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HOTEL ENGINEER The Official Publication of the Australian Institute of Hotel Engineering

PP 319986/101

Volume 16 No. 3 2011


HOTEL ENGINEER The Hotel Engineer The Official Publication of the Australian Institute of Hotel Engineering

contents 13


Publishers’ Message


AIHE State News

11  AIHE Conference Details 13  Hotel Sustainability: A Case Study and Guidelines for Effective Implementation

17  Demand Side Management in hotel


electricity consumption

21 In-Room Entertainment


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: Adelaide: Robert Spowart Ph: 0488 390 039 Email:

25  Carbon Management: Managing the Data

29  Energy Savings In The Hvac



34  Commercial Kitchen Exhaust Systems: Maintenance

44  Guest Room Technology Trends 47 Regulation Update by Derek Hendry 52 Regulation Update by Graeme Badrock

Production: Sonya Murphy Tel: (03) 9758 1436 Email:

56  Versatile lighting complements Rockliffe Hall’s grandeur

59 Architects and Building Design

Administration: Robyn Fantin Tel: (03) 9758 1431 Email: Marketing: Tania Lamanna Tel: (03) 9500 0285 Email: Editorial Consultant Max Agnew Editorial Contributor Thomas Johnson

62  Extending The Nabers Rating Scale to 6 Stars


65  Back of House 66  Hotels of the Future Wi-Fi is the Emerging Standard for Guest Convenience

67  A Can Of Worms: From a microbiological and common sense viewpoint

74  “Eau De Chlorine” If you can smell it, your pool OR SPA is not safe !!

78 Product News


HOTEL ENGINEER The Official Publication of the Australian Institute of Hotel Engineering

Front Cover:

PP 319986/101

Volume 16 No. 3 2011

Hilton on the Park overlooks Melbourne's MCG

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



Publisher’s Message


uch of the early groundwork by the AIHE has begun for its next National Conference. This will be Update 2012 to be held at the QT Gold Coast Surfers Paradise on next August 9 and 10, 2012. It will be open to all interested in Hotel Engineering. It will be a wonderful opportunity for trade companies associated with hotels to display and demonstrate their products to those who really count in the servicing of this industry. We will keep you right up to date on Update 2012 in each edition of Hotel Engineer about displays and options available. Several of our newer contributors have wasted no time establishing their credentials with readers as their first efforts have been extremely well received. In the previous issue Wendy Hird introduced herself to readers when she wrote about Hotel Water Efficiency. This time she looks in depth at Carbon Footprints. David Ross, of Pangolin Associates, takes you further into ‘hotel sustainability’ by detailing for you a case study on the Sydney Hilton.

taken the time to write about your obligations in dealing with kitchen exhaust systems, while Greg Blain provides much food for thought in choosing an architect for the building or renovation design. As we move steadily onwards towards the end of 2011, I would like to personally thank each and every one of our technical writers, from the busy Alan Lewis and Peter Swanson, to our latest additions to the team. Feed-back from readers indicates the respect their contributions have been received by members of hotel engineering. n

View HOTEL ENGINEER online now! THE

Visit and click on ‘The Hotel Engineer’

Also in this issue Emma Chessell and Lyndon Frearson, of Cat Projects, have written for you about ‘Demand Side Management’. They were project managers for the Crowne Plaza Alice Springs solar and energy efficient upgrades we featured in Vol. 14, No 3. Every large hotel includes a commercial kitchen. Jeremy Stamkos from TVH has

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AIHE State News Queensland July’s meeting presentation was given by David Clifford from Momentum. David provided a short over view of the company and explained that Momentum is a premier electricity retailer, owned by the Hydro Tasmania group – Australia’s leading renewable energy generator with nearly 100 years of experience in the energy sector. Hydro Tasmania provides almost half of Australia’s renewable energy, and Entura their consulting business works with companies and governments all over the world on multimillion dollar infrastructure and engineering projects. David advised all attendees of what were the potential impacts on their hotel if the Carbon Tax does get introduced. In Queensland every 1000 kWh is roughly equal to 1 tonne of CO2 and the expected rate will be $23 dollars per tonne of CO2 This equals 2.3 cents per kWh increase. On current energy only prices about a 40-45% increase in peak prices and about 80-85% increase in off peak. Therefore every 1,000,000 kWh will cost $23,000. Estimating many large 5 star hotels annual energy consumption would be around 6,000,000 KWH. This will result in an increase of electricity charges of $138,000 PA. Great discussion was given on how this will impact not just our hotels but everyone and our personal expenses. The night concluded with thanks to David and also special thanks were given to Rockcoat, who kindly provided the at their Display office in Nerang as the venue for the evening.

The August meeting was a back of house tour of Gold Coast Skill Park Stadium at Robina. Peter Cronin provided everyone a wonderful opportunity to see what maintenance and equipment is needed to keep both the fields in preteen condition for the various codes of football games. Testing for impact hardness of the ground, water content and temperature are all conducted and closely monitored. Then there are the kitchens, dressing rooms and corporate rooms. The fire equipment and procedures needed to protect every one when the stadium is packed with supporters. Peter advised that the turf was going to be replaced just that following Sunday and they had three weeks to have the new turf down and ready to be played on. Unfortunately the tour was cut short due to a reported large hail storm coming our way. Special thanks go to Peter for giving up his time and providing us all a very interesting and enjoyable tour. The September meeting is to be held at the Hyatt Regency Sanctuary Cove on Tuesday 27th with a presentation provided by one of the institute’s long time supporters and Corporate Member, Clipsel. James Costello will present on Hotel energy efficient solutions. Ian Crookston 
 AIHE Qld Chapter President

New South Wales Greetings from the NSW Chapter, Over the past months we had some fantastic evenings with guest speakers. June meeting was held at the Observatory Hotel, Michael Gough from Fire Safety Testing Maintenance services gave an overview on “making modifications within existing buildings”. We had a lovely ‘Christmas in July Dinner’ at Woolooware Golf Club. There were many gifts presented on the night and the main gift was sponsored by Sunlite Commercials. The event was organised by Jason Manley. Alberta McAteer A/Principal Program Officer from the Office of Environment and Heritage delivered an in-depth and informative session on NABERS for Hotels. The meeting was sponsored by the Sofitel Sydney Wentworth. The 2011 AIHE NSW Chapter AGM was held on the 22nd of September at the Menzies Hotel Sydney. It was great to see a

large number of attendances at the AGM. The General Manager of the Menzies, Michael Smith’s opening speech on insights into the challenges faced by hotels to keep up with the ever changing modern technology, coupled with his special brand of humour, made for an enjoyable evening. The presenter for the night was Brendon Granger of Business Development Asia Pacific, whose presentation was on “Guestroom Technology Trends”. Gidon Sattinger was the winner of the iHome docking station kindly donated by Business Development Asia Pacific but Gidon decided to redraw and Yushani was the lucky winner on the night. Honorary Fellow Member Phil McKendrick the protem chairperson carried out the AGM formalities and the following were elected as office bearers. President: Anura Yapa Vice President: Carl Van Den Heever continued on page 6

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New South Wales


Secretary: Ben Gray Treasurer: Elizabeth Tam Event Organisers: Jason Manley & Trevor McCarren Committee Members: Brendon Granger, Jackson Wong, Steve Fisk and Scott O’Brien

I would also like to thank Martin Ryan who was the treasurer for few years. His hard work and dedication for the Institute throughout the years is much appreciated.

While congratulating the new Committee, Phil delivered the history of the NSW chapter in his speech. An interesting fact that he stated was that the first AIHE chapter meeting was held at the Menzies Hotel in 1992 with the leadership of Allan Laird the former Chief Engineer of the Menzies. He went on to say that it was wonderful to see the progression of AIHE since then.

My main goal for this year is to get General Managers involved and to seek their support as ultimately our accomplishments as members of the Institute/or hotel engineers will result in benefitting the hotel. Our resolution is to inspire interest in the AIHE; partnering with leading professionals to gain specialised industry knowledge, create entertaining forums for social networking and ensuring all funds are redistributed throughout the year to directly benefit members.

I would like to congratulate the outgoing committee who has done an excellent job during the past year and would like to give a warm welcome to the new committee.

It was great to see that a lot of hotel engineers representing the committee this year.

Anura Yapa JP President – AIHE NSW chapter

Western Australia Greetings from the West. Western Australia hosted the Presidents quarterly meeting at the Burswood Entertainment Complex in May with many positive outcomes and future plans set in place. We are all excited about the Hotel Engineers conference next year with all Chapters having an active role to play to ensure its success and the trial website was also discussed and is under development.

some of their range having a five year warranty. All of the chairs are available with a maintenance program. James Richardson can also complete full room fit outs.

Ellen Daniel from the Water Corporation opened the tour with an overview of what is the ground water replenishment trial and why it is necessary.

We also had Danny Eversdon from Crane Copper tube and Brett Lewis from Trade link explained to us the Crane Copper tube Viega Progress system. This system is an ultra fast press fitting joining system for professional connection of DN15 to DN100 copper tube with no soldering welding or gluing. This system can be installed even with some water in the lines. The pressing tool can create up to 1 tonnes of pressure to crimp the joins in about 5 seconds. This German system meets all Australian tests and water approvals and will certainly be the way of the future.

We then split into two groups and toured the facility which included the location, environmental impact, technology required and the costs associated with such a trial.

September was another site visit kindly sponsored by Mechanical Project Services on various services and products related to the hospitality industry.

The visit was professionally presented and all who attended appreciate the dedication and knowledge of the site managers.

Modular bathrooms and vertical transport was some of the many highlights that were on show that evening.

The meeting then moved to the Mullaloo tavern for fellowship.

Many thanks to Tom Purdon and his team.

In August we conducted another site visit to James Richardson Corporation who gave a presentation on various banqueting equipment, restaurant furniture made specifically for the hotel environment.

I would like to thank my committee and members for there continued support during 2011 and look forward to the remainder of this year.

In July the chapter visited the Water Corporation ground replenishment trial at Craigie.

Chris Wade explained that the company started in 1892 as an alcohol and cigarette company. The owner at the time started looking at furniture from Italy and the Czech Republic and this was first imported in 1956. Since then the company now has around 9 Million dollars of stock. Chris explained the huge range of extremely well made chairs, tables etc with


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Hotel Engineer

The Western Australian Chapter would also like to wish all members and there families a safe and happy Christmas and a prosperous new year. Tony Fioraso President AIHE Western Australia

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Victoria As the year rolls on, we head into our footy finals, certainly a great buzz about town. Over the past months, with the great support of our corporate’s, the Victorian chapter has hosted the following meetings. In the month of July, Philippe Giner from Novotel on Collins hosted our meeting; we had 2 guest presenters that night which made the meeting quite diverse. Ian Thomas, Southern Regional Manger for JL Lennard food equipment enlightened us with his vast product range and long standing company history. Brendan Randall, Director of “The Painter Pty Ltd “ introduced us to the services his company and team are able to provide along with a run down of issues and solutions around the world of painting… he was also quite good at making us laugh. Our August meeting was hosted by Park Hyatt Melbourne, Justin Liew providing us the use of their luxurious Cuba room. As most of our hotels will under go a refurbishment at some time, this meeting was focused around that exact topic. Joint representation from Chess Moving, Woodlands Commercial, Dorma & Middys provided a great insight and an informative evening , as each corporate gave us a snapshot of their services specific to the topic, along with relevant examples of past jobs provided to our industry. It is a comfort to know that we can draw on such great experienced companies within our city that understand our business along with the demand that any refurbishment project brings.

