportional Integral Derivative (PID) control loop. Although a complex algorithm, its function is to balance an input or (process variable) e.g. a temperature sensor, with a required value (setpoint) by calculating an output based upon the PID settings. The response of mechanical plant in reaction to a control output varies in both speed and effect it has on the process variable. For this reason each PID control loop requires individual tuning to achieve stability in both plant and conditions. Incorrect PID settings can cause a system to hunt if setpoints are exceeded by the outputs reacting too aggressively. 2. Valves with inadequate authority can cause a system to undulate effecting the operation of all associated plant. For example, as chilled water valves open, pump speeds are increased which in turn effects the operation of the Chillers. This chain reaction and the subsequent reverse domino effect can be quite substantial in regards to energy waste. 3. Chillers can not operate in isolation; they require pumps and cooling towers which all will contribute to energy consumption. The COP of a chiller does not take into account this ancillary equipment. 4. Control loops typically react with the same proportion and speed to an increase or reduction in demand. If set too slow, the demands may not be satisfied in an acceptable time frame, set too fast, overshoot can occur. This article was originally published in the March 2010 issue of Ecolibrium, published by AIRAH. It is reprinted with permission. Go to www.airah.org.au


On-line Water Treatment/Efficiency Monitoring and Reporting A 21st century technology for total control over the water treatment of your air conditioning or refrigeration plant By DAVID BUTTSWORTH | Queensland Manager, Independent Monitoring Consultants

The selection and implementation of the correct control equipment with effective and professional management is pivotal to success. Long gone are the days of blind treatment controllers and service technicians performing weekly, fortnightly or even monthly service calls where their field reports are used along with quarterly weighted coupon testing to check that the best possible results are maintained. We know now that these periodic visits guarantee very little. IMC OPTIONS professional monitoring services using the Aquarius KPI 3 monitor and controller provides controls and measures that include:

The ability to successfully control water quality in cooling towers depends on the monitoring and analysis of the system on a continuous basis.

M

odern technology allows us the opportunity to see inadequacies in past control methods and understand and realise what is really important in maintaining a successful water treatment programme. What we now consider as the most important tools are reliable control, data recording of information and alarms to ensure benchmarks are maintained and confirmation that systems are treated proactively through a uniformed analysis of past performances.

a. Linear Polarization corrosion of two metal monitoring, logs and alarms b. Automated velocity control to set point c. Conductivity measure and automated bleed control d. ORP measure using APL control, with time control if required e. pH measure using APL control f. Secondary biocide with pre-bleed and bleed lockout function g. Inhibitor dosage control via water meter or other mode selections h. Dispersant dosage control via water meter or other mode selections i. Water Usage including Makeup, bleed and Backwash j. 4-20mA input for external instrument with programmable ranging and alarms k. Data logging of all measures and outputs

l. Remote control via GSM modem and Aquarius software m. 4-20mA output card for building computer connection of 8 measures and relay status n. Measure alarms, safety alarms with ORP and pH lockout alarm Information plays a huge part in the total care used to provide both a safe, effective and efficient cooling system. This allied with technologies that allow for a complete picture on a 24/7 basis using effective control methods and the monitoring of their effect on plant while introducing direct action capabilities through alarms and remote control coupled with professional management allow for a much improved and responsible management of treatment, water and energy. Several things can occur in a cooling systems treatment which can jeopardise control without notice and include: a. b. c. d. e.

Contamination via exterior source Equipment failure Water loss Empty chemical treatment tanks Changes in make-up water quality

Once any of the above has occurred all balances can be thrown out and this is when the KPI 3 controller with corrosion monitoring, remote control and alarming really demonstrates its full power and effectiveness. Alarms are generated according to user defined fields, and as deviations occur corrective actions can be implemented immediately from remote locations.

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A performance review is very important for a site to confirm treatment regimes are in place and effective Key Performance Indicators are met not just on specific days (site visits) but always. As most engineers and property managers are not water treatment trained, a simple to understand report is important and can provide insight by demonstrating all measured relationships with consumption data and this is where IMC OPTIONS professional monitoring services assist: 1. Conductivity measure, make up and bleed rates in litres with alarms on deviation from the conductivity set point will ensure system water usage is tight. 2. Oxidization Reduction Potential measure and dosage performance with alarms for deviation from set point & safety lockout breach to ensure 24/7 treatment or indication of issues. 3. pH measure (and when required) dosage performance with alarms for deviation and from set point & safety lockout breach. 4. Corrosion measures with alarms at user set breach levels recorded in-line with ORP and Inhibitor dosage to allow balance and review. 5. Water usage in respect to your performance requirements providing cycles achieved allowing analysis of benchmarks in-line to relevant conductivity cycle objectives. Reporting on make-up, bleed and when required backwash consumption rates automatically collected allowing review to provide saving potential and to identify any deficiency. IMC OPTIONS monitoring services and report plan together with the Aquarius KPI 3 controller can assist in minimizing water and chemical consumption by providing reflective results while preventing wastage through its range of alarms in a way that traditional blind methods could never provide. Oxidizing biocide (ORP) also provide a more environmentally sustainable sanitiser than traditional non-oxidizing biocides with on-line measurable levels. The provision of dispersant dosing controls can assist in maximising the cleaning powers of Oxidizing treatment. Tracking and control of all outputs to ensure programs are indeed being implemented and carried through including chemical tank alarms are used to ensure the site never runs out of chemicals. Recording the water usage through the automatic reading of make-up and bleed rates will allow low cost report generation for compliance with changing government regulation and allow

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constant review of bench marks against actual performance. Tracking of water loss and water saving potential is then also recognised with other important operational effects. Nowadays there is a greater awareness and recognition on the increased use of Oxidizing biocides, the focus on environment and change in respect to the wasteful use of water that were once acceptable in the past has companies and governments now focused on long term sustainability. The accompanying reports are extracted from an existing KPI 3 controller. Despite all the efforts of a good water treatment provider and or service technician, problems still occur as is clearly demonstrated in the report. The difference being that reaction times can be reduced dramatically and problems rectified and work justified on a continuing basis as and when required. IMC OPTIONS ongoing monitoring of the KPI 3 and its alarms provides clients with an interactive programme of professional supervision and control of the system treatment and its parameters, the monitoring and attention to alarms 24/7, with monthly reports specifically aimed at simplifying treatment problems and the energy and water usage for building managers and operators. Obviously policy should be in place to reflect minimum requirements and to set in place bench marks for the water treatment which we suggest should include. â&#x20AC;˘ ORP control to set point on a consistent basis as the primary biocide. Set to a level to ensure bacterial and Legionella results are below the acceptable level at minimum but also maintained to minimise biofilm within the system. Lockouts should be set to allow normal retention of set points according to demand but to ensure isolation of dosing equipment if the acceptable time limit is breached. Alarms should be transmitted to provide instant notification of deviation from normal operating levels including lockouts and action taken within your required time limit for rectification. Following is an independent testing laboratoryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s results compiled with ORP level data obtained from a KPI 3 for each corresponding sample time.


• pH is monitored or controlled when required to increase when applicable the cycles of concentration and to minimise scale in the cooling system while ensuring affect ranges are maintained for ORP. Timed lockouts should be set to allow normal retention of set point according to demand but also to ensure isolation of dosing equipment is achieved if the acceptable time limit is breached. Alarms will be transmitted to provide instant notification of deviation from normal operating levels including lockouts and action taken within your required time limit for rectification. • Conductivity set points should reflect water saving initiatives which can only be considered once make up water analysis has been reviewed for the particular site in question. Alarms should be transmitted to provide instant notification of deviation from normal operating levels and action taken within your required time limit for rectification. Below again shows overflow which worsens on the weekend when plant is not operational.

a 12.5% lockout allowance to set point is breached. The pre-bleed is also automated to ensure no more than 12.5% below normal set point is allowed as viewed below.

• Inhibitor dosing should be established to maintain consistent levels in the system and corrosion rates viewed and alarmed to ensure efficient and effective use. • Dispersant dosing should be undertaken to provide a cleansing affect on the system and to ensure ORP chemicals are used efficiently to reduce biofilm. • Water flow, sampling & dosing should be provided to the complete system daily to ensure mixing and treatment of the full system water volume. When possible the controller should be fitted so that the cooling tower basins are turned over constantly.

• Corrosion should be maintained less than the maximum rate allowed through normal operation and every effort should be made to reduce this rate to a • Corrosion should be maintained less than the maximum rate allowed through normal operation and every effort should be made to reduce this rate to a minimum. Alarms should be set at maximum acceptable level to ensure if breaches occur action is taken to rectify the breach. The result of slug dosing of oxidising biocide on corrosion. Management is as easy as looking at the data available and providing consistent levels

• Water usage recording should be implemented automatically and introduced to provide graphing and reviewing ability comparative to other measurable indicators. Suitable pulse head water meters should be wired back to the controller on Make up, bleed and Backwash lines if applicable. This report will provide important ongoing analysis of the water treatment performance in relation to water consumption and provide efficiency guidance to energy consumption. • Low Level tank alarms should be connected to each of the controllers to provide an SMS alarm if tanks become low. The tank level sensors used should be positioned in a chemical drum to provide enough time to react without running out. • Alarms via a suitable modem should be integrated to activate to any controlled/monitored measures. The IMC OPTIONS representative and water treatment representative should both receive immediate SMS messages if deviations from any acceptable measured level are present.

• Secondary biocide should be used in conjunction with pre-bleeds and bleed lockouts at least once a week. The prebleed should be programmed to minimise water wastage. The bleed lockout should ensure satisfactory retention time in the system is achieved without scaling. The following graphs show great conductivity control, notice the bleed gaps which occur once biocide is dosed. Aquarius uses an automated override to ensure bleed does occur before

IMC OPTIONS can then communicate directly with the treatment provider regarding these issues and by remotely accessing the site further investigate and or make appropriate changes to rectify the problems. • Calibration of probes should occur at least quarterly. IMC OPTIONS using suitable standard buffer solutions of a known value and or compatible to the controller will be performed to ensure optimum results.

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â&#x20AC;˘ Operation of the controller is checked via remote control to ensure operation is acceptable. â&#x20AC;˘ No Volt contact alarm fitted within the controller should be wired to a suitable local point to ensure that if power is lost to the control equipment, notification is provided.

The KPI 3 controller has no significant ongoing cost associated to its successful use unlike other high maintenance control equipment.

On-line Water Treatment/ Efficiency Monitoring and Reporting

â&#x20AC;˘ Monthly Reports by IMC OPTIONS are available for review each month. The report will contain specialised Data Summary pages with bench marks indicated and any variation recorded with water consumption data also displayed. Any deviation from out of the normal operating measures would be highlighted and reasons provided with explanation or rectification that was undertaken if and when required.

Test equipment used by treatment supplier representatives using reagent type diagnosis can become very unreliable if not maintained to the highest degree and although all companies seek to employ responsible technicians it has become apparent at least in Australia that the bells and whistles are only as good as the people that use them. n

The IMC OPTIONS reporting package automates these reports to provide time efficient reporting and deviations will be easily seen as demonstrated on the reports.

Footnote: David Buttsworth has more than 20 years industry experience in the chemical water treatment industry and for many years ran his own water treatment company in Sydney.

(continued)


Help, I’m on Fire!

(Or, an introduction to Digital Video) By PETER SWANSON NSW / ACT Business Manager, AMX Australia

While obviously not as physically serious as the title suggests, that’s likely to be the feeling of panic induced the first time you witness a client completely unable to connect their laptop or other source device to your presentation system at a function or event.

T

he reality is that the past 5-10 years have been pretty easy for the AV industry as far as getting computer images and the like up onto big screens. Even in this period of relative ease, things haven’t always gone smoothly – particularly since screens moved away from traditional 4:3 (square-ish) images towards 16:9 (widescreen) and high definition. But now, there’s an even bigger challenge coming into your presentation rooms – DIGITAL VIDEO. In principle, Digital Video is a great thing. Just as CDs and then MP3s made it easier to store more music, more reliably and at greater long term quality, so Digital Video helps make the recording, playback and generation of High Definition images and content much more accessible. However, Digital Video is not just one thing, standard or method and here is where the challenges come in. There are many flavours of Digital Video, each with

their own quirks and incompatibilities. Add to this mix Digital Rights Management (DRM) which locks out certain signal splits and duplication to “protect” the original content from piracy. You can also add the scaremongering campaigns of various manufacturers who are making a variety of claims about the true nature of the “Analog Sunset”. We are without question entering a time of uncertainty, fear and confusion. Progress always comes at a price and in this case, that price is the lack of clarity and surety on achieving a good, effective, reliable Digital Video outcome. This article aims to demystify the situation surrounding Digital Video so that you can make informed decisions about your technology implementations over the coming months. Analog Sunset So, beginning with the “Analog Sunset”. All presentation devices are moving inexorably towards Digital Video-only outputs. I’m talking about laptops, DVD players, Document Cameras and so on here. This is natural and logical, in the same way as we all gradually stopped buying audio cassettes and LP records when CDs came onto the scene. There are some milestones coming in 2013 and 2015 as analog video becomes progressively less available on DVD/ Blu-ray players and computers. However, given that these dates are between 2-4 years away the reality is that you are likely to go through an upgrade cycle on technology before then. So, to ward off fears of the “Analog Sunset”, simply

be aware of the fact that your new video systems installed from today onwards should at the minimum have at least 1 Digital Video playback path. Digital Video What does that mean? Well, let’s have a look at the things you can call “Digital Video”. There are realistically a relatively short list of Digital Video technologies, many of which have some level of compatibility between each another. They are: • Connection & Transmission Technologies – used to link a source device directly to a display  DVI – A mainly computer / videoconference based connector type  HDMI – Born with HD content on DVD players, but now increasingly common on computers, iPad 2s and other devices. Capable of carrying audio signals as well as video  Displayport – The computer world’s answer to HDMI

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 SDI and HD-SDI – Broadcasting formats common on professional cameras and some mixing / display devices. Can incorporate audio signals through embedding • Transmission technologies – used for passing video signals between devices using an electronic network prior to conversion to a Connection Technology

Presentation Digital Video (laptops, DVD players, videoconference units etc): HDMI, DVI, Displayport Broadcast Digital Video (TV cameras, high end presentation videowalls, etc): SDI, HD-SDI