September had us head over to RMIT University, where Ganesh Sen of Eco Refurbishment, in conjunction with CREE, hosted an evening on LED lighting technology. The function was held in the university LED DC lounge, a complete research / lecture room that has been transformed to operate on specifically designed DC based circuitry with energy efficient LED lighting. Trails have confirmed that their energy consumption has almost halved since the implementation of the project. Dr John Mo of RMIT University along with Ian Richardson, Chairman of KNX Australia, also presented on the evening, providing their insight and involvement with the project. This is a great example of what can be achieved with the right technology and proper research. I am sure it will set the standard for future retrofits, certainly worth calling on Ganesh if you are intending to take on an upgrade of this nature. It goes without saying; the ongoing support of our Hotel Engineers and Corporate members is the key to the success of AIHE Victoria. I encourage any Engineers that have not attended one of our meetings to come along, I am sure you will benefit greatly by meeting and networking with your colleagues’, along with making some new contacts in our industry. For any inquiries about our Chapter or joining our meetings, feel free to contact me on David Zammit AIHE Victorian Chapter President.

SOUTH AUSTRALIA The next evening planned for the SA Chapter of AIHE will be hosted by both Yardley Hospitality and Clipsal on Tuesday, 15th November from 6pm until 8pm. As the hospitality industry becomes increasing impacted upon by the movements in technology, this presentation is sure to be both informative and entertaining. Paul Yardley, Managing Director of Yardley Hospitality will present information of the new range of Samsung LED Hospitality TVs. This new generation range is specifically designed to meet the needs of discerning guests, whether they are holidaymakers or high-end corporate travellers. James Costello, National Manager, Hospitality Segment, from Clipsal will share with you the latest on “intelligent metering”. This relatively new concept is set to revolutionise the industry and impact very positively on bottom line profits if understood, installed and used correctly. We urge all engineers, maintenance and facility managers and associated personnel to attend this FREE evening. We are sure you will take away with you pleanty of information that should prove to be very beneficial in the future success of your business.


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Hotel Engineer

The date and time is Tuesday, 15th November from 6pm to 8pm. The venue is the Sebel Playford, 120 North Terrace Adelaide. Pre-presentation drinks and finger food will be served, so we recommend you be on time. Presentations will be from 6.30pm to 7.15pm and afterwards you will have a bit of time for some friendly networking. And don’t forget to bring your business card, as both companies are donating a prize for a lucky draw. FREE car parking will be offered for those attending in the adjacent Victoria Street carpark. RSVP by Friday, 4th November to: Paul Yardley - 0412 974 878 - OR James Costello - 0417 878 874 - We very much look forward to seeing you there.

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AIHE 2012 Update CONFERENCE The Australian Institute of Hotel Engineering would like to invite your company to participate in AIHE’s update Conference and Exhibition to be held August 9–10 at QT Gold Coast, Surfers Paradise. There are numerous sponsorships available, with your trade booth, dinners, trade drinks, lunch, morning and afternoon teas all included in your sponsorship. All sponsors are welcome to attend any of the Engineering lectures during the conference. The trade exhibition will be officially opened at the morning tea break on the first day of the conference. The exhibition will be advertised throughout the Australian Hotel Engineering industry. Should you be interested in a booth for your company, please contact us as soon as possible as numbers are limited and will be allocated on a first cheque received basis. Day One – THURSDAY 9th August 7.45................ Registration 8.30................ Welcome by the AIHE Queensland President 8.40................ Key note address by AIHE Founder – Neil Wenick 9.00................ Topic 1 9.45................ Official Opening of Trade Show & Morning Tea 11.15.............. Topic 2 12.00.............. Lunch & Viewing of Trade Show 1.30................ Topic 3 2.30................ Afternoon Tea & Viewing of Trade Show 3.15................ Topic 4 4.00................ Closing address for the day 4.00 – 5.00..... Trade Drinks 6.30 – 10.30... Cocktail Party – Surfers in Paradise Band Day Two – Friday 10th August 8.00................ Coffee 8.30................ Welcome by AIHE New South Wales and Victorian Presidents 9.00................ Topic 5 9.45................ Morning Tea & Viewing of the Trade Show 11.15.............. Topic 6 12.00.............. Lunch & Viewing of the Trade Show 1.30................ Topic 7 2.30................ Afternoon Tea & Viewing of the Trade Show 3.15................ Topic 8 4.00................ Closing address by AIHE Queensland President 6.00 – 7.00..... Pre-Dinner Drinks 7.30 – 11.00... Gala Dinner

Phone: 0414 631 772  Fax: 07 5561 8568 Email:

AIHE conference & exhibition registration Both Days Day One Day Two Delegates Member $350 $200 $200 Price Non Member $400 $225 $225 Price Partner Cocktail Party - Thursday $60 Gala Dinner - Friday $100 Accommodation with QT Accommodation bookings are to be made Direct - +61 7 55841200 Rates Excluding Breakfast Including Breakfast x1 Including Breakfast x2

$185 $207 $229

Hotel Engineer | Vol 16 No. 3 | 11

Hotel Sustainability A Case Study and Guidelines for Effective Implementation Davide Ross In Vol 16, issue no. 1 of the Hotel Engineer published earlier this year, Pangolin Associates outlined some of the various voluntary and legislated reporting schemes in regards to reporting of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and related environmental management systems (EMS).


ow that we have some of the initial background theory in place, we can assess if the effort to introduce a sustainability initiative is worthwhile. Does this journey really lead to successful and sustained change? This article highlights what results can be achieved once the right people, teams and appropriate management buy-in are in place. This will be demonstrated through a case example from a recent business trip to Sydney resulting in an overnight stay in the Hilton Sydney Hotel. The Hilton Sydney was last featured in the Hotel Engineer in 2005 (Vol 10, Issue no.

4) following the outcomes of a major revitalisation of this iconic 1970’s building from a 1980’s interior into a contemporary, modern space in a 30-month and A$200 million dollar undertaking. The only constant in the world is change. So it is very timely that the Hotel Engineer picks up on the next “Green” push by the hotel. It has also helped that the author was involved in a Level 1 energy audit of the very same hotel in 2008. Two of my foremost observations as I made way through check-in at the hotel were firstly the WWF Earth Hour award prominently displayed at the front

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reception desk and the new LED downlights. Curiosity of course got the better of me, as I knew LED lighting was one of our energy saving recommendations, so I followed up with some enquiries to see what had been happening of late. This led me to a morning meeting with Benjamin Grimshaw, Duty Manager & Environment and Sustainability Co-ordinator for the Hilton Sydney.

five-year plan. Benjamin says ‘’We have reduced both the total energy use and water consumption of the hotel and are seeking future opportunities to reduce our environmental footprint.’’

After a quick internet search prior to the meeting I noted that Benjamin was the inaugural WWF Earth Hour Workplace Champions Award winner. This award is for an individual or team taking exceptional initiative within their workplace to positively impact the environment and “Going Beyond the Hour” for the planet.

• Total energy use decreased by 8.9% - Electricity 9.9%, Natural gas 7.0%.

Two years ago, he was also studying environmental management as part of a business degree and it was realised that while environmental activities were being undertaken at the hotel, it was on a piecemeal basis and there was no focused environmental policy. This soon changed after he approached the hotel’s general manager and formed an environmental committee as well as taking the additional role of environmental and sustainability co-ordinator. Benjamin has been a driving force behind changes throughout the hotel to reduce energy and water consumption and cut waste. In the past 18 months, Benjamin has organised the hotel from having no cohesive environmental policy to having a

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The 1st half results of 2011 compared to same period of 2010 speak for themselves:

• Water use was cut by 2.0% thanks to restrictors in showerheads and sensors on taps. • The hotel now recycles 85% of its waste. • One of the first steps was to install 744 LED light bulbs in the hotel’s guest corridors. It cost $36,000 but saves the hotel $30,000 a year and has reduced energy requirements by 85 per cent in those areas. • The hotel’s plan is to now install LED lights throughout the whole hotel - all 7,000 of them. The processes that contributed to this leading example by Benjamin at the Hilton Sydney can be neatly summed up as: • Knowing that you have a problem • Getting the right people in place • Overcoming the challenge with management and plans • Developing solutions • Making it happen

One of the key first steps to any of these actions is having a sustainability leader or energy champion. This individual can then form “Green Teams” by asking their colleagues to help implement sustainable practices at the workplace. Green Teams typically meet monthly and discuss innovative ways to make their workplace more sustainable.

(NABERS) self-assessment tool to get an idea of your current performance. Visit • Collate information on your Energy (Electricity/Natural gas), Water and Waste consumption (and production e.g. PV, solar hot water) as these will provide benchmarks against your future performance.

It is vital to have upper level management buy-in and approval before starting to ensure that the extra time spent on sustainable workplace initiatives is welcome and supported. Ideally, this process should be both a bottom-up and a top-down process. Board directors, executives and management should understand the competitive environmental and financial advantages while allowing all employees of the organisation to rise to the challenge of implementing and sustaining change.

• Ideally, the monthly reporting and recording of key performance statistics on Energy and Water use per guest room occupied, waste figures and recycling amounts should be enacted. “You can not manage what you don’t measure!”

A whole-of-organisation sustainability strategy with long-term application needs to be put in place. While many organisations may successfully implement a number of ad hoc environmental initiatives, only by developing and integrating these initial environmental initiatives into a coherent sustainability strategy to be applied across the entire business can real progress be achieved and significant money saved. The strategy has to provide guidance on short-term initiatives as well as set the direction over the next 5 to possibly 10 years.

• contractor?) and how they can assist you – speak to your purchasing manager.

A whole-of-organisation sustainability strategy with long-term application needs to: • Obtain senior management buy-in • Agree to a sustainability vision for the organisation • Identify appropriate sustainability objectives across a variety of organisational areas including new business opportunities, operational improvements and cultural change • Facilitate implementation by working with key business staff to set business unit targets • Determine and secure the human and financial resources required to effectively implement the strategy • Design a cultural change management program to aid the transition toward sustainable behaviours, operations and innovations • Determine the next steps to ensure successful delivery of the strategy • Undertake periodic review to ensure effectiveness and relevance Specifically for hotels, it is recommended that your journey on the pathway to sustainability commence with the following actions: • A commitment to sustainable operations MUST come from the general manager down and have the their full support • Look to purchasing the “Environmental Management for Hotels” guide issued by the International Tourism Partnership, an industry guide to sustainable operations, a great and easily referable starting point. Available at: http://www. • Accreditation should be a goal. Your Chief Engineer can use the National Australian Built Environment Rating System

• Identify your main areas of usage/production (e.g. Rooms, laundry and HVAC). • Identify your key suppliers and waste management method (do you use a 3rd party

• Consult with your Chief Engineer and find out what is currently happening within the hotel with regards to Energy, Water and Waste – Have any projects been undertaken that have a sustainable by-product? • Set realistic goals to reduce consumption of Energy and Water and percentage of waste sent to landfill. • Contact other hotels to see what they have done – share expertise. • Begin with simple educational projects around the hotel e.g. ‘Switch-Off’ campaign ensuring all electrical equipment and lights are switched off after use. • Initiate an education campaign for all employees informing them of your goals, what you are doing and more importantly how they can contribute. Devise an environmental element in your induction program for new starters. • Finally, listen to your staff; they will have a lot of ideas and knowledge to where things could be improved. They are working at the coalface day-in day-out and will be more willing to adapt new practices if engaged throughout the development process. To conclude this article, the last words are best reserved for Paul Hutton, general manager, Hilton Sydney who said “I truly believe that a planned, structured and managed sustainability program will lead to truly significant change in the long term, which is why I am closely involved and 100% invested in our environmental and sustainability initiatives at Hilton Sydney.” “We recognise the huge environmental responsibility that we have here and my team are committed to improving their performance towards a sustainable future across all of our key impact areas, spearheaded by Benjamin’s expertise. Our incredible results in a relatively short space of time speak volumes from a commercial perspective too; figures such as 85% recycling have a huge impact on ‘dollars’, as does the installation of energy saving light bulbs which, as being more robust, don’t need to be replaced as often, significantly decreasing the amount of required manpower.” “It is changes like these which make our sustainability program both valuable environmentally and commercially and I look forward to supporting further growth in this vital area.” n

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Demand Side Management in Hotel Electricity Consumption Demand Side Management (DSM) solves power supply problems before they happen, by shifting loads off peak and cutting overall demand. Energy utilities defined the concept during the 1970s fuel scares, and since then, DSM strategies have been refined in high-cost supply contexts like remote and renewable power systems. Now hotels are realizing the win win potential that DSM can offer for building a business’s environmental credentials and achieving real cost savings.