 DisplayLink – Outputs video over USB, with a converter to one of the above formats at the display location  IP Streaming – A broad umbrella term for many types of video formats including MPEG, WMV, ASF, MOV, MJPEG and so on – often includes embedded audio Designing for Digital Whatever new audio visual / presentation systems you are putting in, these should feature at least one of these Digital Video signal types so that you have flexibility in catering for new equipment that clients or conferencing providers may bring to your venue. To

You can decide fairly easily on what sorts of connection to provide by considering the following two types of Digital Video:

HDMI

Depending on the types of events your venue hosts, you will likely want to cater to “Presentation Digital Video”, “Broadcast Digital Video” or both. HDMI is proving to be a particularly popular connector at present as it has gained significant traction in the consumer electronics industry through DVD players, camcorders, laptops and other devices. Its significant shortcoming for the events industry is the absence of a locking connector. Just like with USB, if you pull hard on an HDMI lead (or it gets caught on something) there is nothing but friction to stop it pulling out of the socket. Displayport remedies the locking connector issue and has come from a DVI

Displayport

more professional industry background as the designed successor to VGA and DVI connectors. It is becoming increasingly common on laptops and other computing devices including the new Thunderbolt connector on Macbook Pro’s, but does not support audio. DVI is the oldest of the 3 Presentation connectors and was originally designed as a direct successor to VGA – so much so that it actually includes the ability on some DVI connectors to transport a VGA signal. If you are thinking of using that feature, do make sure that your equipment, cables and connectors are all correctly wired to pass both the Analog and Digital signals. DVI connectors are very robust and feature similar locking thread bolts to VGA connectors, but are also very large compared to HDMI and Displayport. As a result, they only tend to feature on larger devices like videoconference units and Document Cameras. Both SDI and HD-SDI are firmly in the Broadcast realm and should be considered in the context of high end systems. SDI

HD-SDI

From HDMI

Direct, no issues – but consider audio insert and extract

Video signal is usually compatible using converter cable, but no audio transmitted

Video signal is usually compatible using converter cable, but no audio transmitted

Conversion unit required, plus downscaling to standard definition resolution

Conversion unit required

DVI

Video signal is usually compatible with converter cable

Direct, no issues – confirm whether single or dual-link DVI

Video signal is usually compatible with converter cable

Conversion unit required, plus downscaling to standard definition resolution

Conversion unit required

Displayport

Video signal is usually compatible using converter cable, but no audio output. High resolutions (2560x1600 and above) may not pass

Video signal is usually compatible using converter cable. High resolutions (2560x1600 and above) may not pass

Direct, no issues

Conversion unit required

Conversion unit required

SDI

Conversion unit required

Conversion unit required

Conversion unit required

Directly compatible – may require re-syncing of signal for long distances or complex interconnections

Conversion unit required

HD-SDI

Conversion unit required

Conversion unit required

Conversion unit required

Conversion unit required

Directly compatible – may require re-syncing of signal for long distances or complex interconnections

Black text – Typically few issues Blue text – conversion cable required, other electronics interfaces / sync devices may be needed Red text – Definitely requires a conversion unit which may cost $100s or a few thousand dollars

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The table on the previous page shows the relative features and compatibility of the Connection Technologies. The table uses the usual signal flow convention in that “from” devices are sources like laptops and so on, while “to” devices are screens, projectors and the like: Getting the image there All Digital Video signals with the capability for High Definition are quite sensitive to electrical interference and other issues. As a result, higher quality cabling and specific digital extender devices are required to get reliable signals out of your systems. There are various options in the market to extend HDMI, DVI and Displayport over Category 6 network cabling or optical fibre. These have a wide variety of technological approaches, quality of performance and cost so it’s important to be clear on what you expect in terms of signal distance, resolution and quality when reviewing the options out there. Category 6 solutions have the advantage of using cost effective network cabling, but are still in the electrical realm so can suffer from interference. On the other hand, optical fibre solutions are typically more expensive, but due to signal transmission in the optical realm they are completely immune to any form of electrical interference – this can be a huge benefit in event environments where many different wired and wireless signals may be overlapping each other in the space. EDIDn’t, did ‘E? To beware of unintended consequences is a well known aphorism and it couldn’t apply more to the grandly titled “Extended Display Identification Data” or EDID feature common on the vast majority of source and display devices. In principle, EDID should make the world a much better place, with screens and sources automatically communicating to determine the best resolution for the image. In practice, however, EDID is often the “straw that breaks the camel’s back” when it comes to getting a decent looking image from your laptop to the projector or LCD screen. There are a variety of deeply technical reasons behind this, but they could be summarised by the fact that EDID defines a structure for devices

to communicate, but not necessarily a language. So, you get some devices which “speak” in very broad accents and cannot properly understand each other. This means that you can have a laptop and a projector, both “speaking” EDID, but misunderstanding one another. A typical error-laden EDID communication might go like this: Laptop: Hi, who’s there? Projector: I’m a PSZ123 and I like to receive 1280x800 resolution signals Laptop: Oh, great, because I love to send 1280x768 signals Projector: Looking forward to getting your 1280x800 signal Laptop: OK, I’m sending 1280x768 now The confusion is that fundamental when EDID goes wrong – each device thinks it is doing the right thing, but they are actually sending the wrong image information which results in a squashed or stretched or partially missing image. There is unfortunately little that can be done to absolutely eliminate EDID issues as there are so many variants across the many source and display manufacturers, but you should absolutely be asking your designer what they are doing about EDID for your next video upgrade. If they don’t know what EDID is, or can’t give a good answer, think about moving on to someone else. The Elephant in the Corner Those of you who have dealt with Digital Video in any detail will very likely already have suffered at the hands of HDCP. High Definition Content Protection is a form of DRM that “protects” content when it is distributed between sources and displays. What this means is that the HDCP protocol establishes an encrypted session each time video is sent. In basic terms, this starts with a conversation which might look something like the below: DVD Player – “Hi, who’s that?” Projector – “Hi, I’m an HDCP protected projector” DVD Player – “Great, let’s set up an encrypted session” Projector – “Ok, how about we use key 213469234?” DVD Player – “Sounds good, encryption commencing now using key 213469234”

An introduction to Digital Video (continued)

DVD Player – “32145609324659018344635……” and so on This process explains two main frustrations with HDCP. First, it means that it takes a long time to get an image up on screen. The HDCP negotiation can take 10-15 seconds to complete – particularly if you don’t just have a direct source-display link like above, but actually have 3 or 4 items in the signal chain. Where that’s the case (think of any extenders, switches or other items that you might have in a system), the negotiation includes all of them agreeing on a given set of keys (as a key is needed for each “hop” between two items of equipment. This all takes time – and can be very annoying if you are, for example, swapping between a DVD player and a laptop during a presentation. But, it gets worse. HDCP devices often have small numbers of concurrent keys – for example, a DVD player might only permit 2 devices to connect to it via concurrent HDCP keys. So, if you had a matrix switcher, a signal extender and then a projector, nothing would be shown as this would need 3 keys, exceeding the limit of 2. So, where you want to deal with HDCP content, you need to be very careful in considering system setup and design. There are various devices out there that can help with effective key management, but the central point is to be aware of the risks of HDCP compliance so that you can plan to mitigate them in your systems. As always, this article is intended to increase awareness of risks and considerations when deploying AV solutions. The challenges of Digital Video are best tackled in partnership with an experienced AV professional designer, but I hope that the information above will help you to ask the right questions of the designer on your next upgrade project. n

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ADVERTORIAL

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.

L

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 leading PMS systems, and the interface customised for the Hotel’s branding. Access to web-based online compendiums and information pages is available. LSP can also offer menu language support in Chinese, Japanese and Korean. 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. Having the Internet and Skype available via the screen captures revenues from Guests who otherwise would need to carry their own laptops or other device. The Laptop Internet access will also work regardless of the

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

Guest’s computer setup, be it DCHP or Static IP. Guest email does not require changes to POP or SMTP settings. 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 ross@lifestylepanel.com

Hotel Engineer | Vol 16 No. 1 | 31


Painting with light SomePlace Else Set in the heart of Warsaw, the five- star Sheraton Warsaw hotel is a modern building, featuring the best in technology and comfort for the benefit of its guests. For one of the hotel’s restaurants, SomePlace Else, a little extra sparkle was added to make it one of the most recognised eateries in the Polish capital.

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omePlace Else fuses industrial architecture with the spirit of the jazz era, the swing of the 1950s and rock ‘n’roll to emulate the classic American pub. The real show-stopper though, is the lighting technology provided by Philips Dynalite and Philips Color Kinetics. The glass entrance to the restaurant is the first indication that SomePlace Else is someplace special. With a dazzling array of dynamic animations, the doorway displays graphics and low resolution videos to create images ranging from cascading waterfalls in summer to cosy warm fires for a dark winter’s night. The effects were created using more than 300 iColor Flex LED light points from Philips Color Kinetics. The iColor Flex LED strand contains more than 50 full color LED nodes to generate spectacular effects without the constraints of a rigid mounting fixture. The system is ideal for creating patterns or low resolution video displays on either indoor or outdoor surfaces where light fixture flexibility is required. Having experienced the delight of the restaurant’s main entrance, guests are welcomed into SomePlace Else with soft

ambient lighting and accent lighting over the bar. The glass top of the bar is highlighted with multiple colours creating an impression of a rainbow over an island. To achieve this, the designers chose the 117 iColor Cove QLX luminaires manufactured by Color Kinetics which are ideal for alcoves, accent areas and other interior spaces. The solution provided by Philips Dynalite and Philips Color Kinetics included the iPlayer 3 DMX show and storage device and ColorPlay 3 lightshow authoring software. This enabled the restaurant managers to change the entrance theme and interior colours to suit the music, the event, the season or at the whim of the operator through a simple touch panel. The accompanying software allows the programmer to customise effects, transitions and layering of images. The overall control system package consists of lighting controllers, integration gates and touch panels. Not only did SomePlace Else receive a stunning display of lights and restaurant ambience, but also gained the benefits of LED technology. The energy savings and lower environmental impact of LED technology is a key feature for most installers and designers. “LED technology gives us not only high energy savings and system durability, but also creates stunning effects - painting with light,” said Arkadiusz Lewenko, Sales Business Leader, Hospitality for Philips. “The lighting applications installed in Warsaw’s Sheraton SomePlace Else, present the perfect example of Philips Lighting for hotels, restaurants and cafes,” he said. The installation at SomePlace Else provided by Philips Dynalite and Philips Color Kinetics is just one of many hospitality projects undertaken

SomePlace Else is painted with light, utilising the technology and installation of Philips Color Kinetics and Philips Dynalite

by the company. Architectural, healthcare, residential, retail, theatre and entertainment lighting systems have all been given a touch of magic by Philips Color Kinetics. “Thanks to Philips Control Kinetics we can create an absolutely unique atmosphere for our guests to feel truly special and welcome,” said Lewenko. n

Hotel Engineer | Vol 16 No. 1 | 33


ADVERTORIAL

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.

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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 16 No. 1 | 35


The Sustainable FM program By Meg Michell, Director Program Management, UNE Partnerships

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ustainability is an issue of increasing and long-term importance to society. In the facilities management sector it is a growing issue but building users generally take an immediate view of operations, and still tend to view facilities as a cost. Whilst resources exist to assist with managing sustainability, awareness among individual practitioners is low and no training program exists to suit the operational level. With Introduction of national greenhouse reporting, an impending emissions trading system and the incoming Mandatory Disclosure requirements, sustainability in facilities management is a skill that must be embraced as core knowledge.

Guided by the FM Action Agenda #9, UNE Partnerships and the University of Sydney paired with Brookfield, a provider of FM services, to scope, develop and deliver an innovative training program for facilities managers and facilities supervisors in sustainable facilities management. Brookfield is passionate about sustainability and about exploring and implementing new ways in which it can grow and prosper into the future. In recognition of this and to make a contribution to the industry, environment and their business, Brookfield agreed to fund the development of a short course focused on sustainable facilities management. The Sustainable FM program aims to develop participant’s ability to apply process rather than product and refers to industry recognised resources for managing sustainability to ensure the desired impact at operational level. It incorporates various tools, standards and guidelines already in existence, bringing them together to raise awareness and encourage a consistent approach to managing sustainability. The objectives are to: •

introduce the concept of sustainability and position its importance to the facilities management sector

provide participants with the tools and skills to identify relevant operations and facilitate their measurement

provide participants with the skills to analyse and report on key factors affecting sustainability and identify areas for improvement with regard to the facilities under their management

encourage implementation of sustainable measures to improve performance.

The program is designed to enable participants to operate buildings in the most sustainable way through improvements in operational performance across the key areas in which facilities managers can make a difference: energy, water, waste, indoor environment quality and procurement. In addition to the development of skills and knowledge of participants, the training program provides the employing organisation with the capacity and ability to set performance targets and implement management strategies.

For more information regarding Sustainable FM corporate workshops, please contact Meg Michell at UNE Partnerships on 1800 066 128. n


Glass impact hazard warnings By ROD HUNTER

Transparency of walls by glass

is even greater if the glass is

Figure 1 The warning markings in these doors and side panels do not comply for vertical position with AS 1288, nor with AS1428.1 (with which this space must comply) because the markings are not in the form of a solid band that extends the full width of the glass, it is not deep enough, and it is located too high.

sufficiently manifest as to avoid

See also Figure 2.

contributes to building amenity, facilitating natural illumination, perceptions of visual escape and indoor spaciousness. Amenity

its being walked or run into.

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anifestation of glass is mandated by the Building Code of Australia (BCA) which requires that glass in doors and other applications capable of being mistaken for doorways or openings have a hazard warning band on the glass. The intention is to minimise risk of injury from impact with the glass including from resulting glass breakage, and from rebound falls or falls through the glass. A casual survey of buildings suggests that the need for glass manifestation is not widely appreciated or possibly that the need for them is regarded as unaesthetic.

Figure 2 Looking out One of the contributors to conspicuity of warning markings is their luminance contrast with their background (of at least 30%). This is often difficult to achieve because the background varies with the vantage point, especially when looking out compared with looking in to a building. The markings on these doors and side panels are only just discernible when viewed from outside (see Figure 1) but are virtually invisible when viewed from inside. Glare effects can exacerbate this.