SM measures reduce energy costs by reducing consumption or moving consumption away from peak periods. There are three main approaches to DSM: Behavioural and Management Strategies which involve changing operational practices and encouraging people’s involvement in saving energy; Equipment Replacement and Upgrade Programs; and by using DSM Control Hardware to directly manage loads.

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A DSM strategy will work best when it’s implemented as part of a coordinated energy efficiency program, and presented successfully to staff and guests.

Behavioural and Power Management Strategies Knowing your loads and the details of your electricity supply agreement, allows peak service charges to be significantly reduced. Dispatchable loads – including many plant loads and even operational loads like laundry – to be transferred to times when they cost the least. Automated power monitoring systems now bring science and a high level of detail to this process, by returning the performance data a hotel needs to make informed decisions on load management. The Crowne Plaza Alice Springs (see box) instituted an Energy Management System (EMS) as part of a green infrastructure overhaul in 2007. This system is informed by smart meters installed around the hotel, on separate buildings and different plant equipment, and in the Crowne Plaza’s case, on the input of solar arrays that supplement the hotel’s grid feed.

The local engineers and remote coordinators receive this data via their EMS as reports customized to track the parameters that affect their costs. Close assessment of this data has highlighted both equipment failures and management practices that were leading to unnecessary energy consumption.

Equipment Replacement and Upgrade Programmes There are many opportunities to upgrade or replace hotel appliances with energy efficient alternatives. Assessing the value and cost effectiveness of equipment upgrades should be based on analysis that goes beyond a single point-in-time energy audit. The impact of DSM measures should be monitored and assessed in the context of the hotel as a single energy system, because efficiency gains in one area may have a positive or negative impact on other plant equipment. Many hotels are seeing the merit of wholescale lighting upgrades in the immediate term. Where halogen downlights have been installed, this may require swapping out the fittings, however in this case the change is likely to be especially worthwhile. Recent experience has shown that the decrease in incidental heat caused by swapping out halogen downlights can lead to a reduction in airconditioning loads. On the other hand, the Crowne Plaza’s success in reducing water consumption meant that single-speed pumps were seeing a reduced flow, but were operating less efficiently. This was a potential “bonus” energy saving that was only realized by installing Variable Speed Drives (VSDs) on the water pumps.

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The efficiency of serviceable plant equipment can be improved by the installation of VSDs (sometimes called inverters when sold with airconditioners.) VSDs allow single-speed motors to step down their rotational speed to serve smaller loads efficiently, by supplying a lower frequency AC supply and adjusting the voltage as required. VSDs protect plant equipment through soft-starts and other conditioning to promote optimal function and motor longevity.

Control Hardware If managed correctly, control hardware will present as efficient, well managed and user friendly, rather than being an interference. Control hardware can apply a varying level of smart technology to turn appliances off when they’re not being used, or even turn appliances on when it is most efficient to use them – like cycling on airconditioners in off peak periods to pre-heat or cool vacated rooms. VETRs are basic control mechanisms that will turn the lights out after a programmable delay – their application in public areas like amenities – and even back end plant and storage areas – can reduce these demands by up to 90% in some areas. More sophisticated control mechanisms are now being developed specifically for hotel DSM situations, such as the Energy Eye, a control system that switches a guest airconditioner

between guest and remote control based on whether the room is determined to be occupied. The development of the unit’s occupancy sensor was a breakthrough that can distinguish between an empty room and a room with sleeping guests, to allow unobtrusive load control in hotel rooms. DREDs – Demand Response Enabling Devices - increase the level of operator control a step further. These are auxiliary units installed in on the users’ appliances, like split system air conditioning units that allow the supplier – which has generally the utility to this point - to control operation. They may be used to step back cycling during peak periods, or to stagger the operation of loads across different premises. The Townsville Solar Cities Program is currently investigating the potential for innovative DSM and DREDs to stave off expensive power supply infrastructure upgrades to Magnetic Island. On Bright Point, recent “tariff trials” have used DRED systems to control airconditioners – turning the compressors in residential units off for 15 minutes in every hour, while

allowing the fan to continue to circulate. The trials are being extended to control hot water systems and pool pumps – encompassing the bulk of the loads for these domestic apartments. DSM in hotels remains a field for innovation. Increased environmental awareness throughout the community has increased guest acceptance of saving power, and hotel DSM early adaptors are realizing the significant benefits that a good strategy can present. DSM programs can return significant cost savings, with some DSM measures involving minimal outlay. However, finding the optimal DSM strategy for a hotel requires a more systemic approach than responding to a point-in-time building energy audit. DSM should be adopted as an ongoing management approach, with the impact of measures implemented being assessed across the hotel’s whole operation. n

ca s e s t u dy

Crowne Plaza Alice Springs In 2007, Crowne Plaza Alice Springs instituted energy and ­water efficiency measures across their whole enterprise, and delivered owners (Investnorth Pty Ltd, with the hotel managed by IHG) targeted reductions of 50% for gas, 40% for electricity, 30% water. Electricity DSM hardware installed by the hotel as part of the environmental redevelopments included a complete exchange of the hotel’s 3800 lightglobes, and guest room Energy Eye systems. DSM strategies implemented in the hotel’s backend operations included the installation of VSDs to airconditioning cooling towers, and secondary chilled water pumps. The hotel’s switch to offering non-smoking accommodation implied more lenient ventilation requirements, allowing a proportion of the air to be recirculated, significantly reducing airconditioning loads. The Crowne Plaza engaged its guests in the significant en­­ deavor it was making towards sustainability. The remote metering set up to allow a power management system, also enabled the hotel to easily visualize loads, solar generation and greenhouse impact – via an information corner in the lobby, and also the hotel’s CCTV network. Having achieved 53% reductions in gas consumption, 37% in electricity, and 27% cuts in water use, the hotel is pursuing a policy of continual im­provement in services efficiency, with further equipment upgrades for the future having been assessed as cost effective.

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Hotel Engineer

In-room entertainment By PETER SWANSON NSW / ACT Business Manager, AMX Australia |

In my last article, I talked about the state of in-room televisions and the systems that sit behind them. This time around, we’ll be taking a look at the broader palette of in-room entertainment services that are available to the modern hotel guest.

Let’s face it, most people, most of us, have oodles of technological gadgets around our homes these days, even if we don’t think of ourselves as technophiles. We probably all have a phone in our pocket that’s significantly smarter than the computer that sat on our desk 10 years ago and the likelihood is that the phone probably holds a bunch of music and some videos as well. A hefty percentage of the travelling business public now has some sort of tablet in their satchel – and even if they don’t, they’re likely to have a whole library of videos, podcasts, games and such on their laptop.

technology. Which begs the question, what can you add to make their experience more unique? I suggest there are two philosophical standpoints here. One is to provide items that help them use their technology – for example an iPod dock or a plug in point to enable them to plug their device into the screen in the room. The second is to provide services that augment their experience, for which you levy a fee.

And isn’t it funny to think that already the idea of having “just an MP3 player” sounds a bit old fashioned. Why would you have just a player when it could be your phone, camera, organiser and all the rest?

The first option obviously comes as a bottom line cost with technology to be deployed that only gives a return in helping to secure room bookings. The second can actually generate extra income, but may also be a financial millstone as the technology can be costly to deploy and there is no guarantee that you’ll be able to lure people away from their tablet or laptop.

So, this is the person who’s coming into your hotel room, with their pockets and bags bulging with entertainment

Increasingly, people expect network connectivity as part of their guest experience. Of course, with the various

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3- and 4-G wireless data technologies available they may not need to use your services. But, don’t forget the international traveller who could be on a punishing roaming plan and to whom $10 or $20 a day sounds like a reasonable cost for internet services. Once you have that network connectivity in place, you can start to serve up options to people directly. For example, they don’t necessarily have to use your internet plan, but maybe they want to download your “app” which lets them browse and book other hotel services easily (like the spa, hire cars or dinner reservations). Depending on the unique value you add, you could potentially levy a fee for this app. But remember that the golden rule for most app providers is targeting high volume and low cost so people expect apps to cost no more than a dollar or two – or for them to be free. Of course, another option is keyless entry. Technologies like Near Field Communications (NFC) are rapidly becoming common in mobile phones and make functions such as keyless entry a more integrated experience. You don’t necessarily need to give some guests keys if you have an NFC enabled locking system and you register the person’s phone to their room when they check in. This might sound a little futuristic, and it is, but expect to see these

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sorts of technologies enhancing the whole guest experience very soon. Trials have already taken place in Europe, with very positive responses from the people who used the systems. Having NFC for room access means you can also give people the ability to pay for other services via their phone – if it’s secure enough for the room key function, it’s certainly viable for financial transactions. And of course, that is ultimately the goal of the pay-for-services stance, getting people to buy more of your services while they stay in your hotel. From the perspective of putting technology in as an attractor, I would suggest the following elements depending on the extent of your budget and the relative luxury status of the room or suite. Some sort of dock (most likely for an iPod or iPhone) is a very high priority. This gives you the opportunity to integrate clock, radio and other functions as well. Though, beware what you choose. There are some docks out there which only allow clock time changes from the remote. If that remote goes missing, goodbye useful alarm clock function after one power out or accidental unplugging! TVs are a given, but the question increasingly is what else you can do with that screen. How about integrated video-calling, a la

Skype TVs? Again, this could potentially be a chargeable service – either for the whole setup or for the guest to use your camera, microphone and so on in conjunction with their laptop. To win against the various gadgets your guest has brought into the room, that TV experience is going to have to be more compelling – both in terms of performance and ease of use. This may not be easy or possible right now, but watch for opportunities to pursue this path as video communication will be the telephony of this century. Maybe you don’t need a phone in the room any more if you can put “chat”, paging and audio/video call dialling functions on the TV? That could really revolutionise how you deploy in room technology, saving money on old-fashioned telephones that enable you to re-deploy those funds into more sophisticated video and network technologies. The TV is also becoming a connectivity hub with everything plugging into it via USB, HDMI and the like. And of course, new formats are continually arriving on the scene, like Displayport and Thunderbolt. You’ll never be able to cater to them all, but it’s worth considering your clientele profile. Business guests are likely to look increasingly to Displayport as this becomes common on more “professional” oriented laptops, while holidaymakers will probably have HDMI on their personal devices.