As of May this year, the BCA will, in effect, stipulate two types of glass hazard warning: one for “accessways” that complies with AS 1428.11, and one for other-than accessways that complies with AS 12882. The BCA defines ‘accessway’ as a ‘continuous path of travel’, the definition of which it defers to AS1428.1 — which defines it as ‘an uninterrupted path of travel to, into or within a building providing access to all accessible facilities’; “accessible facilities” are those

Figure 3 The form of these warning markings complies with AS 1288 but not with AS 1428.1. The middle rail of the doors in the background constitutes compliance with AS 1288 and AS1428.1 for glass hazard warning.

Figure 4 These warning markings satisfy AS1428.1 (with which it must comply for the spaces shown here) and AS 1288. Posters on glass and furniture against it can very effectively prevent misperception of the glass as a doorway or opening; however, because they are impermanent they should not be relied-upon.

Hotel Engineer | Vol 16 No. 1 | 37


Glass impact hazard warnings (continued) that have features enabling ‘use by people with a disability’. Generally, this therefore means most spaces in hotels including those used by hotel personnel must comply with AS 1428.1. Exceptions are identified in the BCA and are characterised by plant rooms and the like. The AS 1428.1 and AS 1288 warning markings vary with respect to the depth, vertical location, breadth, opacity, textural density and conspicuity of the warning marking. Markings complying with AS 1482.1 will also comply with AS 1288, but markings complying with AS 1288 will not necessarily comply with AS 1428.1. Concomitantly, AS 1428.1 type markings are more effective than markings that are less conspicuous but allowable by AS 1288.

AS 1428.1 is predicated upon amenity for “people with a disability”. However, “people with a disability” should not be construed too narrowly: for glass manifestation in buildings, the term can and arguably should be construed as denoting any building users who at the time of their proximity with glass are unaware of it when it matters. There are many possible and legitimate reasons for this that are not necessarily restricted to the “person with a disability” stereotype. AS1288 has the virtue of specifying what constitutes capability of ‘being mistaken for a doorway or opening’ including with respect to chair rails or transoms. In contrast neither AS1428.1 nor, for hotels, the BCA3 provide such specification. Subjective judgement is therefore allowable, with potential diminution of effectiveness of the AS1428.1. For hotels, interpreting AS1428.1 in a broader context, applying AS 1428.1 warning bands in spaces not required necessarily to comply with AS1428.1, and

augmenting the AS 1428.1 specification with those of AS 1288 for chair rails and transoms would simplify the provision of glass hazard warning markings and reduce the risk of action under common law for injuries from glass impact. n References 1. AS 1428.1- 2009 ‘Design for access and mobility Part 1: General requirements for access – New building work’ 2. AS 1288-2006 ‘Glass in building – Selection and installation’ 3. Part 2 of the BCA, for private residential buildings, has similar specification of what constitutes “being mistaken for a doorway or opening” to that in AS 1288.

Rod Hunter is the principal of Hunarch Consulting, specialists in accessibility and safety, and developers of aXspertTM compliance auditing and automated reporting software.


The Digital Hotel

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ffective information services are as business critical in todayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s hotels as clean linen. The modern traveler, in both business and leisure, expects high speed internet connectivity and easy access to local information. The table top folder full of local company brochures has been a fixture in hotel rooms for decades. Now they are slowly being replaced by dedicated TV information channels in rooms and digital signage in common areas. The massive popularity of WiFi equipped devices, from laptops to smart phones and iPads, makes wireless connectivity crucial. And WiFi also offers another opportunity to give guests easy access to the local information which they need. Chances are your hotel has already implemented a number of these services. But chances are also high that these services are not integrated, so that managers and engineers are effectively running multiple parallel systems which cost the business dearly in effort and money. At easyweb digital we consider these services as a single digital environment. We assess a hotelâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s current guest information services and provide the best advice on how to get from there to an integrated system that is easy to manage within your current budget. Our systems ensure guests enjoy a seamless information experience and hotel staff do not duplicate effort. Often this can be achieved with surprisingly little effort. We make it our business to understand the rapidly changing technology landscape, so we know as much about which components you should keep, and how to adapt them to new systems, as we do about the very latest in public information technologies. easyweb digital works across fixed and wireless networks to provide internet connectivity and local information to guest laptops, tablets and smartphones, and crucial information to hotel digital signage networks. If youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re looking for a smart system that provides fixed internet connections to your rooms and WiFi to your entire premises, that delivers the same important information to guests regardless of how they choose to access it, then an easyweb integrated solution may be for your hotel. Our engineers like nothing better than talking about integrated solutions, so contact us for an obligation free chat about your information and internet provision ambitions. www.easywebkiosk.com


Premises Standard – Access Code for Buildings By DEREK HENDRY

is limited to work on new buildings, new building work and substantial alterations to existing buildings. 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.

There is no doubt that the Premises Standard – Access Code for buildings, due to come into effect from May 2011, will have a major impact on the property sector and the hospitality industry. Following is an update on the history and changes likely to affect Hotel Engineers. Some History 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

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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 (access to premises – buildings) Standards 2010; “Premises Standards”. This work was undertaken by the ABCB, the Australian Human Rights Commission and the Building Access Policy Committee (BAPC), which was a community and industry representatives committee. 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.

Building Code of Australia The Access Code for buildings has now been formulated, and contains performance requirements and deemed to satisfy criteria for buildings which will, in May 2011, 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. However for an alteration or addition to an existing building, usually driven by a regulation requirement, certifiers,

developers and building managers need to be sure they are correctly applying the Access Code requirements. 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 Access Code and the BCA rely have been revised to more effectively provide for people with disabilities. Through the introduction of the Access Code, the BCA will provide greater certainty for business and those responsible for building work, and provide for national consistency while reducing different regulatory arrangements.

Commencement Date The new Disability (Access to Premises - Buildings) Standards 2010 known as the Premises Standards made under the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (DDA) will apply to every new building project for which an application for a building permit approval is lodged with the relevant certifier (private building surveyor and the like) on 1 May 2011, or after that date. The Premises Standards are available online from the Commonwealth AttorneyGeneral’s Department website: www. ag.gov.au

Transitional Provisions Be aware that there are no transitional provisions that apply to the introduction of the Premises Standards; its commencement date is aligned to that of the 2011 BCA. The usual transitional provisions as provided in State and


Territory Development Acts, that would allow discretion in applying new laws for substantially completed designs or applications seeking construction approvals, do not apply to the Premises Standards, as they are a separate law made by the Commonwealth. While compliance with the Premises Standards is not required for existing buildings prior to 1 May 2011, any person may still lodge a complaint about lack of access to an existing building. Building practitioners should consider designing and assessing existing buildings, and those undergoing alterations, against the new Premises Standards, to provide more certainty of building compliance with the DDA. Developers who seek building permits after 1 May 2011 are advised to prepare current building designs that will comply with the Premises Standards. n

Source material courtesy Victorian Building Commission website and the Australian Building Codes Board website. Derek Hendry, Director Hendry Group 134 Johnston Street Fitzroy, VIC 3065 Phone: (03) 8417 6500 Email: derek@hendry.com.au Web: www.hendry.com.au


ADVERTORIAL

Burswood Resort Reduces Costs through Reverse Osmosis When Burswood Entertainment Complex’s General Manager Property Services, Tony Fioraso, wanted to reduce the maintenance costs of his kitchen equipment in 2007 he engaged MAK Industrial Water Solutions to build a Reverse Osmosis (RO) Plant. The RO plant purifies the tap water to provide high quality, de-mineralized, water to the hotel’s kitchen.

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smosis is a natural process that occurs in all living cells. Water permeates through a membrane that excludes suspended solids, dissolved salts and larger organic molecules. The water going into the Burswood kitchens was normal tap water, but this contains enough impurities to allow scale to build up in the steamers and dishwashers. Reverse osmosis removes these impurities, preventing scale and extended the life of the combi steamers, glass washers and other kitchen equipment. Prior to installing the RO plant, the Burswood combi steamers required element replacements every 6 to 12 months. Thanks to the MAK RO plants, Burswood has increased the life expectancy of the elements and life cycle of the steamers. With a payback period of less than 2 years, Burswood has subsequently installed MAK Water RO plants in its two other kitchens. MAK Water is an RO specialist. It designs and builds RO plants commonly used to produce: • Drinking water from sea water • Drinking water from bore water • High purity de-mineralised water from tap water • Purify waste water for re-use in irrigation and industrial applications Most people are aware of the major desalination plants servicing a number of the capital cities in Australia; however, there are also many remote locations with limited water supplies that rely on RO plants to produce drinking water. These remote sites vary in size from small

“eco resorts” servicing a few dozen people, to facilities catering for several thousand people, such as remote mining camps, island and inland resorts such as Ayers Rock. In addition to RO plants, MAK Water supplies Membrane Bioreactor (MBR) sewage treatment plants, and ultra filtration plants for water recycling. MAK water designs and builds RO plant’s specifically suited to Australian outback conditions: many plants are housed in sea containers for quick installation, easy commissioning and protection from the elements in remote locations. MAK has a team of trained technicians that travel throughout the country servicing and maintaining these installations to ensure reliable water supply. MAK’s CEO Andy Byk states “MAK water works hard to achieve its clients’ goals. Burswood has now been a customer for 4 years, with MAK providing operating and maintenance support, and Burswood has purchased new plants as it can see the long term benefits of the existing plants. MAK is proud to assist its customers reduce operating costs and make better utilization of one of Australia’s precious resources.” n

Hotel Engineer | Vol 16 No. 1 | 43


ADVERTORIAL

Developing Strategies to Reduce Energy Consumption By JENSEN FARLEY Harvest Commercial Energy Solutions

The need for Hotels to become more energy efficient continues to increase with the impact of higher operating costs if a site fails to act. There are a number of products that are established both here in Australia and overseas that will deliver proven savings.

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t is well known that the largest areas of energy consumption within a Hotel occur in air conditioning and lighting. Developing a strategy to reduce the energy consumption of these assets will involve utilizing a number of technologies or behaviours. Harvest Commercial Energy Solutions offers a range of turn key solutions that can be implemented across all Hotel sites.

Air Conditioning A unique solution to the high cost of cooling is an innovative technology from Smartcool. This technology improves the energy efficiency of commercial cooling systems without affecting the temperature or humidity settings and performance. Most hotels have one or more chillers to achieve their cooling needs. These chillers tend to have systematic inefficiencies, usually caused by a variety of dynamic factors. Because these factors are constantly changing, they can be very difficult to address and therefore the chiller will not be able to achieve its maximum energy efficiency without help. Smartcool’s ESM™ is a retrofit product specially designed to address these chiller inefficiencies. The ESM™ is a modular product that is customized to suit each individual installation, making it compatible not only with chillers but also with most other cooling systems. The ESM™ provides adaptive energy efficiency to a chiller by modulating the load on the compressor(s) in response to changing factors like heat rejection temperature, supply water temperature and percentage loading. The ESM™ will always fail to safe and there is no risk to the existing chiller from installing the product. When installed, the

ESM™ works through the manufacturer’s capacity control card, meaning that it has no impact on existing safety protocols of the chiller. Tests carried out with chillers have shown that the ESM™ can deliver significant KWH savings translating into significant financial and environmental benefits. As an example, the recent installation of the ESM™ system onto the Bethesda Hospital in Western Australia resulted in a 16% kWh reduction from the two Carrier chillers. The ESM™ will achieve savings of between 10% - 16% from all types of chiller systems. The ESM™ has been installed for customers around the world, including several Fortune 500 corporations and several major hotel companies like JW Marriott and Radisson. The technology has also been assessed and verified for SMARTCOOL™ Systems Australia Ltd. by Ecospecifier with consideration provided for the NABERS and Green Star rating tools.

Lighting Voltage Control It is a relatively unknown fact that the majority of commercial lighting is being supplied with more electrical voltage than it requires. Australia maintains a network of 240V and although this level is required to support the operation of most appliances, lighting can maintain its illumination with a reduction of up to >

Hotel Engineer | Vol 16 No. 1 | 45


ADVERTORIAL

Developing Strategies to Reduce Energy Consumption (continued)

< 35V. This leads to significant savings of between 20% 35% as operating costs are reduced with each decreased volt supplied. Voltage supplied by utilities fluctuates and is quite often above the 240V level. This results in losses on ballasts and electric wires, over illumination and a shorter lifespan of ballasts and bulbs. Powersines lighting energy control systems are used in hotels across Europe and the USA to regulate the voltage supplied to indoor and outdoor lighting circuits with over 18,000 installed worldwide. The technology is applied to outdoor car park lighting circuits or internally covering all non electronic ballasted lights. The proprietary technology is based on generating an induced negative voltage, decreasing the output to the desired level. The system can control multiple demand circuits and incorporates timing devises ideal for car parks and loading areas. Whilst the concept of voltage reduction is not new, the Powersines product achieves the savings without generating any harmonics or electromagnetic interference and ensures that there is continual voltage supply. Voltage reduction not only saves power but it reduces thermal and electrical stress on the lighting operation plus the fact that the lamps operate at a stable voltage, improves operation and extends lifespan. This results in less re-lamping and a reduction in maintenance costs. With rising energy costs and a consistent demand from guests for a high quality, comfortable environment, can hotels afford to delay on energy efficiency measures? Reducing operating costs while maintaining standards is a win-win situation for any business, and the Smartcool ESMâ&#x201E;˘ and Powersines LEC brings this goal within easy reach. To book your complimentary energy review, or for more information on the Smartcool ESMâ&#x201E;˘ or Powersines LEC, contact Harvest Commercial Energy Solutions by calling 1300 429 018 or visit their website www.harvest.net.au n Harvest Commercial Energy Solutions is a sub-distributor to SMARTCOOLâ&#x201E;˘ Systems Australia Ltd.


Fire Safety Statements – Unraveling Your Regulatory Responsibilities By STOKES PERNA | www.stokesperna.com.au

What are Essential Safety Measures? When the construction of a building is complete, the owner of the building is responsible by law for its maintenance, in particular the building’s fire safety features or Essential Safety Measures (ESM). ESM installed in your building may include, but are not limited to sprinkler systems, fire hose reels, fire detectors and alarms, fire doors and penetrations in fire rated materials.