Business guests probably also come from increasingly sophisticated offices. Even your humble writer is sitting typing this on a 24” monitor with his laptop screen adjacent. Personally, I find I feel lost when I’m reduced to working on just the one laptop screen. When away on business, I’d definitely gravitate towards a hotel room that gave me not just a TV, but also a computer monitor I could plug into at the desk location. Once upon a time, this would have been ridiculous, but now you can get a reasonable 20” monitor for under $200. Or, maybe even put a thin client computer in the hotel room and let your guests access “The Cloud”. This may actually be the next generation of in-room services – people have all their data online, so why carry a laptop when you know you just need access to a terminal? As always, the amount of technology, its sophistication, design, branding and the way in which you charge – through room rates or as add-on services – will be dictated by your hotel brand and the market segments you target. However, I think it’s safe to say that there are some big changes coming and there exciting opportunities for hotels to differentiate themselves by taking a technological leap! n

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Carbon Management: managing the data Why calculate a Carbon footprint? Wendy Hird Manager | Greenbriar Consulting

There are a lot of good reasons to look at your carbon footprint, from a marketing advantage to fulfilling customer requests for information.


rom an engineering perspective it is another tool, another angle to look at your resource use. Like lifting a blind on a dark room, it may reveal dust in the corners you haven’t seen before. The good news is that most of the data you need you are probably already tracking - even if you only track the monthly or quarterly bills - so getting an annual report should be easy. The main thing is to make this annual task easy, accurate and repeatable.

How does it work? This is the (very) short version. Carbon accounting tracks the emissions of the six main greenhouse gases, carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), hydroflourocarbons (HFC), perflourocarbons (PFC) sulphurhexaflouride (SF6 ). Carbon dioxide (CO2) has the biggest impacts, accounting for 83% of global warming impact and has been nominated as the standard and given a Global Warming Potential (GWP) of 1. When emissions are calculated, they are reported as ‘equivalent tonnes of Carbon Dioxide’ (t CO2-e). Typical emission sources for a hotel are electricity use, gas use, petrol/fuel and refrigerant emissions. The conversion data, a combination of energy content and emissions factors, can be found in the National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting Measurement, Technical Guidelines, 2010. See One of the main things is to track your data and record where it is used; it makes a difference to the conversions. There are some examples further down.

Green House Gas protocol The Green House Gas protocol is an accounting standard, and it has very specific rules about how you allocate the emissions data. It’s divided into scope 1, 2 and 3.

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Scope 1: emissions from sources owned or controlled by the company – typical for a hotel would be: • fuel used for boilers or cooking

your carbon footprint - might not be worth the effort long term. You can always make a conservative assumption of LPG bottle use, just make sure you record your assumptions.

• fuel for generators

Don’t lump it all together!

• fugitive emissions from refrigerant and HVAC systems

Conversion factors vary depending on where it is used and how it used.

• petrol/diesel. The airport shuttle you own and run is included, but not executive cars provided as part of a salary package. • do you have extensive grounds or golf courses? Then it includes fuel for mowers/whipper snippers/golf carts etc. Scope 2: purchased electricity. Purchased green power has zero carbon emissions, and non-green electricity produced on site is actually tracked in scope 1 through the fuel/gases you use to produce it. Scope 3: emissions produced by others on your behalf – rubbish to land fill. Rubbish to recycling centres has zero emissions. – transport to your site by staff and clients – paper production for the business centre, and hotel use – fuel and electricity used by contracted off-site laundering services – fuel used to transport your supplies – fertiliser and fuel used to farm your food The separation is to prevent double dipping. • Emissions from purchased electricity are shown in your scope 2, but the power companies would count the emissions from gas/coal/oils used to make that electricity in their scope 1.

• Electricity: The emissions for the electricity you purchased is based on an average for the state you are in and it’s updated yearly. Tasmania’s carbon conversion factor is a third of NSW’s due to all the hydroelectricity. Table1 below, is selected data from Table 7.2 Indirect (scope 2) emission factors for consumption of purchased electricity from a grid. Technical Guidelines: for the estimation of greenhouse gas emissions by facilities in Australia June 2010. • Fuel: There are different energy and conversion factors for diesel, unleaded, and for ethanol - used in ethanol mixes like E10 - so you should make sure your fuel cards track which type of fuel is used. It also depends whether it’s for stationary use, like a generator or crane, or for non-stationary use like a car, or a truck … and the age of the car and the type of truck matters. Table 2 below, is from Table 2.4.5A Fuel combustion - liquid fuels for transport energy purposes for post 2004 vehicles, Technical Guidelines: for the estimation of greenhouse gas emissions by facilities in Australia June 2010. • There are 2011 updates available, but they will apply to the estimation of emissions in the 2011-2012 reporting year. Table 1 kgCO2-e/kWh NW and ACT


• Your landfill rubbish: the emissions are in your scope 3, but the local council would account for it under their scope 1.





• A company, who wanted to report their use of your hotel or conference facilities for their executives, would report your carbon use as their scope 3.



Table 2 energy content GJ/kL

• (t CO2-e/guest/night * no of guests* number of nights) .

emissions factor kgCO2-e/GJ

What do you collect?




Do you include the two floors of car space you lease next door? Do you exclude the retail shops on your first floor? The answer might depend upon whether the electricity/gas use can be separated.










If you are doing NGERs reporting already then a lot of this data has already being collected [see break out box]. If not, and you have multiple properties in different states, using different electrical and gas suppliers using different billing periods, it can get cumbersome. It might be easier to start by looking at one property or one region only. That will also let you know 2 things

I.e. Emissions from Petrol use = Petrol Consumption (kL/year) * Energy content (GJ/kL) * Emission factor (kg CO2-e/GJ)/1000 = t CO2-e/year

How far do you go?

• How difficult is the data is to gather? Do you need to make changes to your accounting or computer systems?

Once you have your boundaries sorted you need to determine how ‘in depth’ you go. Most companies are only initially looking at scope 1 and 2 emissions. It’s a matter of using billed data, fuel cards or tracking mileage, and having assessments undertaken on your fridges for fugitive emissions.

• Is it worth gathering? Tracking down petty cash invoices for LPG bottles for barbeques - when it turns out to be 0.5% of

Assuming you are only calculating Scope 1and 2, you’ll end up with total carbon (scope 1&2) in carbon dioxide equivalent

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tonnes per year. To make it relevant and allow you to compare hotel sites from year to year, between sites, and to pass the information on to your clients in a meaningful way, you’ll need to make it intensity based. Total CO2-e/ guest/night is typical, but you might also want to do CO2-e/room/night, which makes it comparable to the NABERS rating.

Did you want to take it further? If your sub-metering is very detailed you could break it down to supply a figure per cover, or per (non-sleeping) conference attendee. Discuss with your marketing manager whether this is required.

Data capture. There’s data that is not needed for carbon footprinting but you should record it anyway. The main thing to consider is, in five years’ time when you look back at your carbon footprint trying to see a trend, will the peaks and troughs make sense? You don’t want to be going back through old maintenance records trying to figure out what happened?

• Water use is generally not accounted for in carbon

footprinting. Compared to the energy you use on site to pump and heat water, the embedded energy in the production and distribution of water use by a utility company is generally low. However you should still record your water use somewhere.

National Greenhouse and Energy reporting. You need to report scope 1 and 2 to NGERs if: • you are a constitutional corporation, and • meet a reporting threshold for greenhouse gases or energy use or production for a reporting (financial) year. NOTE: The corporate threshold has lowered for the 2010/211 reporting period, to 50kt of greenhouse gas emissions (CO2-e) or 200TJ of energy consumed or produced. The facility threshold is the same (25kt of greenhouse gas emissions (CO2-e) or 100TJ of energy consumed or produced). For more information see http://

A guest room bathroom retrofit program would account for a reduction in your electricity use.

• Major issue with leaks in gas mains, or boilers! Make a note in

that year’s carbon plan that the figure is gas usage is high and why. You’ll have moved on in three years’ time and your replacement will be stuck trying to figure out what went wrong.

• Don’t forget to record your occupancy, and room availability. Taking 10% of the rooms out for refurbishment will impact electricity, gas and water use.

What do you do with it? Now you have a carbon footprint (Scope 1&2) for your hotel, you need to set a KPI, and presumably a reduction target. The good news is you probably already HAVE a carbon reduction target, you just might not realise it.

• Do you plan to increase your purchase of green energy, or put in solar panels?

• Do you have planned retrofits or efficiency programs that would target gas/electricity/fuel use?

• Do you have a 10% electricity reduction target? These will all reduce your carbon footprint. You just need to work out what those targets would be in carbon terms and make that your carbon footprint target KPI.

Can I outsource it? If you don’t wish to do it yourself there are lots of large and smaller companies who will be happy to put together a carbon footprint and/or carbon reduction plan for you. But the less time they have to spend chasing bills and invoices, the cheaper it will be for you.

Conclusion Most of this data is probably being tracked (or at least paid) one way or another in your hotel. Undertaking a carbon footprint is a good way to shake up the accounting system and see what drops out, it also gives you another tool to measure and track your resource use. To quote a classic, “you can’t control what you can’t measure”.

Further Training There are courses you can undertake for carbon management. The author has completed a CERT IV in carbon management with Carbon Training International. At the time of going to print these courses are still heavily subsidised by the government. See n

Wendy Hird, Manager Greenbriar Consulting, has a background working with hotels in water efficiency and running water management education programs. Wendy Hird is available to undertake a carbon footprint, carbon management reduction plan, or run a workshop or awareness campaign with your staff about carbon footprints or carbon management.

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Untangling the Environment


HVAC ENVIRONMENT Ray Van Haven | General Manager Blygold Australia.


s most hotel engineers are aware off, operating your HVAC equipment accounts for 40-70% of your energy bill. As a result hotel engineers work hard to improve their hotel and make it more energy efficient and economical. This happens not only out of concern about the quality of the hotel, but also out of the necessity to work within budgets while providing optimal service delivery.

2 it makes most sense to target those areas that haven’t been targeted yet

Nowadays we see that the number of services provided in hotels expand rapidly. Public and staff have high expectations regarding the delivery of these services as well as the facilities that they are delivered in and owners of hotels expect quick results and returns on their investments.

So what is it that we can do in Air Conditioning that can substantially decrease hotel facility costs and / or increase efficiency? One of the core problems facing many hotel managers is the degradation of the HVAC equipment and the subsequent inefficiencies such as increased maintenance and energy costs.

One aspect of creating quality hotel facilities is implementing short term plans that create medium and long term results with positive budget implications. This brings us to areas like energy efficiency and sustainability.

3 HVAC is one of those areas 4 HVAC will account for 40 to 70% of your energy bill 5 HVAC is a major capital expense in your hotel 6 HVAC is one of the most basic but important hotel services.

An important part of this degradation is due to corrosion in the coils of the chillers. 1 Corrosion will occur in every AC chiller coil

A number of important observations are relevant in regards to creating these efficiencies:

2 Corrosion is the most important factor in the decrease of efficiency of your chiller

1 it makes most sense to target high energy use areas of operations

3 Corrosion is also one of the easiest to tackle and avoid.

Galvanic corrosion in existing coil. The copper tubes corrode the aluminium fins until they fall apart and disintegrate.

Most chiller coils are built out of aluminium fins around copper tubes. Copper and aluminium aren’t compatible metals and copper being the superior metal will slowly degrade the aluminium fin, make it brittle and thin and cause so-called ‘galvanic corrosion’. Another concern is environmental and industrial corrosion, caused by for example car exhaust gasses, industrial pollution, salt in the air etc. Due to this corrosion the fins will reduce their heat transfer / conductivity very significantly, clog up with dirt and salt adhesion, become brittle and will literally fall apart, sometimes in a matter of years.

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The solution to this problem is regular cleaning and the application of an anti-corrosion coating on your coils. Some anti-corrosion coatings will provide your units with a very effective protection. With the correct coating you can save up to 20% in your energy bill and roughly double the lifespan of the coils. In most cases the lifespan of the coils will determine the lifespan of the chiller, after all the coils are the weakest link!!! So in doubling that lifespan of your coils you have in effect saved yourself hundreds of thousands of dollars in premature capital investments. There are a great number of anti-corrosion treatments available on the market, some more effective than others.