Why are Essential Safety Measures Maintained? The upkeep of ESM will ensure that the safety systems which deal mainly with fire situations within the building remain at the required operational level throughout the life of the building. The type of maintenance depends on the complexity of the service and the piece of equipment or feature.

to the introduction of this requirement a maintenance determination can be issued by your local council or in some states your private building surveyor or certifier.

How is compliance achieved? Compliance is achieved by consideration and assessment of the testing documentation and ESM in accordance

Who determines what to maintain The ESM requiring maintenance in your building are determined from the issue of a maintenance schedule/ statement issued on completion of new building work. For buildings constructed prior

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As detailed below, the maintenance certification is not required in all states.

State

Act

Regulation

Compliance Certificate

Victoria

Building Act 1993

Building Regulations 2006

Annual Essential Safety Measures Report. (AESMR)

Tasmania

Building Act 2000

Building Regulations 2004

Form 56

South Australia

Development Act 1993

Development Regulations 2008 Minister Spec SA76

Form 3

Western Australia

Local Gov (miscellaneous prov) Act Occupiers Liability Act 1985

Occupation Safety and Health Regulations 1996

N/A

Northern Territory

Building Act 1993

Building Regulations 1993

N/A

How is the maintenance administered? The maintenance requirements for ESM are administered under each state’s respective acts and regulations. This legislation requires that the ESM installed into a building are maintained routinely by the building owner (to the relevant Australian Standard), assessed annually and certified in the prescribed format.

with the relevant ESM Australian Standard. Installations are reviewed and scrutinised for all testing undertaken throughout the previous 12 months. The below table indicates the legislative requirements in each state or territory and the necessary compliance certificate required to satisfy the respective legislation.

Fire and Emergency Regulations 2008 Queensland

Fire & Rescue Services Act 1990

Building Fire Safety Regulation 2008

Occupiers Statement

New South Wales

Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979

Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulations 2000

Annual Fire Safety Statement

Aus Capital Territory

Building Act 2004 Emergencies Act 2004

Building Regulations 2008 Fire Safety Policy -05

Annual Verification Certificate


However, each state or territory has their own requirements for providing a safe workplace which covers this requirement under their Occupational Health and Safety Act.

How is compliance enforced? Compliance is enforced with an inspection of the facility carried out by a member of the fire brigade, council or building enforcement officer. Failure to comply is a breach of the respective regulations and may result in penalties being imposed of up to $10,000 for individuals and $50,000 for companies per breach and in some circumstances, a jail term. More importantly, non-compliance could place not only building occupantsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; lives at risk, but also those in adjoining buildings and passers-by.

Hot Topics Do I need to maintain my building to AS 18512005? From the introduction of the revised maintenance standard AS1851-2005, building owners/ managers have been unsure of their responsibilities in relation to the new maintenance requirements. In some instances building owners/managers have chosen to adopt some elements of this standard for convenience, such as water saving benefits, but are not keen to adopt other features. If the certificates of occupation/fire safety statements are not available for the building it is recommended that each building be reviewed individually. Some states require testing to the new maintenance program, others require maintenance to be carried out as per the original building design.

What standard do I use to plan for emergencies in my facility? Australian Standard 3745 outlines the minimum requirements for the establishment, validation and implementation of an emergency plan for a facility to provide for the safety of occupants of that facility and its visitors leading up to, and during an evacuation. This includes the following: (a) The formation, purpose, responsibility and training of the emergency planning committee. (b) Emergency identification. (c) The development of an emergency plan. (d) The development of emergency response procedures. (e) The establishment, authority and training of an emergency control organisation. (f) The testing and validation of emergency response procedures. (g) Emergency related training. This Standard does not cover facility operational incidents, community disaster management, business continuity, security management or major environmental impacts beyond the facility. n


Neil Weenink’s

Back of House This piece was originally written in June 1997.

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n October I shall be undertaking a technical safety audit of The Oriental Bangkok. Now this is quite something and I see this as a major step indeed in the saga of this humble sage. The Oriental Bangkok opened in 1876 and has captured the hearts and minds of royalty, heads of state, industrialists, authors and artists. It is considered to be one of the finest hotels in the world. And justly so. The King of Siam, as Thailand was once known, did indeed have many children, and there are fascinating photographs of him with his large family staying in the hotel after taking delivery of the first motor car in Siam. One photo shows him driving his housekeeping staff around the palace; there must have been 20 of them in this huge open car. When I was very young, breakfast was sometimes in the presence of a favourite Uncle who also was something of a legend. In the 1930’s he had made a journey in Siam [Thailand] from where he was working in the south to get to my Father in the north who was laid low with malaria. Bear in mind there were no roads and travel was by rivers and tracks. A bit like Livingstone and Stanley in Africa although I imagine the greetings when they at last met would perhaps have been less dramatic. This Uncle always had technical magazines scattered around the breakfast table, which was the prime reason I sneaked out of bed to be with him; the other reason being the rolled oats and cream. He had white hair and white whiskers and always treated we children as adults. Consequently we listened to him. [A morale there.] And one of the things he repeated to us was the importance of reading, and particularly reading all we

could about the work we would choose as adults. He knew our several interests, and he would bring home books and magazines on those interests. In a word he kindled the passion for learning. I can still remember many of the points we discussed through those golden years... Why can you pull more than you can carry? This was a favourite and we would make a cart complete with a known load to prove the point. And so on. This week when I received the monthly technical journals I was thinking about the importance of keeping up to date in our industry, and what a pleasure it was to be kept informed through the pages of the ASHRAE and AIRAH publications and now our own Hotel Engineering journal. I must say that I am saddened when members say that they do not read technical literature other than that which is strictly necessary. And I have to say that many hotel engineers do not add their technical magazine needs to those of other department heads. Ever seen a financial controllers office without financial magazines in there? Of course not, so the same rules of the game applies for engineering. But comrades, if you do not ask then verily you shall not reap. Quite by chance the Hotels journal began appearing in our mail box some months back. This is the magazine of the worldwide hotel industry and is published in Colorado USA. It is mistakenly addressed to an architect here, and I keep saying to them you better change the address from ours to yours. But they don’t and I keep enjoying the reading and then pop it back in the mail box! From the April copy we see that Marriott wins Renaissance, Hilton continues its pursuit of the Sheraton brand [which I believe they achieved] Accor is way out in front from a global perspective, and ‘brunch’ has become the new trend in the F&B arena. I also found a picture of a fellow known to me for years typically as GM in

smaller properties, and lo! here he is as VP International Development for a large outfit in Hong Kong. Which just goes to prove that if you don’t seek the information, then you don’t get the information. I am looking forward to the audit on The Oriental Bangkok, it is actually a Fire, Life, Health, Safety and Security audit. Those areas where guests are more likely to sue hotel chains. The interesting aspect here is how those matters may - and generally do - interface with an underlying technical cause. As for example mould brought about through excessive energy reduction, and fire hazards through poor asset management. All good stuff and of course exactly what we in the Institute have been saying for years, aye and even further back. That indeed the quality of hotel design and the degree of investment directly affects the operational outcomes.

Stay well,

Neil Weenink Hotel Engineer | Vol 16 No. 1 | 51


Case Study: Travelodge Newcastle – the sustainable benchmark in the Mirvac hotel portfolio lower consumption levels and improve environmental performance. Mr Sweet says the NABERS Hotel tool identifies practical, property-based energy and water efficiency opportunities, showing how each hotel can improve operational performance. This information can then be interpreted to influence the company’s investment scheme. “We were attracted to the NABERS Hotel tool because it’s an independent, verified, easy-to-use rating system,” Mr Sweet said. “For example, if we’re putting a million dollars into a property next year as part of our capital expenditure budget, the NABERS rating highlights areas of improvement in energy and water use,” he said.

Travelodge Newcastle Hotel 12 Steel Street, Newcastle NSW NABERS Energy rating: 4.5 stars, NABERS Water rating: 4.5 stars

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ver the past 2 years, Mirvac has undertaken a program to benchmark the environmental performance of its portfolio of 20 hotels in Australia through the use of the NABERS Hotel tool. Mirvac is the first company to take this proactive step. Travelodge Newcastle is a prime example of Mirvac’s reward for its commitment to sustainability. Purchased in 2006, a

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subsequent $6 million refurbishment in 2007 earned the hotel a 4.5 star NABERS Energy rating and a 4.5 star NABERS Water, out of a possible 5 stars. This follows Mirvac’s success with The Sebel and Citigate at Albert Park in Melbourne - the first hotel in Australia to be rated under the NABERS scheme which achieved a NABERS Hotel Energy rating of 3.5 stars and a NABERS Hotel Water rating of 4.5 stars. Mirvac asset manager - Hotel Funds Investment Management, Daniel Sweet, says the high ratings are in line with Mirvac’s sustainability strategy, which involves, among other things, initiating a utilities audit on each property to create a roadmap outlining ways to maintain

“We can identify clearly where we will be able to recover some of the capital expenditure by unlocking ongoing value through lower consumption.”

About the NABERS Hotel tool The NABERS Hotel tool measures the energy and water performance of a hotel on a scale of one to five stars, reflecting the performance of the building relative to the market. The tool rates hotels on a scale of one to five stars, with one star indicating there is substantial room for improvement and five stars representing industry best practice. Two and a half stars is the current market average performance. To date, 38 hotels have been rated with NABERS Energy and 42 with NABERS Water.


Energy and water consumption of hotels is often a lot more intensive than other property classes when lighting, heating and cooling, entertainment, laundries, public areas, and food and beverage facilities are considered. NABERS helps hotel owners understand how their environmental performance compares, and drives changes to lessen the environmental footprint of their assets.

Learning through implementation In order for Travelodge Newcastle to score as high as it did, a number of energy and water saving initiatives in mechanical, hydraulic and electrical capacities were implemented during the upgrade. These include:

they’re the ones who are charged with the responsibility of making these hotels sustainable and green.” And this, according to Mr Sweet, is increasingly becoming an expectation of stakeholders, investors and guests.

Wider benefits “One of the major benefits of our sustainability strategy, and our achievement of the high NABERS rating of Travelodge Newcastle, is that it’s something we can use to demonstrate our sustainability credentials and the performance of the hotel in our marketing strategies. To be able to say to people that it’s rated 4.5 stars is the easiest way of communicating our commitment,” Mr Sweet said.

• New air conditioning systems allowing guest room and public area isolation as well as full functionality via a computerised control system. One of the simplest adjustments that has contributed to significant savings was to reduce the in-room air conditioning band width by five degrees;

“A NABERS rating helps in numerous ways to increase the appeal of our hotels and to attract investors into our funds. It is a significant component of the marketing campaign for our portfolio and corporate tender requests and it’s also covered on all our websites.”

• Installation of WELS (Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards) rated taps and fittings; and

Using NABERS to future proof assets

• Upgrading from a traditional key door locks to tag switches (swipe cards) that control the lighting, heating and cooling while guests are using their room and ensuring it is turned off when guests leave the room with their card. Mr Sweet said the process of being rated was key to helping people on site understand the property, combined with recording consumption data, that resulted in a measurable improvement in the hotel’s energy and water efficiency.. “This is where we’ve seen the biggest area of improvement, through education and engagement rather than any specific projects,” he said. “We believe obtaining a NABERS rating is a good process for hotels to go through, and in particular each team located on site at the property. It provides a better understanding of where the weak and strong points are and how improvements can be made. At the end of the day

Mr Sweet says against a backdrop of higher electricity costs over the next few years , part of being a sustainable business is being able to balance the bottom line with the environment and finance. “In such an extremely competitive industry, it is a lot harder for hotels to pass on increased electricity costs,” Mr Sweet said. “That’s why we are preparing for the future today, by aiming for 5 star NABERS ratings across our entire hotel portfolio, although we realise that if you’re not purpose-building a green hotel it’s a very difficult rating to achieve.” Mr Sweet points to Travelodge Palmerston North in New Zealand as an example. “Purely as an exercise, because NABERS ratings are not available yet for New Zealand, Mirvac used the NABERS Hotel methodology to rate the Travelodge Palmerston North. It achieved an estimated 5 star Energy and 5 star Water rating, mainly due to Palmerston’s

We can identify clearly where we will be able to recover some of the capital expenditure by unlocking ongoing value through lower consumption

purpose-built wind farm that accounts for 100 per cent of the energy used at the hotel. As part of its sustainability strategy, Mirvac has committed to re-rating all properties in their hotel portfolio annually, as well as having properties rated as they are acquired. “Having just completed the process of having the portfolio rated for the first time we do expect some of our hotels to increase their ratings when we embark on the second round towards the end of the year,” Mr Sweet said. n

Key Facts • Travelodge Newcastle was purchased by Mirvac in 2006 and is the first of the Mirvac hotel portfolio to achieve 4.5 star NABERS Energy and 4.5 star NABERS Water ratings. • It’s the best performer in Mirvac’s hotel portfolio. • Prior to this, The Sebel & Citigate at Albert Park in Melbourne was Mirvac’s highest rating hotel with a 3.5 star NABERS Energy and 4.5 star NABERS Water rating, for which Mirvac won the Property Council of Australia Ryan Lawyers Award for Tourism & Leisure Developments. • This is a prestigious award that recognises and publicly rewards the efficient use of capital in a new or refurbished tourism or leisure development, with a focus on sustainable and green initiatives. • Travelodge Newcastle comprises seven storeys of hotel accommodation with 130 rooms, and two storeys of freestanding carpark accommodating 105 cars. There is also a restaurant, cocktail bar, two conference rooms and a boardroom.