Your options in your hotel will be as follows: 1 Do nothing and hope for the best. This is not a good option in the short, medium or long term as corrosion will continue to ravage your chiller coils and the inefficiencies in your chillers can reach levels of increased energy use up to 40 to 70%. 2 Treat your existing HVAC units on site with an effective anti-corrosion coating. One of the most successful coatings that can be applied on site is Blygold’s PoluAl XT coating. It is a very effective way to protect your chiller coils from further corrosion as the coating is a spray-on application (a so-called ‘post coat application’): a. This coating can be applied in situ b. Has a metal pigmentation so the conductivity of your coils is maintained c. Is UV resistant and boasts a salt and acid test resistance of 4000 hours. 3 Ensure that all new coils are treated before installation on your site. This way you get the best and most affordable option. Your options will be two-fold:

6 year old corroded coils due to salt and pollution. The clogged-up coils will have: • greatly reduced airflow • therefore loose efficiency • and a substantially higher energy bill • to generate the same outcome.

a. There are the so-called ‘pre-coat’ options, which is a coating applied to big sheets of aluminium during the production process. These sheets are then cut in strips the width of the coil fins and the holes for the tubes are punched in. Then the coil is put together. Blue fin and Gold fin are the most commonly known of these coatings. The biggest advantage of this process is that it is fast, automated and cheap. The biggest drawback is that it is not very effective as it will have bare aluminium where the sheets have been cut and the holes been punched. This is exactly around the tubes and the edges of the fins, where normally your corrosion will occur. Other coatings might dip or submerge the coils. Advantage is that it is cheaper, but also that the coating thickness is uneven, most coatings are not UV resistant and the coating can’t be applied or maintained on site.

Coil tested by the BSRIA Institute, an independent research house in the UK. The coil is virtually destroyed after only 4000 hours of salt spray, i.e. six months.

On-site treatment of existing chiller coils by Blygold staff. This treatment will include: – thorough cleaning of the coil – drying – application of anti-corrosion coating from both sides of the coils – covering the fins, tubes and headers.

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Gold fin pre-coated coil tested by the BSRIA Institute in the UK. The coil is corroding significantly after 1000 hours of salt spray, i.e. a month and a half. Corrosion is most evident around the tubes where there is bare aluminium.

b. The most effective option is to apply the earlier mentioned ‘post-coating’ on the new coils too, which means that the coating is applied after the coil has been fully assembled. The coating is applied with a spray-on application and the coating will not only cover the fins, but also the connection between the fins and the tubes and the tubes themselves as well as the headers. This way you’ll get a fully protected coil that can stop the corrosion from occurring. You might now think, what about the newest coils that are made out of aluminium only? Surely they don’t need protection? Well, we have to disagree here as these MCHX aluminium coils (MCHX stands for Micro Channel Heat Exchanger) obviously don’t have the galvanic corrosion as discussed earlier, but by being exposed to air the aluminium will oxidize and therefore

Spray-on application of coating on new coil. This coating is: – Blygld polyurethane based coating – With metal pigmentation – Only 25 microns thick once dry – Flexible and UV resistant – Salt and acid spray resistance of 4000 hours – Doubles lifespan of the coils – Saves up to 20% energy.

will become thinner and more brittle over time. An effective coating here can save you very substantial money too. As you see, we can confidently state that an anti-corrosion coating can be a very worthwhile initiative as it can actually realize very substantial savings for you. As always: the devil is in the detail, so make sure you are well informed before making any decisions. A lot of problems in the performance of your chillers can be avoided and with the right support you can optimise the functioning of your AC installation for a long time to come. The Blygold coatings are supported by most major HVAC brands and do not influence the warranty on their units. Unlike other coatings, Blygold warranty is valid not for 12 months but for 5 years and can be extended on an annual basis. A lot of coatings have a limited lifespan where the post coatings normally last the lifespan of the coils and don’t have to be re-applied. Companies that approve of post coatings in no particular order:

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Commercial Kitchen Exhaust Systems Maintenance Jeremy Stamkos

Kitchen exhaust systems are designed so that cooking within commercial kitchens can be done within buildings by extracting the steam, fumes, odours and other by-products generated by cooking activities through a ducted system to an outside area which will not cause any issues for surrounding buildings or businesses.

A kitchen exhaust system will generally include an exhaust canopy slightly larger than the area beneath to capture the generated fumes, odours or steam during cooking. Other components that make up the standard kitchen exhaust system include a filtration system, exhaust ducts, fans and atmospheric discharge.

Design & Installation Australian Standard 1668 includes minimum design criteria for the manufacture and installation of kitchen exhaust systems. Whilst most installed kitchen systems meet the minimum design and performance requirements, all too often, little or no thought has been given to accessing the system for cleaning and general maintenance. In many cases, solid plaster ceilings are installed below kitchen exhaust ducts

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with no manholes into the ceiling preventing access to the ducts for inspecting and cleaning. Sometimes, the exhaust ducts are located far too high above ceilings making safe access extremely difficult.

Maintenance Obligations The maintenance of kitchen exhaust systems in Australia should be carried out in accordance with Section I, Table I1.6 of the Building Code of Australia and Australian Standard AS1851 for the Maintenance of Fire Protection Systems and Equipment. The frequency of inspections for Kitchen Exhaust Systems in AS1851:2005 generally sets out a combination of Monthly, Quarterly, Six-Monthly, Yearly and Five-Yearly inspections. Due to the risk from fire associated with accumulation of grease and oil in kitchen exhaust systems, the routine inspection

and cleaning of the exhaust systems is extremely important, and may be a statutory obligation of Building Owners or their Agent. Whilst many business owners are responsible to maintain and clean their facility’s kitchen exhaust system, some sites have sublet tenancies with kitchen exhaust systems installed such as shopping centres which have a shared responsibility to maintain the system. In most of these cases, the lease agreement stipulates that tenant is responsible to maintain and clean the components of the kitchen exhaust system within the tenancy whilst the building owner will maintain the balance of the system beyond the tenancy perimeter. A typical example of this is the food courts within shopping centres, airports, train stations and commercial buildings. Whilst each individual tenancy has it’s own exhaust canopy and filtration system, the associated ducts and sometimes exhaust fans are located outside of the tenancy

and are therefore maintained by the building owner. In these cases, the building owner should demand that the individual tenancies provide evidence that the kitchen exhaust system components within the tenancies are being maintained in accordance with their lease obligations. Regardless of any tenancy or lease agreements, the building owner has the ultimate responsibility to ensure that kitchen exhaust systems or components are being maintained to an acceptable level.

Legislation In most states, legislation sets out the requirement for building owners, agents of owners or occupiers to maintain the safety measures within their building. This may include the fire safety provisions of kitchen exhaust systems In most cases the failure to satisfy this obligation may lead to action by the Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ). Generally the AHJ is the Fire Brigade, Local Council or other statutory body.

Insurance Risk Many facilities that have ducted kitchen exhaust systems are required by their insurer to provide evidence that they are conducting the cleaning of the sites kitchen exhaust systems on a routine basis or as per the Australian Standards. This is generally to show the insurer that the building’s kitchen exhaust systems are not posing an unacceptable fire risk. In the event of a fire within a building that has a commercial kitchen facility, the maintenance of the kitchen exhaust system may be called into question. If it suspected that the unclean state of the kitchen exhaust system has contributed to the cause or spread of the fire, the insurance policy may be void.

Cleaning Methods and Risk Various methods are used by contractors to clean kitchen exhaust systems

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including manual scraping, chemicals, hot water, steam and even dry ice blasting. Each cleaning method has pros and cons along with associated risks. Which ever method a contractor uses to clean the system, some of the important things to be mindful of include, • The process must clean the system to the required level • The entirety of the system must be cleaned • Work areas i.e. kitchen, roof tops etc must be left in a clean state • The system must be cleaned in a safe manor

Occupational Health & Safety Due to the many inherent risks, the most important thing to consider when cleaning kitchen exhaust systems is safety. These include exposure to hazardous chemicals, working at heights, confined space access and combustion. During cleaning, it is extremely important that contractors comply with all occupational health and safety requirements including electrical isolations (lock out/tag out), correct Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), Job Safety Analysis and on site Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS).

Pilot Lights & Fryers Working above ovens and stoves with lit pilot lights presents a risk of fire if not turned off when protective drop cloths or sheets are used to cover them. As well as turning off gas supplies and pilot lights, measures should be put in place when working above deep fryers full of hot oil to prevent staff from being exposed.

Confined Space Entry Entering a kitchen exhaust duct to manually clean should be avoided as much as possible. However, if a duct must be entered for cleaning, a full risk assessment should be undertaken, confined space entry requirements should be strictly adhered to and only confined spaced staff should enter the space.

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Hazardous Chemicals Many of the cleaning chemicals used by kitchen exhaust cleaning contractors are hazardous and require specific PPE for handling and use. All chemicals must be used in accordance with the manufacturers instructions and should not be taken to site without the product’s MSDS being onsite also.

Cleaning Quality There are many contractors who provide kitchen exhaust cleaning services however, few possess the knowledge, skills and equipment required to clean the entirety of the systems. Due to restricted access to the systems and the unlikelyhood that the customer will be looking inside the system after the works are completed, many unscrupulous contractors will not clean the entirety of the system. Many contractors will include the words “where accessible” in their quotations believing that this will excuse them if they are caught out by the customer for not cleaning the entirety of the system. The reality is, with the right equipment, knowledge and capabilities; every part of a kitchen exhaust system is accessible and able to be cleaned. With systems that are poorly designed and installed, sometimes achieving a full clean may require significant effort and cost but cleaning the entirety of a system is always achievable. When receiving quotes from contractors for kitchen exhaust cleaning, it is important that the quotation clearly states that cleaning of the entire system is required and not just what a contractor believes is accessible. Likewise, when writing a Scope of Works for kitchen exhaust cleaning contracts, it should also be clearly stated that the cleaning of the entire system should be cleaned. Incomplete cleaning of a kitchen exhaust system can be a pointless exercise as maintenance, insurances and legal obligations have not been fully met.

Qualified Cleaning Contractors In order to help ensure a kitchen exhaust cleaning job is done correctly, the following items are a list of things to look for when choosing a credible contractor, • Formal training for duct cleaning • Public Liability Insurance specifically for cleaning kitchen exhaust or HVAC systems • Confined Space Entry Qualified Staff • Past experience – Referrals • Sample of a Job Completion Report • Provisions of a guarantee that entire systems can be cleaned

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Cleaning Verification Following a kitchen exhaust cleaning job, most will presume that the job has been done properly especially when a Certificate of Completion or Compliance Certificate has been provided. Without physically climbing into the kitchen exhaust system to inspect the internal cleanliness, it is often difficult to know if the job has been done properly. To help with this, it is common practice to ask the contractor to provide photographic evidence of before and after images of all components cleaned. The ultimate verification is by engaging an independent contractor to provide post-cleaning verification. Whilst the cost of this kind of audit may not be justified on a smaller project but on a larger project involving large scale commercial kitchen exhaust systems, the invest made can be well worth it.

Filtration Systems Filtration system in a kitchen exhaust systems are generally located in the kitchen exhaust hood or canopy. The filters are designed to capture the cooking vapours and deflect them down into the canopy where the oil drains into a gutter or trap for routine drainage and collection.

More often than not, these drains are not regularly cleaned out and even if attempted, the drains are not effective due to the accumulated oil and grease solidifying. The problem with this design is that a large amount of the oil solidifies on the filters, in the canopy and gutters, which means they require regular cleaning. Because these highly laden components are located directly above open flames a high fire risk situation is created. Regular inspecting and cleaning of these components as per the manufacturers maintenance instructions or AS 1851 is critical to minimise this fire risk.

Changes in Standards Australian building owners and managers need a more definitive way to determine when cleaning of a kitchen exhaust system components is required. Whilst the inspection intervals listed in manufacturer’s maintenance recommendations and the Australian Standard may be fine, the determination of when non-routine cleaning of components is required is not definitive. Opinions as to what constitutes “excessive grease accumulation� can vary greatly from one person to another.

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Likewise, opinions on post cleaning verification may also be debateable.

accordance with industry guidelines in order to not compromise the integrity or fire rating of the system.

What is required is actual maximum allowable thickness of accumulated grease and oil in each of the system components.

Acknowledgement – Mr Russell Porteous CEO of Maintenance Essentials for his technical review and contribution in regards to the maintenance requirements of kitchen exhaust systems. Maintenance Essentials maximizes the reliability of fire protection systems and equipment for building owners who value their building investment through world-class systems

Other international standards and guidelines provide allowable limits for the thickness of accumulated grease within kitchen exhaust systems as well as clear parameters for determining post cleaning verification. Some of the better methods for determining when cleaning is required is using a wet thickness gage to determine the depth of accumulated grease on the internal surfaces of the systems. When used in conjunction with clear and defined parameters for allowable maximum thickness of accumulated grease, there is little room for debate as to what requires cleaning. Future amendments to the exiting Australian Standards may include such parameters which will make it much easier for contractors and consumers to determine when cleaning is required and has been conducted properly.

Access Panels The installation of access panels into kitchen exhaust systems is often required for inspection, maintenance and cleaning. Access panels must only be done by qualified contractors and in

References Australian & New Zealand Standards 1668 & 1851 USA - National Fire Prevention Association Standard 96, Standards for Ventilation Control and Fire Protection of Commercial Cooking Operations (NFPA 96). The author: Jeremy Stamkos is a Director of Total Ventilation Hygiene (TVH) Pty Ltd, Australia’s largest HVAC Hygiene service company with offices in Melbourne, Brisbane, Sydney, Darwin and Perth. Jeremy was the convener of the recently published AIRAH1 HVAC Hygiene Best Practice Guideline, which determines minimum acceptable internal cleanliness levels for HVAC systems. Jeremy has over twenty years experience in the HVAC hygiene industry providing services for many of Australia’s leading consulting firms, property owners and facility managers. Jeremy is currently working with other industry professionals and organizations towards developing Australia’s first training course and competency based examinations for the HVAC hygiene industry. Endnotes: 1  Australian Institute of Refrigeration, Air-conditioning & Heating.


Not all your guests will use your tea and coffee machine or eat at your buffet but all of them will use the bathroom. Thermogroup’s range of innovative solutions ensures that the most used rooms by all your guests reflect your concern for their comfort and wellbeing. Thermonet Undertile Heating can be easily included either during new build or refurbishment even when tiling over ­existing tiles. A warm floor adds a touch of luxury to any room and can be controlled by your guests or via a central control system. Many of our customers who come to us for Thermorail Heated ­Towel Rails say they have enjoyed the luxury of soft, warm towels when staying in a hotel and yours should be no different. Thermorail has a large range of designs, sizes and wiring options to suite every taste and ­décor. All Thermorails feature polished stainless steel ­finish and have dry elements making them long lasting, main­ tenance free and energy efficient. Warm towels will assure your guests that you take attention to detail seriously. Including Thermomirror Mirror De-misters behind your mirrors will remove the frustration caused by steamed up mirrors. Thermo­ mirror adds that WOW factor your guests experience when they step out of the shower and find the mirror is not fogged up. The ultra­thin heating pads (0.4mm) fit behind new or existing mirrors and are usually wired into the light circuit. Although very low watt­ age this ensures they are not left on by your guests. Ensure your guests keep coming back by giving them that little bit extra in your bathrooms.

For more information contact the friendly team at Thermogroup on 1300 368 631 or visit

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Does Low Voltage Equal Low Power? The Great Downlight ‘Mythconception’ Dispelled


ne of the greatest lighting “mythconceptions” is that low voltage halogen downlights equates to low power consumption. This cannot be further from the truth. Many homes built since the 1980s have used halogen downlights to enhance the architectural and aesthetic appeal of the home. What was once predominately used in jewellery store cabinet displays, was now finding its way into our lounge rooms. Until recently, people were unaware that each halogen downlight consumed 50 Watts plus transformer losses and were also not consciously trying to save electricity. Heat generated by the downlight and the fire risk from insulation getting too close was also downplayed. Current standards provide for clearances of 200mm from the downlight but as has been reported in the press recently we know accidents do happen. The only safe way to remove the risk is not to have the downlight there in the first place. However, the reason why downlights were installed in the first place is also the reason why people don’t want them taken out – they do look great! So what can we do?

spacing between the lamps and the insulation can be reduced – this allows for better insulation of the house. (See Figures 3 and 4 for examples of these types of alternatives). The advantages of this type of fitting is cost and light output. The main disadvantage is that the lamp requires a small period of time to warm up. Many of these fluorescent fittings do not provide for dimming although there are dimmable versions on the market. There is no doubt that the appeal of the halogen downlight is still there. However, people are now becoming more aware of not only the energy being consumed but also of the alternatives available. As long as consumers are happy to trade off some of the benefits of a 50W halogen, then big savings can be made. Who then would argue with against something that is not only good for our hip pocket but the environment as well? For more information contact ecoBright energy solutions on 03 9331 0027 or visit n

There are a number of products today that can be used as non halogen alternatives including LEDs or Fluorescent equivalents. LEDs have the advantage of producing very little surface heat and their energy consumption is around 1/10th that of the halogen. The major disadvantage of LEDs is the light output may not be sufficient to replace the light that was there before. LED products come in different configurations, some are direct replacements that look exactly like the halogens they’re replacing and neatly fit into the existing fitting, whilst others are a complete new fitting – so the existing lamp and fitting needs to be removed.

Figure 1

Figure 2

Direct replacement LEDs tend to be cheaper but also less likely to produce the same light output as a 50 Watt halogen. Complete LED units are typically of a higher wattage and more capable of maintaining the existing light output. Whether the existing light level is required at all depends on what the primary use of the lighting is for – if it is used for a spotlighting effect (See figure 1 of a recent installation at the Melbourne Zoo) or as a secondary lighting source, a 6 Watt LED (See figure 2) would be sufficient for the task. Another advantage of LEDs is that they are typically able to be dimmed. The other alternative which is to use a fluorescent fitting. Two types of fluorescent light (CFL) halogen alternatives exist – those that require an electrician to fit them and those that can be fitted by the householder themselves. CFL solutions that need an electrician to fit them do not need transformers and therefore the

Figures 3 and 4

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Guest Room Technology Trends Brendon Granger Director, Technology 4 Hotels

Connectivity, it sounds simple, the ability to make and maintain a connection. We are now living in a society obsessed and reliant on its gadgets and being connected. Do you feel a tightening in the chest if your battery power is low and there is no charger in sight? Does your blood pressure rise when an internet connection is not available or the internet is extremely slow? But what does it mean to the provision of In-Room Technology in Hotels. 44 |

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uests are arriving at hotels armed with their gadgets, including smart phones, PC’s, iPads, portable gaming consoles, cameras and more. These devices become their own entertainment providers. Essentially guests are now bringing their own entertainment with them. These days the separation between work and personal time has become very blurred and we often do a combination of both at the same time, particularly when we travel. So whether your guests are


business or leisure travellers, the hotel room needs to cater for this need. Guests want to work as they do in the office but at the same time be entertained as they are when at home. It is important to note that guests expect a hotel to provide them with at least a similar entertainment experience as they have at home, if not better.

With guests bringing their own gadgets the job of in room technology has changed

Last year we undertook a survey of business travellers staying in Australian hotels. We wanted to understand their expectation from their hotels when it comes to In-Room Technology. We also asked them how they respond if the In-Room Technology is not up to scratch. The survey revealed the 3 Key Reasons why In-Room Technology matters; 1. More than half the business guests consider the In-Room Technology offered when making a hotel booking 2. 7 out of 10 guests would be stressed out, annoyed or furious if they could not use the In-Room Technology 3. Almost half the guests who had problems using the In-Room Technology would never stay at that property again The habits and expectations of the hotel guest have changed. Take a quick look around you where ever you go; the attachment


we have to our devices is plain to see (if you are not looking down at your own that is! and if you have this problem there is an App to help1). This attachment does not end when they enter a hotel room. With homes boasting state-of-the-art

Keeping your Guests Connected Connectivity Panels Allow your guests to connect their laptops, iPods/iPhones, video cameras and even gaming consoles to the in-room TV and have a great stay. iPads can connect too! iPod/iPhone Connectivity Guests can dock to charge their iPhones and iPods and enjoy their music. Only unit on the market with Hotel Features. Wired and Wireless Some guests like wireless, some guests need wired; Make them all happy with a simple out of the box solution that can do both. Great at eliminating ‘dead spots’.

1300 503 657

Contact Brendon Granger P | 02 9476 3505 M | 0422 236 236 E |

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brands. These units charge up to four devices simultaneously. They can be built into the joinery in the guest room. They can also be used at reception, concierge, business centre or in banqueting to handle any guest charging requirements. With the growing number of iPhones (Apple now has just under 1/3 on the mobile phone market in Australia2), iPod/ iPhone docking stations are widely being installed by hotels of all sizes. These docking stations are being well received by guests with positive comments coming back on guest comment cards. The docking stations are also saving staff considerable time that was previously spent assisting guests charge their devices.

entertainment and Wi-Fi systems, there is an expectation that hotels should meet this standard if not better it. Investing in the right technology will save time and money and make the difference between guest satisfaction and guest annoyance. To embrace the changing needs of guests and remain competitive below are some key areas for serious thought. Above all other technology is the need for fast reliable internet. It is as simple as that and it is not negotiable. A wired connection has been the preferred option but Wi-Fi is now catching up and fast becoming a required minimum standard in guest rooms. This need is being driven by devices such as the iPads and Smartphones that don’t have an ethernet port. With guests bringing their own gadgets the job of in room technology has changed. It’s now about allowing guests to integrate or connect their devices. They have spent time and money loading their ‘life’ onto their devices and they know how they work. Your VOD cannot compete with their own library of media so give guests the ability to play their own movies, music or games as they would at home. A media hub or connectivity panel is going to be of greater value than a Blue-ray player (unless you are willing and able to supply your guests an extensive library of movies). Is there a need to spend money on fancy expensive phones? Your guests already have their own. These days’ in-room phones are generally only used to phone reception and order room service. All these gadgets are arriving at your hotel which is creating a greater need for power points. Make them plentiful, make them transformer friendly and please do not make your guests crawl all over the floor

to find them. A well thought out plan would include power points placed at desk height near the desk (minimum of 4 is suggested) or entertainment devices and by the bed. Some hotels are now also installing a ChargeHub which is a universal multi-device charger compatible with over 2000 devices from more than 50

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Another important part of the guest experience is having a comfortable functional place for them to work and to use their technology. The desk is no longer a ‘writing desk’ it needs to cater for the working traveller. They need a desk with good lighting a comfortable chair and as we have said before ample power points. Once you have all this wonderful technology in place, with a good desk space and power sockets and chargers in abundance it is critical that operation is simple. Consider the amount of time a guest has between eating, sleeping, catching up on email, connecting with family or relaxing with their music or movies. How much of this precious time are they going to want to spend reading complicated instructions and battling cables, plugs and remotes trying to figure how to make the technology work? Less than five minutes is a good guess. Enlist some technophobes to test your system to ensure it is easy to understand and easy to operate. Fast reliable internet, connectivity for guest devices and the ability to use and charge theses devices easily these are the basics you must get right to ensure your guests are satisfied and loyal. A recent article I read suggested that giving a guest food poisoning would be viewed more favourably by them these days than sub standard technology. 1. Type While Walking – This is an app that lets you walk and text accident free. . You can SMS and send emails while your device camera keeps an eye on what is coming up. 2. The Australian – June 27 2011 Chris Griffith – “IDC said Apple had become the top mobile device vendor in Australia for the first time, with nearly one third market share.” n