Hotel Engineer | Vol 16 No. 1 | 53


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Heat Recovery HVAC By Dean Scicluna Munters Pty Limited

Heat and energy recovery HVAC is a fast growing technology used in the commercial building sector to reduce energy consumption and green house gas emissions. The key drivers of this growth are the dramatically increasing costs of energy, coupled with the need for improved indoor air quality. Currently, heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) is responsible for around 70% of Australian commercial buildings energy usage, and 63% of greenhouse gas emissions.1

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lthough forms of heat and energy recovery applications had been developed during the 1980s/90s, they were never widely adopted in Australia because indoor air quality wasn’t mandated or highly valued, and secondly, the low cost of Australian energy made heat recovery a poor investment with long payback periods. For example, energy costs for industrial users in the 1970s were only around 4 cents per kilowatt hour rising to 10-12 cents during the 1980s/90s and by 2010, an average of around 20 cents per kilowatt hour. With the impending Federal Government’s proposed emissions trading scheme (ETS) or carbon tax scheme, energy distributors (NSW) warn of an alarming 64% increase in electricity costs over the next three years.2 In the Heating (Winter) example below, cold outdoor air enters the heat exchanger at 6°C and picks up 75% of the energy from the already heated air leaving the building as exhaust. The cold outside air is then effectively preheated to 17°C through the passive heat exchanger, simply capturing otherwise wasted

energy. The 15°C temperature difference between indoor and outdoor air has now been reduced to only 8°C. This capacity saving generally provides a reduction in equipment plant size of around 40%, as well as ongoing reductions in running costs for the life of the equipment. One of the main benefits of heat recovery technology is the energy saving aspect of pre conditioning outdoor air, thus reducing peak energy loads. A general rule of thumb is, an air conditioning system that utilises energy recovery technology will save approximately 40% of energy requirements (reducing operating costs) compared to a conventional air conditioning system. Air to air heat recovery devices consist of Crossflow or Counterflow plate Heat Exchangers and Heat Wheels, with the ability to transfer sensible or latent energy. The use of heat recovery has been boosted by Government and industry policies supporting sustainable measures and indoor air quality for commercial buildings as a necessary component for a carbon and energy constrained world.

How energy and heat recovery works: Air to air plate heat exchanger

Hotel Engineer | Vol 16 No. 1 | 55


These policies include;

Fans & Controls

• Australian standards for ventilation commenced in 1991 with AS1668 part 2, requiring outside air ventilation for buildings.

Fan power in HVAC systems are one of the major energy consuming components. Fan power consumption can be reduced by installing Variable Speed Drives (VSDs) on air conditioning fans. The speed of the fan motors can then be controlled to match the amount of fresh air needed throughout the building and therefore reduce the energy use and operation costs by varying the amount of fresh air on demand. Generally VSDs can save 30-40% on the HVAC investment annually.6

• Section J of the Building Code of Australia (BCA). • Green Building Council of Australia have employed a Green Star rating tool for commercial buildings based on building requirements for ESD principles and indoor air quality. • NABERS energy rating scheme.

Backward curve fan design is more energy efficient in most cases than a forward curve fan. Direct coupled fan and motors controlled by VSDs are a more energy efficient method then fans driven by belts and pulleys. New EC plug fans are also proving to be an efficient option for use in HVAC systems. Indoor air quality monitoring CO2 sensors measure the carbon dioxide levels of indoor air and communicate with the HVAC system to adjust the amount of

• Building Energy Efficiency Certificate (BEEC) for property owners of areas above 2000m2 to disclose energy consumption before leasing or selling. • Climate Change & Global Warming has increased social and political awareness of the man-made activities effecting nature and the climate. • Global treaties driving energy efficiency (Kyoto protocol, IPCC, Copenhagen) The Kyoto Agreement signed in 1990 requires Australia to restrict greenhouse emissions to 108% of 1990 levels by 20123. (Buildings consume some 30% of the world’s resources, 10% of water and around 40% of the world’s energy)4

VSDs featured top right

Copenhagen – 5% unconditional reductions on energy by 2020 • Corporate governance requiring Australian listed companies to report on energy usage • Non-renewable resources are depleting (80% of Australia’s electricity source is coal)

Backward curve fan

• Research and statistics have proven the positive effects of optimal indoor air quality on occupants health and well being (optimal indoor air quality = improved morale and productivity) (People spend on average 90% of their time indoors, therefore ideally 10-12 litres per second of fresh air per person is vital for their wellbeing)5 • Greater social acceptance to embrace a ‘green image’ including accountability for carbon emissions. Apart from the core heat exchange technology discussed above, other essential energy efficient components of a heat recovery system would include:

EC plug fan

Hotel Engineer | Vol 16 No. 1 | 57


outdoor air introduced into the building. Detection is based on the measurement of CO2 concentration in the air via infra red violent rays. This method allows for a balance between air quality and energy consumption. Economy Cycle When outside temperature conditions are mild (generally between 18-27 degrees),

Outdoor air sensors automatically detect this and allow the outside air to pass through the open dampers and into the building. Dehumidification & Free Cooling In humid climates the use of an enthalpy heat exchanger for dehumidification can allow for the use of smaller HVAC equipment. Dehumidification of outside

air through a heat exchanger significantly reduces energy consumption. Retrofitting Aging or obsolete air conditioning plants can be replaced by a modern heat recovery system. Alternatively, an easy way to enhance the efficiency of a functioning air conditioning system is to simply add the heat recovery component. n

Left: Economy cycle â&#x20AC;&#x201C; dampers open Right: Economy cycle â&#x20AC;&#x201C; dampers closed

Example of a heat recovery Air Handling Unit with plate heat exchanger


New wave of gas heating for commercial swimming pools and spas By PHILLIP GREEN Hi-Tech Pacific Australasia

The swimming pool gas heating market has had a paradigm shift in the delivery of heat, economy, and players in the market and at last even a warranty against pool water corrosion from one system.

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or a while now, there has been a move towards the closed loop systems from the traditional style of atmospheric gas appliance pool heaters. This has involved the use of traditional atmospheric gas heaters or boilers and a local gas fitter providing a secondary heat exchanger via a closed loop and some rudimentary controllers made on site. But now there are some alternatives that can be purchased ex-stock or at least ordered via part numbers complete ready to install. These systems are proven in the field and come with either titanium or stainless steel heat exchangers thus giving a far longer life expectancy to the unit than the traditional Cupro nickel or copper heat exchangers. Being driven by an instantaneous gas heater from the likes of Bosch, Rinnai, Rheem and others the closed loop water is pushed around by a circulating pump and through the heat exchanger. The swimming pool or spa water then either passes through the heat exchanger or as in the Rotex style of system around the heat exchanger and then back to the pool or spa. Preassemble or kit from systems come complete with top up tank, digital

thermostat control, over temperature manual reset control, primary circulating pump, and all primary water connections already complete, equipment already attached to a heavy gauge aluminum frame or in a kit form. Gas Heating systems such as the Rotex have a Storage Heat Exchanger (SHE) that gives a transferee of heat within the SHE in a nu- pressurized tank as the pool or spa water passes around the stainless steel heat exchanger. What are the advantages to these systems well they can be run with condensing units on the hot water side that can provide savings to the running or gas costs of 30% and more in some cases. These systems will eliminate condensation within the primary heat exchanger (main cause of heat exchanger sooting in

atmospheric pool heaters) and this will drop maintenance costs. The big saving on the maintenance side is the use of titanium or stainless steel heat exchangers on the pool or spa water side. Some systems such as the Hi-Tech system even give a 10 year warranty on the Bowman heat exchanger against pool or spa water corrosion. Now that is new. Installation is easy and any gas fitter can do the work and in most cases the systems will fit strait in where the old unit was. Both indoor and outdoor with LPG or Natural small spas up to council sized pools current installations are being roundly heralded as successfully living up to expectations. n www.hitechpacific.com.au

Hotel Engineer | Vol 16 No. 1 | 59


New Developments In Pool Water Maintenance Technologies â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Part 1

How To Do More With Less By ALAN LEWIS | Pool Consultant

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ustralia is one of the few countries in the western world which does not devote regular research to the study of swimming pool water maintenance. On the other hand, we are blessed with the worldwide technology that allows us access to the very latest research and the newest applications of better disinfection and health protection for bathers. Indeed learning to swim in most western countries like ours, is almost mandatory, since access to recreational water, and swimming pools are available in the poorest of neighbourhoods or remote country towns. Hotels and Motels further often offer their pools to the community at large as well as to their patrons. So therefore it is incumbent on our pool industry to provide, satisfactory and safe facilities - in particular for the onerous task of teaching small children to swim. All our children should feel competent that they can cope with, and enjoy swimming in water over their depth and be able to keep themselves from drowning. In spite of the fact that disinfection systems for swimming pools have been in vogue for more than a hundred years, there are considerable differences in health standards around the world. Only last year the USA, finally produced a national Model Aquatic Health Code, prepared by their Centre for Disease Control (CDC). In Australia we find differences from State to State in the codes and guidelines. The difficulty in setting National standards in Australia, lies in agreeing upon a comprehensive set of guidelines which would bind and commit all the health requirements for the nation in relation to the disinfection of swimming pools. In the USA chlorination standards were set for the first time in 1961. In 2002 the CDC conducted 21,500 pool inspections (2002) over 5 months â&#x20AC;&#x201C; across the nation, 38.7% of which were found to be non-compliant. In 2006 and in 2007 there were 22 and 25 outbreaks respectively of Cryptosporidium. The numbers of these outbreaks continues to rise. Hence the MAHC is indeed very timely. The Australian CDC has ceased to function in its own right, yet water borne diseases and illnesses remain a major concern. The Environmental Health Departments continue to inspect pools, but to the best of my knowledge, no central national statistics

are collated. Neither has much changed here over the last 50 or so years as far as codes are concerned. As the population grows and with it the love of recreational swimming, the need to attend to better, more cost effective, disinfection in pools becomes ever more urgent. Therefore the purpose of this article is to help the reader appreciate some of the latest and most forward developments in this science, and to highlight new disinfection systems which are achieving much higher satisfaction of health standards and swimmer comfort.

REDUCING DISINFECTION BYPRODUCTS In the last decade a plethora of research papers have dealt with the short and long term health concerns of DBPs. The focus of all current improvements is squarely on the need to minimise chloramines and prevent the development of carcinogenic trihalomethanes. Chloramines are inevitable because every bather brings body ammonias into the water which immediately react with the chlorine in the water to form mono-chloramines. Hence it is a primary concern that we attend to the reduction of chloramines in every way possible. Denmark has recently brought some wonderful refinements to this objective:

ADVANCES IN FILTRATION

It is commonly accepted that pool circulation should filter the water as an essential primary concern of keeping the water crystal clear and free of suspended solid. Nearly all pools use pressure vessels with filter media of one form or another. Few realise that by trapping fine skin cells (particles) in the media the process of disinfection continues while ever the pool is circulating. The skin cells are in themselves rich in body amines

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and hence the more we trap them in the filter media (sand; DE; cartridge, zeolite etc) – the more chloramines and THMs are created. Ole Gronborg PhD hit on the idea of filtering the water without a pressure vessel, but rather with a drum filter, with a fine membrane or micro-screen specially designed for the drum filter, which will capture particles down to 10 micron in size, which is roughly the same result that a good sand filter achieves. These particles are rinsed from the drum at regular intervals with a fine spray for only a few seconds each time. The drum filter allows a considerable saving in energy because less power (a lower head) is needed to drive the circulation. The water passes through the drum filter relying on gravitational forces only. The sum total of the wasted water is considerably less than that needed to backwash a sand filter. The skin cells which do pass through the filter (< 10 micron) are oxidised in a side loop with medium density UV which is the secondary disinfection system designed to reduce the chloramines in solution. This process puts an end to the “Chloramine factory” in the standard media pool filter.

MANAGING TRICHLORAMINE GASES IN A POOL HALL The well known common practice of “Break-point chlorination” in heavy bather- loaded public pools which is designed to reduce the chloramines to zero, has not served us well for several reasons: •

It requires an extremely heavy dosage of chlorine (10 times the residual of the combined chlorine in the water) to achieve this.

The result is usually an unacceptable residual of free chlorine which needs to be reduced to levels which bathers can actually swim in. In busy public pools this is often done by dilution with tap water. This water is cold and must be heated in time for the next morning lesson or training squad. This means further demand on energy for heating.

The process never really achieved true break point because there is not enough time to do this between closing time (9.00 pm) and the next morning session (6.00 am). The remaining chloramines then join the next cycle of chloramines formed by the bathers of the morning session. Thus the chloramine residual spirals ever upwards.

When this process fails we are immediately aware of this because the familiar chloramine smell pervades the pool hall. Much of the inorganic trichloramines are then able to go develop to the next stage which is the unhealthy organic carcinogenic Trihalomethanes.

To address this Gronborg has designed the pool hall in such a way that trichloramine gases, which leave the surface of the pool when swimmers splash their way down a lane, are drawn into a duct which is combined with the gutter of the wet edge of the pool. This means that the swimmers with their noses just above the surface have less time to inhale these gases. The water in the gutters flows into the balance tank where the gases above that body of water is also drawn off to the external

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atmosphere. The water that is drawn from the tank first passes through a “THM and trichloramine splash stripper “. This stage is perhaps the most important of all because any chloramines that have developed to the undesirable smelly trichloramines and/ or trihalomethanes (which are not smelly –but very carcinogenic) are removed from the water returning to the pool. The stripper works by splashing the water gravitationally over a series of lattices while air is blown upwards to remove the noxious gases released from the water. This process replicates the effect of swimmers splashing on the surface of the pool which also serves to convert the dissolved chloramines and THMs to gases.

SECONDARY DISINFECTION SYSTEMS (SMSs) AND ADVANCED OXIDATION PROCESSES (AOPs) The study of Disinfectant by Products has emphasised the need for change in approach to the use of chlorine as the primary disinfectant – in busy public pools. It is now clearly understood by all serious researchers that while a residual disinfectant must always be present in a public pool, to ensure that there will be no cross infection between bathers, every effort must be made to keep that residual to a minimum. Many European countries have already legislated for the reduction of the pH so that a minimum of chlorine will provide a safe Redox level which will guarantee quick reduction or inactivation of all pathogens at all times. In 2006 while recommended levels of free chlorine in the USA were 1-3 mg/l; in the UK they were 1.5 – 2 mg/l and in Germany pools were successfully run at 0.2 free chlorine at a pH of 6.9 specified by the DIN standard. Chlorine on its own cannot contend satisfactorily with the inevitable development of chloramines which are the precursors of the unwanted DBPs. The public pools of today, must demand of Secondary Disinfection Systems (SDSs), that the process reduces decidedly more effectively both chloramines as well as THMs. Opinions are divided as to whether these secondary systems should supplement disinfection or just focus on reduction of chloramines only. Where two powerful oxidants work together, their total effect can in fact address both disinfection and chloramine reduction in a continuous fashion. In 2006 Glauner and Frimmel found that Ozone based AOPs (in the lab) - particularly Ozone/UV yielded a significant breakdown of THMS –but due to the high cost of such a system recommended that Ozone / Hydrogen Peroxide combination would be more cost effective.