Regulation Update By DEREK HENDRY

Draft AS 1851 – Fire Door & Smoke Door Inspection Changes AUST – Hotel engineers should become familiar with the Draft AS 1851 before signing new fire door/ smoke door inspection/ maintenance contracts, since the new Draft AS 1851 (Maintenance of Fire Protection systems and equipment) proposes to change the inspection, routine service and testing frequencies. Under the proposed changes Fire door and smoke door inspections can be extended to a six-monthly basis and a sliding fire door to a three-monthly basis. Hinged and pivoted fireresistant door sets serving as entry doors to private residential apartments may be extended to a yearly service schedule. A copy of the Draft AS 1851 can be downloaded from SAI Global website for registered users. Accredited Certifier – Private Certifier – Building Certifier NSW – Hotel engineers throughout New South Wales who are considering new building works, alterations to existing buildings or the sub-division of land will most likely require certificates under Part 4 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 (EP&A). An accredited certifier/ private certifier/ building certifier can issue these certificates as a private professional to ensure compliances with Acts and Regulations. Where Does an Accredited Certifier – Private Certifier – Building Certifier Come From? The Building Professionals Act 2005 provides the framework and regulation of accredited certifiers/ private certifiers/ building certifier in NSW. The Act establishes the Building Professionals Board who have the responsibility of accrediting, regulating and disciplining accredited certifiers/ private certifiers/ building certifier. The level of competence displayed by the building surveyor will determine the level of accreditation bestowed on the accredited certifier/ private certifier/ building certifier. What Does an Accredited Certifier – Private Certifier – Building Certifier Do? On behalf of the client (usually the hotel owner or their agent), an accredited certifier/ private certifier/ building certifier is

commissioned to issue the various building control approvals (construction certificate, occupation certificates). Depending on their level of accreditation, the accredited certifier/ private certifier/ building certifier can issue the following certificates during the building approval process: • Complying Development Certificate • Construction Certificates • Compliance Certificates • Strata Certificates • Sub-division certificates • Act as principal certifying authority and issuing the occupation certificate Can an Accredited Certifier – Private Certifier be the Principal Certifying Authority? If a hotel owner or hotel engineer requires either a construction certificate or complying development certificate to be issued for their proposed building works, then they must appoint a Principal Certifying Authority. The Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 allows the accredited certifier/ private certifier/ building certifier to be appointed as the Principal Certifying Authority. This allows the Principal Certifying Authority (accredited certifier/ private certifier/ building certifier) to inspect construction works and ultimately issue occupation certificates and subdivision certificates. Essential Safety Measures Identification under State Building Regulations and the BCA. AUST - The identification of essential safety measures is paramount for hotel engineers and property managers to comply with maintenance requirements under various Building Regulations and Safety Measures under Section I –Maintenance, Building Code of Australia (BCA).  Establishment of the essential safety measures ensures that when an inspection, maintenance and reporting system is developed, that the outcome is in compliance with the regulations. Most Building Regulations nominate the Building Code of Australia, Section I - Maintenance, as the principal legislation governing

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essential safety measures in Australia’s buildings. Essential safety measures in the main are nominated by building surveyors/ certifiers, and other elements can also be nominated as essential safety measures under the regulations, including performance solutions under the building approval system, which may result in essential safety measures being created and nominated. For a list of typical essential safety measures that may be installed in a building depending on the building’s essential safety measures, occupancy permit, classification, type of construction, height, floor area and Maintenance Determination or Maintenance Schedule, go to the Essential Property Services – Australian website, click on “Essential Safety Measures” under Quick Links and go to “Identification”. Access to Streets When Evacuating – BFSR 2008 QLD – Hotel engineers are reminded of a potentially dangerous situation in facilities where access to the street is routinely blocked off and not conforming to the Building Fire Safety Regulation 2008 (BFSR) . The most classic of this problem is where there are designated exits at the rear of a building and these lead to a driveway or gate that has been padlocked shut. While occupants can leave the building, the locked gate stops them from reaching a safe assembly area.

Problems for occupants can then multiply due to: • Exposure to radiant heat from a fire in the building • Exposure to objects falling from the building • Not enough space for all occupants, which can lead to crush injuries; prevent occupants from leaving the building; or tempting occupants to re-enter the building looking for another means of escape. These measures can also prevent the Fire Service from obtaining access to the area of the incident. Sometimes buildings have access to streets on more than one side. Access to these streets can be by pathways or driveways, which should be reachable from all designated exits. Over time, for security or other reasons, one or more pathways can be blocked off with a padlocked gate, always assuming that occupants emerging from designated exits can always go the street on their side of the gate. Emergency Plan consultants have observed that in this situation it is easier for those in charge of security to misread the discharge paths required and introduce measures that isolate certain exits. On occasion this occurs when the final gate to the street is slightly remote from the actual building, again making it easier to misjudge the impact of padlocking a gate shut. It is a requirement of the Building Code of Australia (BCA) to have street access for occupants discharging form a designated exit. State essential safety measures legislation requires this access – and all paths of travel to exits – be regularly inspected and certified operational. It is advisable to keep regular reviews of these measures to comply with state legislation such as BFSR 2008.

About the HENDRY Group Derek Hendry is the Managing Director of the HENDRY group of consulting companies that include HENDRY Building Surveying Consultants, HENDRY Disability Access Consultants, Essential Property Services and Emergency Plan. HENDRY pioneered the private certification system of building approvals in Australia, and the consultancy assists clients nationally in all facets of building control and disability access compliance, essential safety measures audits and emergency planning requirements. HENDRY publish a monthly e-newsletter entitled ‘Essential Matters” and provide a subscription service, BCA Illustrated, which provides over 3000 illustrations that interpret and explain the BCA as it applies to your building.

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

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


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

We deal to the all too common difficulties and frustration guests have trying to work or being informed or entertained in their hotel room. The simple things, like access to the internet, movies, television and other hotel services, and being able to easily communicate with their business, family and friends while away from home. The LSP System meets those needs neatly and simply by integrating the range of guest services a hotel has to offer, such as movies, television, the Internet, Skype communications, hotel information, advertising and online shopping, all into a proprietary system driving a High Definition LCD display panel with easy-to-use remote control and wireless keyboard. Many international hotels are now facing high cost capital outlays to upgrade their outdated, typically analogue in-room entertainment systems, often having to deal with multiple vendors. The LSP System and business model allows the hotel to undertake such an upgrade with little or no capital outlay, and with little or no disruption to existing guest services. Subject to a site survey a hotel’s current coax infrastructure may be used. Installation is quick, efficient and leaves a tidy room setup. No set top box is required, no tacked-on hardware – the panel is cabled discreetly directly into the wall, and it can quickly start generating revenue for the hotel. Importantly, the hotel has only the one vendor to deal with. LSP controls and manages the entire process, from installation through ongoing provision and management of the system including movies and other entertainment content. The LSP system has real time online reporting with simplified billing. It can be integrated with all leading PMS systems, and the interface customised for the Hotel’s branding. Access to web-based online compendiums and information pages is available. The LSP System allows for tuning to all panels in the hotel via remote access bringing a significant benefit as there is no requirement to visit individual rooms to manually adjust the TV.

Laptop Internet access will work regardless of the Guest’s computer setup, be it DCHP or Static IP. Guest email does not require changes to POP or SMTP settings.

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

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

fast and secure internet browsing

access to WebMail services and inbuilt VOIP Skype service

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

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

discrete movie billing with non-disclosure of titles

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

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

Regulation Update continued By Graeme Badrock Manager, Emergency Plan

AS3745 – 2010: Emergency Planning implications for Hotel Engineers The process of legislation and standard development to provide best practice outcomes is one of continual evolution, with regulatory development, community consultation, feedback, refinement and implementation as integral components of the continuum. The new version of Australian Standard AS 3745 Planning for emergencies in facilities, issued in November 2010, is no exception and serves as testament to the success of the process in the face of changing needs and community expectations. AS 3745 – 2010 provides a more holistic approach, and provides some welcome clarity to the purpose and application of the original standard. Nearly twice as long as its predecessor, the revised Standard requires consideration be given to the types of emergencies a facility may encounter and calls for the allocation of a resource to plan and implement contingencies to deal with such emergencies through the preparation of an emergency plan that includes emergency response procedures and evacuation diagrams. The revisions incorporated into the Standard in turn provide a more concise explanation of the expectations and responsibilities of all building occupants in preparing for emergencies. This greater detail and clarity of what is best practice in preparing for and responding to emergencies is addressed by the Standard through expanded and revised sections relating to: • Developing an Emergency Plan (EP). The Emergency Plan is required to document a facility’s arrangements, systems, strategies and procedures relating to the prevention, response and management of emergencies. The structure of the EP is detailed in the Standard, and requires the inclusion of elements such as: • Information relating to the Emergency Planning Committee • The fire safety and emergency features of the facility • The organisational arrangements for the facility • Separate sections for:

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– The emergency identification outcomes (that is, what emergencies have been identified as relevant) – Emergency Response Procedures – with additional requirements such as Personal Emergency Evacuation Plans (PEEPs) for people with disabilities. – Evacuation Diagrams – Training arrangements • Other details relating to the facility’s hours of occupancy and the EP’s distribution, period of validity, date of issue etc. • The duties of the Emergency Planning Committee (EPC) and Emergency Control Organisation (ECO) Ultimate responsibility lies with the EPC to develop and make the emergency plan work. Even if most work is assigned to professionals external to the facility, the EPC still has to ensure some of the practical issues are addressed. These include: • Identifying events that could lead to potential emergencies • Disseminating emergency plan information • Making sure visitors are made aware of emergency response procedures • Establishing and maintaining ECO numbers • Maintaining a schedule of training • Maintaining a schedule of emergency response exercises • Maintaining records • Reviewing and rectifying EP deficiencies Once established by the EPC, the ECO is responsible for undertaking pre-emergency, emergency and post-emergency duties and responsibilities required by the Standard to be documented in the EP’s emergency response procedures. The wording regarding the indemnity provided to EPC and ECO members has also been changed in the Standard to a recommendation that professional advice be sought by facility owners, managers, occupiers and employers on the level of indemnity provided. There will be instances of EPC/ECO members acting as employees and receiving indemnification from their employers under the respondent superior doctrine, for

negligent acts or omissions by their employees in the course of employment. There may also be occasions where EPC and ECO members are not employees and cannot rely on an employer being vicariously liable. • Providing Evacuation Diagrams (ED’s). This element of the EP assists the EPC to disseminate information to facility occupants and visitors. An ED is a pictorial representation of a floor or area that must be oriented to its installation position with a ‘you are here’ label, and includes the location of exits and fire/emergency safety equipment, making each ED virtually unique. The EPC determines the location and number of ED’s, to ensure occupants and visitors are able to view them. While hotel engineers would be well aware of the need to display these ED’s in lift lobbies, they may be less aware that the standard has been extensively updated relative to the minimum and optional elements to be included, the type of symbols to be used and the size, orientation and positioning of the diagrams .