The two systems most commonly used are UV / Cl2 and Ozone / Cl2 but here again arguments rage over which is the safer and which is the most effective. In the case of UV, research in France found that Medium Density UV does in fact reduce the chloramines; but achieves this by converting a portion of them to the even less desirable THMs. Some argue that UV is more cost effective, yet others achieve satisfactory results by precisely matching the required Ozone level to the maximum bather load in any given pool. This will prove more economical if done intelligently. Some laboratory research in Germany (Glauner et al 2005) has shown that Ozone has a slight advantage over UV in that the it tends to create more Hydroxyl Radicals with a half life which extends the power of the chloramine destruction. Clearly in all AOPs the desirable chemical path must rely on the presence Hydroxyl Radicals if an effective destruction of DBPs is to be achieved. In summary: • The lower the pH - the higher the ORP (for any given free chlorine residual) • The lower the free chlorine residual - the less chloramines (for any given bather load) • The less chloramines to deal with - the less oxidants (SDSs) and needed for their breakdown / removal. Hence Ole Gronborg’s attention to the details of removing skin cells, from a pool as quickly and as efficiently as possible gathers more importance as we analyse where chemical processes are more efficient and offer more savings of energy, water, chemicals and manpower.

IN-LINE PHOTOMETRIC SENSING; RECORDING AND CONTROLLING Although there are numerous companies making sophisticated controllers for public and private pools, only a handful have built them with in-line photometric testing. Blue I Technologies have successfully perfected such a controller and it was impressive enough to be used in the Beijing Olympics.

Ross Gage (CEO of Swim Australia) with newly installed Blue I controller at Westside Swimming

Most controllers today rely on ORP sensing and controlling of the free chlorine residual. This technology is very reliable, providing that the sensors are regularly calibrated. The Blue I Hydroguard 302 has gone one step further, and comes with an in line photometer which is able to test automatically Free Chlorine and Total Chlorine photometrically. The controller also measures


and records ORP, pH and Temperature with good probes. The advantage here is a considerable saving in manpower, because in the absence of the inline photometer – other controllers require these photometric readings to be done five times a day manually. The cost of this controller is covered in one year by the savings in manpower required for compliance with accepted testing and recording guidelines. Nubian, the Australian Agents for Blue I have developed a “NuLink” system which makes monitoring the pools remotely even simpler, thereby saving many trips to the plant room. The three pools (in this case) can be monitored, and remote adjustments made to the controls, from the comfort of the centre’s office; or from anywhere in the world via the web – using a smart phone. Above all, this multi faceted system affords a powerful diagnostic tool for the better management of the pools in question. A busy learn to swim school will find that the efficiency of this sophisticated system will allow the staff to devote more time to better serving their customers. In the next issue, Part 2 will deal with Advanced Electrochemistry; Hydrodynamic Cavitation; The Stethpump; Ultrasound; Parabolic Solar Pool Heating; Biofilm Attenuation with Sphagnum Moss. n Correspondence: aquazure34@gmail.com


Indoor Pool Dehumidification By MARK CROWTHER Rheem Australia

Air Quality and Causes of Humidity The indoor pool should be a great place for guests to exercise and relax but how often are people greeted by hot, stuffy rooms dripping with water and with mold and mildew tarnishing paint work? This not only presents a poor image of the hotel but can also createt health problems and in the long term, water condensation will cause structural damage to the building. The air quality of pool enclosures is gauged by several key factors. In terms of moisture, the most common measure is the relative humidity (measured as the percentage of moisture in the air). Pool water continuously evaporates, producing high humidity and the rate of evaporation increases with higher levels of guest use.

Problems With Humidity High humidity in a pool facility can cause rapid structural deterioration and corrosion problems. During winter months or cool summer evenings, outdoor temperatures may be significantly below that of the indoor air. Warm air retains the moisture, but cooler walls or window surfaces will cause moisture to condense. Damage to the structure occurs when relative humidity levels reach 62% or above for an extended period. Chlorine from pool chemicals is carried along in the evaporation process. The chlorine reacts with the condensed water to form hydrochloric acid which will accelerate the affects on wood and metal surfaces. High humidity also provides an excellent environment for bacteria, fungi and viruses. High humidity is also simply

uncomfortable for those using the pool room.

Elimination of Humidity There are several techniques for eliminating the humidity in the pool room. The most used is the Make-up Exhaust method. With this technique, the warm moist air is exhausted to outdoors while outside air is brought in as make-up. This may be done as simply as the manual operation of a fan or by opening of doors and windows. Some hotels may use a warm air furnace to try to maintain some level of comfort in winter. The use of a furnace to heat the incoming air helps to control the humidity level as the relative humidity of the outside air is reduced as it is heated. Unfortunately, there are clearly inadequacies in the make-up and exhaust approach. High heating costs will be incurred as the fresh air needs to be heated to the required space temperature. The outdoor air may contain more moisture than the air inside the pool room and its introduction will only increase the humidity level. Conversely, the incoming air may be too dry and this will accelerate evaporation of the pool water. Most importantly, huge amounts of energy are lost when previously heated or cooled air is exhausted outside. The heat stored in the air of a pool enclosure comprises two parts â&#x20AC;&#x201C; sensible and latent heat. When pool water evaporates, significant energy is utilised and is known as latent heat. Latent heat is in effect stored by water vapour in the air and is directly related to the relative humidity level. This energy is replaced through the pool water heater.

Heat stored in the air is called sensible heat, so called as it can be measured or sensed with a thermometer. This sensible heat lost would be evident in the energy consumed for the heating of the makeup air. A method of addressing the lost sensible heat is to add a heat recovery unit to the exhaust system. This technique takes the sensible heat from the exiting air and exchanges it to the incoming air. The need for summer time cooling may be approached by the use of an air conditioner and this works to remove the sensible heat. The air conditioner must also use energy to remove the latent heat, a job for which an air conditioner is not well suited. The operating costs of the air conditioner increase significantly when outdoor air ventilation is increased in a humid climate, since overcooling is often the only means of removing sufficient moisture. >

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Indoor Pool Dehumidification (continued)

Air Distribution

< A key advantage of a dehumidifier system over the air conditioning approach is the dehumidifierâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s ability to recover all of the heat (sensible and latent).

The air velocity near the pool surface needs to be kept low as high velocities can double the evaporation rate, greatly reducing humidity control efficiency and increasing energy consumption. Lower air velocity at this point also increases the comfort level of pool users.

The warm moist air is condensed and cooled at a dehumidifier coil thus transferring all of the energy to a refrigerant. The recovered energy can be given back to the air stream at a reheat coil in the form of sensible heat thus recovering almost 100% of the energy. Additional heating is only required to compensate for heat loss through the windows and walls. Dehumidifier designs can also allow transfer of the recovered heat to the pool water. A third alternative is a remote condenser which transfers the heat outdoors to provide summer time cooling. A recent development is full fresh air units which provide the transfer of the recovered energy to a full fresh air stream. A further development is the use of counter-current or counterflow heat exchange for room ventilation. Heat recovery based ventilation provides a lower capital cost option which reclaims energy from room spill air to pre-condition the incoming fresh air to create a healthier, more comfortable pool environment ensuring ready compliance to ventilation codes.

The design of the air distribution system is critical and impacts on the evaporation rate, guest comfort, condensation level and air quality.

The flow of air from the dehumidifier (supply air) is used to protect areas of likely condensation build-up. Supply air is directed to areas of low R-Value, placing a layer of warm dry air to blanket the vulnerable surface such as exterior glass. The optimal result for condensation control is to keep all glass surfaces around 2°C to 3°C above the pool room dew point. The design of the building and selection of glazing and sash material are important aspects. The use of double glazed glass is recommended. Sophisticated building design will include insulation and vapour retardant in wall construction. Choosing material finishes that do not deteriorate when exposed to the harsh environment of an indoor pool. n

THE

HOTEL ENGINEER


Community Pools Now Required To Meet Public Pool Water Quality Standards By DON BULLOCK

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ll State Departments of Health in Australia are now making obligation holders of Body Corporate and other Community (shared) pools/spas and water features in multiresidential complexes, liable to maintain a specific pool water quality equal to PUBLIC pools, under all probable future bather load conditions. DOH Guidelines in most States, no longer prescribe the pool water treatment plant for community pools, but pass on the liability for achieving a safe water environment to the obligation holders. In multi-residential complexes, it is not uncommon for the developer to use a “design and construct” contract for selecting the pool installer for these public pools. This frequently leads to the use of less expensive domestic swimming pool equipment that will ultimately prove to be totally inadequate, causing ongoing expensive service calls, additional chemical usage, and eventual plant replacement by the obligation holders, after months or years of frustration in trying to maintain good water quality under peak bather load conditions. While these State Guidelines and Australian Standards are not mandatory, obligation holders have a “duty of care” to provide a safe environment for patrons and staff using the facilities.  Courts are generally accepting compliance with a Published Guideline as a defence against prosecution of an offence against a Regulation.  Recent NSW Legislation states, “it is a defence to a prosecution for

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an offence against NSW Regulation 9, if the defendant satisfies the Court that the act or omission constituting the offence was done in compliance with these Guidelines as published by the NSW Department of Health”. Some interesting and pertinent facts are being exposed by Insurance companies; • The courts look dimly and with disbelief upon claims of ignorance • Fines and penalties are in almost every case not covered by any insurance policy • There appears to be no exceptions to non-compliance (even though the Guidelines are not mandatory) Unfortunately, when building certifiers issue a building certificate, little attention is given to the compliance of the pool water treatment plant as being suitable for PUBLIC pools. Bodies Corporate are in an unenviable position as they are simply handed the finished product by the developer. To alleviate this situation, engineers and other responsible parties engaged in the design phases could engage an experienced consultant who could design; • Commercial grade equipment, with commercial filtration and back-wash bed velocities, that is capable of coping with periodic large bather loads common to these community (PUBLIC) facilities, • The pool water treatment plant being capable of catering for a specified number of daily bathers, both peak and total, • If submerged suction outlets are used, they are compliant with Australian Standard AS1926.3-2010.

• The preparation of a detailed and customized operation manual for the operator of the pool water treatment plant in the facility. When appointing a pool service provider, the Body Corporate committee should also check that the provider has the ability and qualifications required to comply with testing procedures and water quality required by State Department’s of Health Water Quality Guidelines. When reporting on an incident in 2006, the Queensland Coroner recommended “…owners who have service agreements with professional pool cleaners, should clearly set out in writing the responsibility of each, such that each is clearly aware of the obligations that each has to ensure that the spa/pool complies with the relevant Standards from time to time and most importantly, whose responsibility it is to ensure that the spa is working to an optimum standard to avoid risk of injury or death to users”. Additionally, the NSW Deputy Coroner, commenting on an entrapment incident in 2006 states, “… that an independent expert should certify that pools and spas are compliant with statutory requirements before they can be used”. The Queensland Government has introduced new pool fence safety laws aimed at further reducing the incidence of immersion injuries to young children in swimming pools. All new and existing pools must be registered on the Governments website by May 4th. 2011. Body Corporate committees (shared pools) have a phase in period and need to obtain a Pool Safety Certificate by 31/5/2011.


The new pool safety laws apply to pools associated with houses, townhouses, units, hotels, motels, backpacker hostels, homestay accommodation and caravan parks (building classes 1-4 as defined under the Building Code of Australia). Different rules apply depending on whether you are buying, selling or renting a property with a pool. A pool safety certificate, issued by a licensed pool safety inspector, is required when selling, buying or leasing a property with a pool (valid for one year for a shared pool and two years for a non-shared pool). Other Australian States are currently considering enacting similar pool fence safety Laws to the new Queensland Laws. Risk Management procedures in all States are essential documents for Body Corporate committees to have on site. The Queensland Work Place Health and Safety Act (1995) makes it abundantly clear that it is a Legal obligation on owners and employers to have a risk management plan in place, in compliance with the Queensland Risk Management Code of Practice 2007 (including all supplements). Obligation holders need to ensure that a risk management plan is in place to address all major and minor incidents in and around the pool precinct. • Does the safety fence have certification by a Licensed Pool Safety Inspector? • Is an on-site log or register for recording results of daily chemical tests and incidents maintained? • Does any chemical storage comply with AS3780-1994, Storage and Handling of Dangerous Chemicals? • Is the pool operator certified, adequately trained, or monitored by a professional organization? • Is there a written agreement between the pool operator and Body Corporate committee as to the responsibilities that each has to the other? • Is the Pool Water Treatment plant specific in its application for the “type of use” (indoor – outdoor – shallow - childrens etc.) and does it have the required turn-over rate as required by Law? • Are the installed submerged suction outlets and outlet covers compliant with the current Australian Standard 1926.3-2010? • Is chemical testing frequency, procedure and levels of concentration compliant with Australian Standards and State Department of Health Guidelines? • Is the filtration and chemical dosing equipment automatic and continuous while pool is in operation? • Are the safety signs informative, descriptive, and appropriate? • Is there a copy of the State Department of Health Guidelines, and other relevant documents on site? If the answer to any of the above questions is “NO” or “DON’T KNOW”, then there are specific areas of risk which could benefit from further investigation and advice by an independent and professional organization More information can be found on Aadvance Swimming Pool Consultants websites, www.aadvancepoolconsultants.com.au & www.poolfencecertification.com.au. n


Managing With New Energy Pricing By MARK CROWTHER Rheem Australia

The management of energy costs has become a substantial issue to Australian business as dramatic price increases are made, particularly for electricity.

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n February, AGL announced Victorian customers will be slugged with a 35 per cent electricity price rise if they use power on weekdays instead of late at night or on weekends under new “time of use” tariffs to be introduced in May. In NSW, a 46 - 64 percent increase in electricity prices is mooted over the next three years. Queensland electricity consumers can also expect substantial increases, with electricity price rises of 21 - 26 percent in store over the next 12 months. While the scale of these changes has been linked to carbon pollution reduction, the true driving force is the need for substantial capital investment in electricity networks to ensure supply reliability. However, regardless of the cause, all businesses need to understand how best to respond to energy cost challenges. Clearly, a key aspect will be learning how to lower energy demand by finding higher efficiency options in all types of plant. For the resort or hotel seeking to lower energy use associated with their pool or spa, the approach must begin from the very basics of looking at how to lower heat loss from the pool, through to a review of all plant associated with the pool filtration and heating – covering the potential for replacement of older pumps with high efficiency variable speed options, the

replacement of older heaters with high efficiency heat pumps, by integrating solar capacity, finding newer less energy intensive filtration options, etc. However, the intent of this article is not to explore these high efficiency product options but rather to highlight the importance of understanding the changing design of energy pricing in the control of costs. Once the pool plant has been made as lean as possible in terms of its demand for energy, the business will only gain the maximum possible savings if it understands the structure of its electricity tariff or contract rate and/or the options for changes. A key aspect of the changing landscape for electricity pricing is the broadened role of time-of-use pricing. As is evident in the AGL price announcement for Victorian customers, the electricity industry’s focus is on lowering peak time demand. By containing growth in demand for electricity at peak times, the requirement for new power generation capacity and new distribution assets can be delayed or avoided. This is critical, as it is the pressing need to build a supply system that can reliably meet the daily peaks being created by new air conditioning load, etc, that is driving the price rises. So the creation of incentives to business to push demand to non-peak times will be a fundamental part of the changing energy landscape. To the smart business owner, this actually creates an opportunity to lower costs rather than grudgingly accept that costs are rising. Basic electricity pricing has typically been a flat rate, so many hotel operators will have always paid the same cost regardless of when plant has run.

The option is now likely to exist to move the business to an electricity price which gives off peak, shoulder and peak usage times. The importance of understanding the new digitally metered options can be seen from the stark difference in costs that the business will face depending on when electricity is used. For example, a two horse power pool pump will demand 2.0KW. If run for one hour, this is billed as 2 KWhs of use. For a business in NSW, the actual cost of running this pump can vary from 19 cents /hour to 80.5 cents/hour depending on the time of day or day of the week that the pump runs. Electricity pricing now has many possible structures and this includes not only timeof-use pricing but also may include demand and network related charges. The control of costs where demand charges apply not only looks at what plant is running and when but how much plant should run at the same time. We will look at the changing options by State and strategies to lower costs in Part 2 of this Series. To finish, I would stress that it is important to look past the dramatics of newspaper head-lines on energy pricing. With smart management, it may now be possible to achieve a lower average electricity cost for your pool plant than was the case three years ago. But the onus is on the manager, as although more attractive prices may be available, the electricity retailers do not take responsibility to fit customers to tariffs. It is the electricity user’s responsibility to find what is best for them. n

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Finer filtration

Media matters in swimming pool filters.

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iltration is one of the key components of a sanitisation system necessary to provide safe clear water for swimmers to enjoy. The most common types of filters use filter media (most commonly sand). In this article we’ll mostly be looking mostly at the different types of media used in filters, in both the residential and commercial environments. To start with, John McKenny, instructor and author of the Easy-to-Understand Leisure Pool and Spa Handbook, has given us a quick rundown of the different type of media and filters. Further in the article, we will get more specific information from the manufacturers of some of the types of filter media.

Sand (a) Graded filter sand – By far the most common media used. It is readily available and transported in bulk bags or easierto-handle 25kg bags. It’s washed and graded and quite course compared to normal beach sand. Although reasonably cheap to buy, transport costs can make it expensive. It is known to last many years. Sand in gravity filters fifty years old is common. It can be regularly cleaned using common liquid soap during a backwash, to assist in removing accumulated fats and oils, but regular removal of the surface layers is recommended to properly remove any build-up of salts from the pool water and sanitisers. In small pools such as private installations, a periodic acid rinse during backwash can assist; but great care is necessary to protect equipment, persons and the environment. (b) Ultra-Fine Sand – Ultra-fine sand use in swimming pool filtration is so far limited. It is used in other areas, often in conjunction with additional equipment

The crystal clear water of Murwillumbah Pool, which uses filters featuring Zelbrite filter media.

such as centrifuges, to produce high quality air and sometimes water, filtering down to less than one micron (one micron = one millionth of a metre). [Care should be taken with dry ultra-fine sand due to potential health risk from inhalation.]

(b) Glass – crushed glass can effectively filter water, having similar properties to its close relative, sand. Manufacturers advise that this recycled glass is superior to normal sand, as it provides better cleaning of the water and requires less backwashing, saving on water, heat and chemicals.

Sand replacements (a) Zeolite – there are several brands and grades on the market. Generally, those who have experienced operational difficulties using zeolite have used an inferior (imported) product. Good quality Australian zeolite gives excellent results. It is simply substituted into any “sand” filter and provides an almost instant improvement in water cleanliness, as it is claimed to filter down to approximately 3 microns. Although slightly dearer than sand, it enables less total chemical use, water consumption and heat loss, as times between backwashing is often halved.

Other filtering methods (a) Cartridge filters – these are common in small installations. They are usually cheaper than sand filters for the same pool size, easier to install and use less water when the filters need cleaning, as opposed to sand filter backwashing which can use considerable quantities of water and therefore lose larger amounts of chemicals and pool water. (b) Diatomaceous earth filters (DE) – proven to be a reliable method of effectively filtering small to large

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quantities of water for both swimming and drinking. DE, in the form of fine powder, is introduced into the flow system to form a barrier to all impurities including bacteria and pathogens such as giardia and cryptosporidium. Its drawbacks are that as well as being sometimes a bit expensive, the DE powder is considered unsafe if inhaled. Its disposal after backwashing requires special care. (c) Perlite – this natural substance is processed and crushed to a powder and used in a similar way to DE. According to those who have used and are still using perlite, it can be easily backwashed and doesn’t require cleaning, and therefore replacing, as often as DE. [However, some large commercial systems use no backwashing and simply replace the media]. (d) Granular Activated Carbon (GAC) – already used in de-ozonation chambers where ozone units are in use, GAC can effectively remove almost all substances in the water, including tastes, colours if any, sediment and even chlorine and similar added chemicals. Some GAC compounds with special alloys added can filter out all substances, including cryptosporidium, giardia and other pathogenic bacteria. (e) Cellulose fibre – this is used in open-style filtering for large commercial projects. Additionally, pre-filters such as MultiCyclone can be used to increase filter efficiency and reduce the backwash requirements. There are also other types of filtration that are mainly used for water treatment industry, such as the expensive but highly

Diamond Kleen filter media

efficient reverse-osmosis filtration, in which the water is forced under pressure through a semi-permeable membrane. This type of filter is used in desalination, but is generally too expensive at the moment for wide use in the swimming pool industry.

Glass filter media Dan Kwaczynski of Poolrite, manufacturer of Diamond Kleen, gives us a rundown on glass filter media. There are many forms of filtration available to the market – DE, sand, zeolite, recycled glass and more. In this short section, I will focus on the performance of recycled glass, (specifically Diamond Kleen) compared to the performance of sand and other media. The first question that must be asked is what are we all looking for in a filtration media (excluding price which we naturally all care about). Here are some parameters, by no means exhaustive list – pressure difference, level of cleaning (micron rating), water saving (time between backwashes and backwash duration), environmental footprint and longevity/maintenance. Cleaning ability/micron rating The primary mechanism by which sand and zeolites catch particles is by mechanical entrapment. This is based on the porous nature with particles caught in the gaps. Zeolite is far superior to sand in this regard and cleans to a high level – less than 10 micron. The performance of sand, which has a less porous structure will naturally be worse than this, perhaps filtering to 15-20 micron. Diamond Kleen has a completely different entrapment

mechanism yet still manages to perform to well below 10 micron. Research has shown that this primarily relates to an electro charge that attracts particles. In fact, glass media is not very porous at all and is actually quite smooth on the surface. Why is 10 micron an important parameter? This is generally believed to be the visible range, i.e. below that and the water will look beautiful, above and it won’t be quite as clear. Pressure difference The pressure difference is an important parameter because this relates to the size of pump and the flow rate delivered (and from this, current draw and carbon footprint). Porous media will generally have higher pressure differentials because the water flows into all the particle gaps, cracks and pores. By comparison, glass media’s smooth surface allows water to pass more easily, hence reducing the pressure loss, and making the filter more energy efficient. Another key factor in the performance of a media is the grading – both in terms of the minimum and maximum particle sizes and the spread of media across this range. For example, too large a grading range and the smaller particles fill the gaps left between the larger particles leading to higher differential pressure and easier clogging. Too small a grading range or gradings that are too fine can lead to quicker clogging and therefore quicker pressure build up. Diamond Kleen has been specifically engineered to optimise this delicate balance, using a highly technical manufacturing process which includes particle activation. Water saving The water saving ability of a media is based on two parameters – the ability of the media to hold waste without increasing pressures and the time taken to backwash once pressure has been built up. There is currently independent research to verify exactly these two water saving measures for both Diamond Kleen and zeolite. Both Zelbrite (a brand of zeolite) and Diamond Kleen have been awarded the Smart Water Mark. This is an independent organisation that validates the water saving capabilities of products. From experience, both Diamond Kleen and zeolite have excellent waste holding

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capacities, albeit that zeolite requires recharging at intermittent frequencies (in order to clean out all the pores). This is not really surprising when you consider the entrapment mechanisms mentioned above. The other parameter to consider is backwash duration. Given zeolite and sand use mechanical entrapment, it is clear that the more deeply embedded particles are in the structure, and so the longer the backwash time is needed to completely clear these particles from the porous structure. By comparison, glass backwash durations are usually significantly reduced as the particles are held loosely on the smooth surface of the particles. Longevity and maintenance The limitations of sand are that is breaks down over time, while zeolite requires recharging and replacement. Recycled glass media, by comparison, has a much longer life expectancy due to the increased hardness of the material. This can be further broken down to separate clear sheet glass, which has a relatively low smelting temperature and hence lower hardness reading compared to bottle glass which has higher smelting temperature and higher hardness reading. It is therefore expected that glass media (recycled or new) using bottle glass will last longer than sheet glass.

Zelbrite filter media in sizes 0.5 to 1.0mm (x200)

Environmental impact of production Zeolites, sand and new glass require quarrying operations to produce the base material. This not only digs into our natural environment but also uses significant energy to dig, convey, process, sort, ship, bag the product for market. New glass is even worse â&#x20AC;&#x201C; requiring large amounts of heat to melt the product and transform it into glass.

Australian zeolite

Recycled glass media is by far the lowest environmental impact of production. There is no quarrying and there are no holes being dug in the landscape. It uses existing material that was previously destined for landfill, has been saved and re-used. So in reality, for every tonne of recycled glass used in filtration that is one tonne of landfill saved â&#x20AC;&#x201C; and potentially many tonnes of quarrying saved (depending on the yields of production for sand and zeolite).

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The Australian market has embraced the use of recycled glass media. It is interesting that only now other markets in the world are starting to see market growth in recycled glass media, even though glass media per se has been used for filtration for many years (there are even reports that recycled glass was used more than 20 years ago on Hamilton Island when no sand was available at the time). For more information go to www.poolrite.com.au.

Peter Rabbidge of Zeolite Australia, manufacturer of Zelbrite, talks about zeolite in general, and Australian zeolite in particular. Zeolite is a natural mineral found in many countries around the world and is the result of volcanic activity. Not all zeolites are the same. For example, the zeolites found in Europe, Asia and New Zealand are very soft and therefore not suitable to be used as a filter media. These are mainly used as adsorbents such as Kitty Litter and for soaking up oil spills. Zelbriteâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s zeolite is mined at Werris Creek in Northern NSW and is one of the hardest zeolites found in the world. This filter media was introduced to the Australian swimming pool market

approximately 10 years ago and has been used throughout Australia in both backyard and commercial pools. It has been exported around the world and Zelbrite has recently been selected as the zeolite filter media of choice by AstralPool in Spain. Many people have made many claims and sometimes their claims do not come from independent testing. For this very reason, Zeolite Australia chose to have Zelbrite tested by the Australian Water Quality Centre (AWQC) whose test results showed it would give the performance of DE with the convenience of sand. In the past DE has been held as the benchmark for filtration: that is, DE to 5 microns, while sand only filters to 15 microns. The AWQC test showed Zelbrite could remove particles as small as 2 microns. Apart from its superior physical properties, it is also chemically active removing ammonium by ion-exchange, resulting in less need for ancillary chemical requirements to maintain water quality. Being a crushed rock it has a very large surface area and therefore during summer it will take eight to 10 weeks to reach backwash pressure, and secondly it takes half the time to backwash as it roughness causes it to swirl around inside the filter shedding the dirt in half the time.


Zelbrite is the only zeolite filter media to be awarded the Smart Approved WaterMark and also recently gained Savewater approval. For more information go to www.zelbrite.com.au.

Perlite filter media Perlite is another type of filter media, used pretty much exclusively in large commercial applications such as water parks. Neptune-Benson’s Defender regenerative media filters are the main type of filters capable of using perlite, and applications include WhiteWater World on the Gold Coast. David Biber from Australian Perlite outlines the benefits of the media, and in particular the Australian product. Perlite is an important filtration media used in the clarification of beverages including beer, wine and fruit juices and in swimming pool and other water filtration applications. Perlite is a generic name for a naturally occurring siliceous volcanic rock. A unique property of perlite is that it expands up to twenty times its original volume when it is heated to its softening range. This expansion process is caused by the presence of water in the crude rock. When perlite ore is rapidly heated to above 850°C, this water vaporises and causes the softened rock to expand. Tiny glass-like bubbles are produced which account for the light weight and exceptional physical properties of expanded perlite. It is these lightweight glass-like bubbles that are milled and classified under stringent quality controlled conditions to produce perlite filter aids. This material exhibits a unique, jagged interlocking structure with myriads of microscopic channels affording optimum flow rates and clarities for a wide variety of applications. Perlite filter aids do not impart taste, colour or odour to liquids being filtered and they are virtually insoluble in mineral and organic acids at all temperatures. Comparative products such as diatomaceous earth (DE), sand and zeolite are also used in filtration. DE does have high crystalline silica levels

Above: Perlite media under magnification Right: Perlite media under 100 times closer magnification

and accordingly it is listed as a potential carcinogen and a Dangerous Good (DG) under UN protocols. DE, sand and zeolite are much heavier than perlite and for a product that is sold by the kilogram this makes it a more expensive option than perlite (perlite is at least 30 per cent lighter than any of these options). Because perlite stays in solution, it can be easily and legally disposed of in municipal sewers while DE requires removal to a DG-certified land fill. Australian Perlite (Ausperl) is the primary supplier of perlite filter media in Australian and New Zealand. Products are matched to client requirements. Manufacturing takes place in Sydney where a disciplined testing regime ensures that the product is highly consistent. Due to the bulk density of perlite, local supply is likely to be the most economic choice. For more information go to www.ausperl.com.au.

RMF and perlite in water parks June Holaday from Neptune Benson, manufacturer of Defender filters, explains the benefits of regenerative media filtration (RMF) in large commercial applications such as waterparks.

When it comes to waterparks, one of the toughest obstacles to overcome is public perception. The visitor sees what appears to be an endless stream of water flowing all over the park. What they don’t see are the very strict measures that parks take to conserve water behind the scenes. On average, a 100,000 square foot (9300 square metre) waterpark resort might use 125,000 to 160,000 gallons of water per day (473,000L to 600,000L). In comparison, golf courses in the United States consume an average of 300,000 to 500,000 gallons of water per day (1.1ML to 1.9ML). Though most people don’t seem to associate golf courses with excessive water consumption. New technologies are being implemented throughout waterparks to reduce, reuse and recycle water. One of the key elements is the use of regenerative media filters (RMF) such as Defender instead of high rate sand filtration. This popular

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Left: The Neptune Benson Defender Far left:The AquaBoss open filter tank using Purifibre

filtration system requires no backwashing, saving up to 90 per cent of wastewater and eliminating the need for a backwash holding tank. The RMF technology operates on the premise of surface filtration, has tremendous dirt holding capacity, which extends filter cycles to weeks or even months. The reduction in backwash water also means that less ‘make-up’ water needs to be reheated and retreated with chemicals. Operators report over 30 per cent savings on chemicals and heating fuel which helps reduce the carbon footprint.

Smart Approved Water Mark favours four filtration products Smart Approved Water Mark, the not-for-profit program that helps consumers make informed choices about saving water around the home, garden and pool, has included four swimming pool filtration products. Two are filter media – Zelbrite zeolite media and Poolrite’s Diamond Kleen recycled glass filter media. The other two are Waterco’s MultiCyclone pre-filter and Ian Coombes’ AquaBoss commercial swimming pool filter system. Products and services with the Smart Approved WaterMark label have been assessed by an independent technical expert panel.

Additional features that reduce the carbon and water footprints are reduced electricity usage and saving on construction room. Regenerative media filters operate at a lower head (TDH) compared to traditional sand filters, saving motor horsepower. When paired with a variable frequency drive (VFD), electrical usage may be cut up to 30 per cent. The RMF mechanical footprint requires less than one-quarter of the space occupied by sand filters, which significantly saves on construction costs. Since so much more waste water is being eliminated, it becomes critical to maintain optimum pool water quality. Regenerative media filters can remove particles down to 1 micron. This allows for more than 99.9 per cent of cryptosporidium to be removed in a single pass. The superfine filtration of the water also increases UV sanitation efficiency. So an additional benefit is that a regenerative media filter combined with a UV sanitation system becomes the best defence against recreational waterborne illnesses (RWIs). Australia, suffering its worst drought in a century, is home to WhiteWater World in Queensland. According to Angus Hutchings, the park’s Environmental Manager, the regenerative media filtration has the most impact on their water conservation. They use 90 percent less water and save approximately 23 million litres of water per year. Additionally, in an independent, third party water efficiency audit conducted by Environmental Resources Management Australia (ERM), WhiteWater World has been given the highest efficiency rating possible for a waterpark. For more information go to www.DefenderFilter.com.

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Commercial filtration with cellulose fibre Ben Coombes from commercial filter manufacturer, Ian Coombes, describes a new form of filter media – cellulose fibre. AquaBoss fine media filters use the vacuum media filtration principal. They operate by drawing the water through an open tank full of filter elements. Each filter element is coated with a cellulose fibre called Purifibre which is a non-toxic, noncarcinogenic media that provides filtration down to 2-3 microns. This level of filtration is comparable to diatomaceous earth without the unwelcome handling issues. Purifibre is made from wood pulp just like paper. This makes it a safe and user-friendly product to work with. It is a renewable resource and is 100 per cent biodegradable allowing it to be discharged direct to the sewer without the need for large backwash holding tanks. AquaBoss filters in conjunction with Purifibre can give filter cycles of eightto-16 weeks, therefore using minimal water in comparison to other filtration types. AquaBoss filters require 3000 to 9000 litres per backwash, compared with 10,000 to 15,000 litres used by a conventional sand filter system. The filter shell is open to the environment which makes trouble shooting quick and easy as the filtration process is clearly visible. This also has the added benefit of no pressure in the filtration tank resulting in a long product life. For further information go to www.iancoombes.com.au. n Reprinted with kind permission from Splash! www.splashmagazine.com.au


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Liquid assets

Water saving

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hen it comes to swimming pools and spas, being as eco-friendly and sustainable as possible is not just about doing the right thing by the environment – it will save you as the pool owner both time and money. Several recent innovations from international swimming pool and water treatment specialist Waterco are just the answer.

Energy saving Pump it up Pool pumps are a necessity for keeping your pool water sparkling clean and crystal clear. However, they can become a drain on your electricity bills as they often run much longer than necessary. Look for a pump that reduces your filtration time and keep the intake grates clear of debris so it doesn’t get overworked. “Choosing the correct pump for your pool will make a huge difference in terms of hygiene, appearance and running costs,” says Bryan Goh, group marketing director at Waterco. “It can be confusing, so we always recommend seeking advice from one of our pool experts to match your pool and pump perfectly.” The Waterco multi speed pumps save electricity because they can be run at any RPM (revolutions per minute). They have built in software that shuts the pump off if it runs dry, saving costly repairs, and they are built with permanent magnet motors that produce less heat than regular induction motors with around 30 per cent more efficiency. And you can set a different speed for different functions – low speed for filtering, medium for water features and high speed for spa jets.

Light shows Lights in and around your pool not only create ambience for pool guests but are also a key safety feature. But you should choose the new range of LED pool lights for maximum energy efficiency. “An incandescent bulb wastes a significant amount of energy whilst it is producing light,” explains Bryan. “LEDs do not have a filament to heat, so the electrical power is used simply to generate light, considerably reducing electricity.” Waterco’s Britestream LED Light uses energy efficient, super bright LEDs that operate on only 15 watts of energy – that’s 15 per cent of the electrical power of a halogen light. They have a life span of over 70,000 hours and are available as Brite White or Electric Blue depending on the mood of your pool. Not only that, multicoloured functions are unique to LED lights. Waterco’s Britestream Multicolored LED Light can produce a multitude of different colours without the need for a coloured lens, adding a warm ambience to any pool at night. The Light’s multicoloured combinations are easily programmed via its light switch.

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maintenance, saving water and pool chemicals. But one of the best things about the Nitro Wall Scrubber is that it operates on only 120 watts of power, reducing energy consumption by 90% in comparison to pressure pool cleaners.

Hotel Engineer

Hotting up There are also a number of cost-effective pool heating options on the market that mean guests can make use of your pool year-round – come rain, hail or shine. The new generation of heat pump water heaters extract heat from the air – similar to a reverse cycle air conditioner – and use this heat to heat pool water. “There’s really no contest when it comes to the difference in running costs between a heat pump and a gas pool heater. In fact, you can save up to 80% over LPG and 50% over natural gas,” says Bryan. One of the most advanced heat pumps on the market is the new Canadian Electroheat Subzero heat pump from Waterco. It will heat your pool even when the ambient air is down to 0°C – good news for resorts, motels and hotels located in cooler, less sunny climates. The LED control panel features a continuous digital pool temperature display and incorporates a self-diagnosis system. It also features an option to switch from pool to spa mode automatically or manually and is very quiet to run. Solar pool heating has also gained in popularity, not only because the cost of energy to heat the pool water is free, but also the principals involved are very simple. “We’ve been working closely with many leading Australian and international resort and hotel brands who have readily adopted solar pool heating technology,” says Tom Giannoulis, solar and pool heating manager at Zane, Australia’s leading solar pool heating specialists. “The benefits are huge in terms of cost and energy efficiency compared to traditional gas or electric pool water heaters.” Zane solar pool systems – distributed by Waterco – consist of a multitude of miniature solar absorber tubes to maximise the surface area exposed to the sun and therefore the energy captured. The continued circulation of water through these tubes gradually and effectively heats the pool water increasing its overall temperature. The Zane Gulfstream, and now the new Zane Gulfpanel systems, both feature a computerised solar controller, ensuring the pool’s temperature is constantly controlled and monitored. The only operation cost is the energy required for the solar pump, so a solar system pays for itself in just a few years.

Clean sweep For completely efficient – and effortless – pool management, opt for a robotic pool cleaning system. Waterco’s new Nitro Wall Scrubber represents the next generation of energy efficient pool cleaners. Replicating your pool’s filtration system, the Nitro Wall Scrubber vacuums in water, dirt and debris via an internal pump, and filters the water via its filtration system. The cleaner micro filters and circulates the pool water reducing filter

Filter water The filtration system is the heart of your pool, pumping the water through a filter and returning it to the pool in pristine condition. How long you should filter your pool for depends on its size, equipment, usage and environment – the more your pool is used the more filtering it will need. There are several different kinds of filters, though cartridge filters use significantly less water. Waterco’s Opal XL cartridge filters are designed to house an extra-large filter cartridge fabricated from pleated reusable polyester fabric, maximising its dirt holding capacity and minimising filter maintenance. An award-winning invention by Waterco is the innovative MultiCyclone, offering water saving with a twist. The revolutionary new Australian-designed compact swimming pool filtration device conserves precious pool water and reduces maintenance, easily saving up to 7000 litres of pool water per year. Fitted to existing pool filters or installed to new pools, it has no moving parts to wear and no filter components to clean or replace. “In short, the pool water ends up cleaner with less upkeep,” says Bryan. “The MultiCyclone gathers dirt that would normally go into the filter, and drains it out. This cuts 80 per cent of the dirt that clogs your filter and extends its life.”

Cover up The simplest way to reduce evaporation is easy as keeping a lid on it. A pool cover offers a barrier and, if used each day, will reduce the 5mm evaporation occurring daily by 95 per cent. Not only that, they can actually warm the pool water by around 8°C and reduce your heating bill by up to 70 per cent. A cover also improves water health by safeguarding against dirt and debris, which in turn makes life easier for your filtration and cleaning systems. Choose from thermal blankets, leaf cover and slat covers or go for the popular bubble blanket. “These are great value for money and are easy to install, use and have an exceptional life span,” says Derek Prince from Daisy Pool Covers. “Even if you have an indoor heated pool, we still recommend that you use a pool cover to save on energy costs and keep condensation in the pool rather than letting it seep into the walls and roof of the pool room which can cause structural damage.” n

Useful websites www.energyrating.gov.au www.energyaustralia.com.au www.smartwatermark.org www.savewater.com.au www.sydneywater.com.au www.waterco.com.au


THE

HOTEL ENGINEER

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 EINMOTION 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: ezgo@ezgo.com.au Website: www.ezgo.com.au

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THE

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

Water Chiller Cost Considerations

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ater chillers today are very sophisticated, generally very efficient and certainly are a major capital cost to any project.

The 2 major cost considerations are: 1) Capital cost â&#x20AC;&#x201C; easy to see and quantify as a fixed and immediate cost. 2) Running cost â&#x20AC;&#x201C; these are more difficult to quantify. The key elements of running costs are: (a) Power required to produce the required cooling effect at full load C.O.P. and at Part Load IPLV & NPLV. Since to introduction of the federal government Minimum energy Performance Standards in July 2009, all water chillers, air and water cooled, over 350 kW cooling capacity must meet stringent full and part load performance guidelines as new machines. Often Building owners pay more money for machines with a higher performance (ie: less input for more output). The extra money paid up front is often justified by reduced electricity costs providing payback periods of 1-2 or more years. This performance is all verifiable at the time the chiller is purchased. (b) Maintenance and Breakdown. These costs are often not treated with the same priority as the cost of the power

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 www.sanipacking.com 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 www.superchill.com or www.2h.com.au or 1300667 018 and 03 9793 6166

to run the chiller. Maintenance is however paramount to ensuring that costly breakdowns are avoided but more importantly that the performance you paid for is achieved over the life of the chiller. Once the chiller is operating in the real world heat exchanger surfaces on both air and water cooled machines become fouled with the dirt and grit of our busy cities. Corrosion on temperature sensors can give inaccurate feedback to chiller controllers causing erratic or inappropriate response to the real system requirements, resulting in poor chilled water temperature control and poor comfort control of the building. Simple preventative maintenance visits, logging chiller heat exchanger performances, sensor and transducer performances as well as refrigerant charges and water flows will ensure that your chiller continues to perform as it did on the test rig for the majority of its lifespan as well as ensuring that the performance costs savings that were expected continues to be realised. n

Gary Davies National Sales Manager MTA Australasia Pty Ltd Ph: 1300 304 177 Email: sales@mta-au.com

Hotel Engineer | Vol 16 No. 1 | 83


THE

HOTEL ENGINEER

Product News

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

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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, hotels.com, roamfree etc. availability is update into the property management system automatically and those rooms are withdrawn from sale. If guests with one of these prebookings 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 Phone (03) 9555 5444 or visit www.checkinn.com.au

Phantom® insecticide Phantom® insecticide, by BASF Pest Control Solutions, is a major breakthrough in pest control for Australia, with unique properties that make it unlike other insecticides. Phantom is a liquid SC formulation for the control of ants, cockroaches and bed bugs, used as an internal treatment for cracks and crevices. The active ingredient, new to Australia in this application, is derived from a natural product, based on a toxin of the bacterium Streptomyces fumanus. Phantom is a non repellent, so it is undetectable to the pests and also makes it suitable for use near cockroach gels. Phantom is also Australia’s first insecticide to be HACCP endorsed. Ask your pest control service provider if they are using the latest in undetectable technology -Phantom insecticide. Product information hotline (Freecall): 1800 006 393 or visit www.termidor.com.au.

84 | Vol 16 No. 1 | Hotel Engineer


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