12 months of the procedures being developed, once a facilities’ EPC has deemed them satisfactory and workable and the facilities’ ECO has been trained. The type and time interval between exercises is to be determined by the size and configuration of the facility and the type of occupancy. The requirement is that all areas of a facility take part in at least one exercise in each 12-month period and all occupants of the areas involved participate unless prior written exemption is granted by the EPC. Consequently, in order to comply with the revised AS 3745 and to adopt ‘best practices’, hotel owners, engineers and managers will need to give consideration to: • Updating the Emergency Plan • Consolidating the Emergency Planning Committee • Consolidating the Emergency Control Organisation • Updating the Emergency Response Procedures • Creating new Evacuation Diagrams

Hotel owners and engineers should also ensure the escape routes and exits displayed on their ED’s are not compromised because:

• Implementing a new training program

• A corridor to an exit door is permanently obstructed.

Once enacted, hotel owners, engineers and managers are assured of meeting AS 3745 requirements and industry best practice, fulfilling their duty of care obligations in addition to minimising their exposure to litigation – staff, visitors and guests will also have a better understanding of what to do should an emergency situation occur.

• A door with an exit sign above it leads to a room that has no escape. • An exit door leads outside to a permanently enclosed space from which evacuees cannot escape. • Training The revised Standard consolidates the frequency and type of training expected to be provided and mandates that: • Training for at least one member of the EPC must be provided to enable the EPC to competently execute their obligations to develop, document and maintain the emergency plan. • ECO members be trained to develop the skills and knowledge to carry out their duties documented in the EP and subsequently attend a skills retention activity at intervals not greater than 6 months. • Facility staff receive training at the commencement of their duties to enable them to act in accordance with the documented emergency response procedures and participate in skills retention activities at intervals not greater than 12 months. While the concept of training is not new, the content of training has also been greatly expanded by the Standard, with the provision that it be site specific. • Emergency Response Exercises Whereas previously the Standard focused on the conduct of ‘evacuation exercises’, the current Standard now requires a program of site-specific ‘emergency response exercises’ including evacuation exercises be developed for a facility to determine the effectiveness of the emergency response procedures. A further requirement is that the emergency response procedures be tested by an ‘evacuation exercise’ within the first

• Establishing a program of ‘site specific’ Emergency Response Exercises

Note: Queensland hotel owners, managers and engineers must be mindful that the Building Fire Safety Regulation 2008 (BFSR) prescribes specific requirements when it comes to the implementation of an emergency plan, emergency response procedures, evacuation diagrams and training. All must be prepared and implemented according to the BFSR however, where the BFSR does not prescribe requirements, AS 37452010 provisions should be adopted.

About Emergency Plan With offices in all major States, Emergency Plan operates nationally to provide a complete suite of emergency planning, emergency response procedures, evacuation diagrams and training services, designed to ensure clients fully meet their obligations under State legislation and AS 3745 - 2010 Planning for emergencies in facilities. Email: Web:

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Versatile lighting complements Rockliffe Hall’s grandeur Philips Dynalite provides a flexible and adaptable energy-saving solution for superior lighting control in the refurbishment of Rockliffe Hall, to create an ambience suited to the grandeur of the setting and to rival that offered by any other luxury resort.


uilt in the 1700s, Rockliffe Hall near Darlington in England, has been carefully restored and extended to create a luxury hotel, spa and golf course while retaining the grandeur of its heritage. Steeped in grand North Eastern history, Rockliffe Hall is set on a magnificent 152 hectares on the banks of the River Tees. It is a destination in itself and was designed to be a five star home away from home.

Rockliffe Hall near Darlington in the Northeast of England.

The original building was designed by Alfred Waterhouse, the architect responsible for the Natural History Museum in London. Rockliffe Hall has 61 spacious guestrooms and suites, two bars, a gourmet restaurant, 12 meeting and event rooms, an 18 hole championship golf course, an extensive 4,500 square metre spa and wellness centre, and a 20 metre indoor swimming pool. The project to refurbish and extend Rockliffe Hall to create a luxury hotel made extensive use of a Philips Dynalite lighting management system for highly flexible scene setting and energy management. Using the digital addressable lighting interface (DALI) protocol, a single control system is used to manage and manipulate all the lighting in five separate buildings. Lighting plays a key role in establishing the required ambience in a hotel that blends heritage features with contemporary furnishings. At the same time, the hotel required a high level of flexibility in its lighting controls so that different lighting scenes could be easily selected to suit different activities. For example, lighting for a wedding reception can be selected to complement a particular colour theme. “There were key criteria for the lighting controls,” explained Rockliffe Hall Chairman, Warwick Brindle. “We wanted to ensure ease of use for both guests and staff, have the capacity for substantial variation in scenes and achieve economical and energy-efficient operation of the lighting,” he added.

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Philips Dynalite pushbutton wallpanel controlling lights in a Rockliffe Hall guest suite.

The level of flexibility required of the system, considerably more than in most projects, presented a major design challenge, as lighting designer Kristina Simpson of consultancy KLS Lighting Design recalled: “When designing the lighting to meet the hotel’s requirements it became clear that a conventional system would require a lot of cabling. Not only would this be costly, it would also present installation problems, particularly in the older parts of the building.”

The design team—comprising KLS, consulting engineers White Young Green and contractors Shepherd Engineering Services— worked closely with the hotel in considering a number of options. It was quickly recognised that a DALI-based system would reduce costs and simplify wiring requirements and the Philips Dynalite system was selected as offering the required functionality and technical support. “Using the DALI system enabled us to make each individual luminaire addressable, so there are no circuit constraints and the possibilities are almost limitless,” Simpson enthused. “Rather than having to plan everything months in advance before the cabling began, we were able to fine-tune the lighting scenes on site,” she added. It was also vital that the lighting management system could control a range of different light sources, including LEDs, fluorescent, tungsten halogen and metal halide. In some cases this required special combinations of control gear or drivers and DALI interfaces, which required mock ups in the site hut to test different solutions before installation.

Main bar of the championship golf course clubhouse.

Control of the lighting scenes is through master control pads in management locations, and key staff have been trained so they are able to set more scenes themselves. In guest rooms there are simple, custom-engraved key pads that enable guests to choose their preferred lighting scene from a simple description, such as bright, low, or reading. Guests are also able to turn off all of the lighting in their room with a single switch, rather than turning lights off individually, thus saving energy as guests often leave some lights on. Other energy saving features of the system include presence detection in areas of variable occupancy and daylight harvesting. Time clock functionality provides master overrides and control of external lighting. A high-speed network facilitiates the communication between different parts of the site, including the golf clubhouse which is more than 100 metres from the main building. This enables all of the lighting to be controlled from a central location using Philips Dynalite EnvisionManager graphical and system management software, enabling the hotel to monitor energy consumption and many other aspects of lighting performance.

Spa bath in the health centre.

“As well as saving a lot of money on wiring, compared to other systems, the Dynalite system will greatly facilitate system monitoring going forward and make day-to-day maintenance considerably easier,” Brindle observed. To facilitate the ongoing efficiency of the system and to protect its investment in lighting controls, the operators of Rockliffe Hall have signed a bespoke Aftercare service agreement with Philips Lighting. Under this arrangement, Philips engineers will make regular visits to ensure the system is maintained correctly and delivering optimum performance and sustainability. Aftercare is a comprehensive package that enables customers to select the features they want, making it much more than a standard maintenance contract. Combining a luxury, 21st Century country-house style hotel with state of the art lighting and facilities makes Rockliffe Hall a truly memorable destination. n

Rockliffe Hall’s main bar.

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ouchCheck is a premium integrated self service check-in and check-out solution developed for the hotel industry.

Touchcheck was developed in 2004 for be integrated into the Accor, Formule 1 hotel chain across Australia. This became the first fully stand alone card issuing self service kiosk in the market. The TouchCheck Hotel Check-in and Check-out solution allows for both external and internal kiosk solutions via TCP/IP connectivity from the kiosk hardware across the hotel LAN to the Micros Fidelio/Opera server in a secure area in the hotel. TouchCheck also offer full compatibility with the MICROS Credit Card payment gateway or Verisign/Paypal Credit Card payment gateway for 100% payment upfront only – no pre-authorisation, and compatibility with VingCard (VC3), Onity (HT24 / HT28) and Saflok (6000) Electronic Room Key systems for guest security. TouchCheck offers an inexpensive self service Checkin, Check-out solution to enhance your guests experience. Freeing up time for staff to undertake other activities. The return on investment for TouchCheck is 12-18 months depending on the throughput. TouchCheck allows guests to Checkin remotely offsite. Allowing multi-channel marketing for the hotel. By decentralising the installation of a hotel branded TouchCheck kiosk, the hotel can capture spontaneous traffic at the airport or other public venues to secure additional business.

TouchCheck® Testimonials TouchCheck’s consultation and installation process was smooth and trouble free. Our staff embraced the introduction of touch screen check-in and out kiosks as they view the technology as a means of assisting and support them with their workloads and relieving the burden of late night shifts which are so often a safety concern for hospitality staff. For Formule 1 installing TouchCheck touch screen kiosks is a win win solution: our customers feel highly valued and now have an additional means of checking-in and out conveniently and effectively, our staff are provided with additional assistance and our human and technology resources are fully utilised. Larry Raffel, General Manager Formule 1 Hotels As Marketing Manager of Ibis Hotels I saw TouchCheck’s hotel express check in and out solution as a way of introducing a new service within the hotel market. This technology provides a competitive advantage to our hotels and assists in selling the ethos of convenience and high customer service at all our Ibis Hotels. By offering a tailored solution for the hotel industry TouchCheck’s product places us in the position of providing additional benefits to our customer base from real time payment transactions through to increased recognition of our brand through our customised kiosks. We are also exploring TouchCheck’s additional benefits of directional technologies to assist customers locate hotel amenities, local sites and attractions and even in the future advertising which will provide us with an added return on investment. For hotels seeking a competitive edge as well as increased levels of customer service I recommend TouchCheck’s hotel express check in and out solutions. Michael Parsons Marketing Manager Ibis Hotels “... self check in via kiosk is excellent due to achieved efficiency in operational costs through less staffing”. Eoin Loftus, General Manager & Development Manager Majestic Hotels

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Architects and Building Design By Greg Blain


The Owner

This article reveals in general terms, the process of building design, aiming to help building Owners receive better quality design and design service, and better quality buildings, ranging from new buildings to small refurbishments.

The Owner is the most important participant in the design and construction process. Owners should however listen to and seriously consider Architect opinions, even if these may sound unpalatable.

All building is costly, not only financially, but also regards building performance which affects user efficiency and operational costs. Buildings are expensive so should be done right the first time.

For best design outcome, Owners need to have already deeply considered the design scope before talking to an Architect.

For the purposes of this article, the term Architect will be used for the Designer. The Designer may be any design professional, for example an Engineer designing plumbing changes or an Interior Designer designing cosmetic interior work. The principles written in this article apply to all Designers.

Owners need to receive good design service and be fully informed of design and building processes by the Architect.

The Architect A building Designer can be an Architect or a ‘Building Designer’. The law allows people with certain building experience but who

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can’t be Architects, to design buildings (ie Building Designers) but their design service may be limited by law. Tread your own path.

Selecting an Architect Some Considerations Several local Architects should be approached, local because the design can involve intense Owner/Architect liaison and it is good to be able to meet sometimes face to face. Selection of the Architect should be based on the perceived ability of that Architect to carry out the work required. The following text reveals some other things to consider. Architect promotion of work via magazine publicity or Industry Award wins may not indicate design skill. Magazine publicity may have been paid for by the Architect. Architect celebrity or status, or promotion using a large gallery of completed projects, may not indicate design skill, or that the Architect is best for a particular project. Successful Architects deserve respect, however success may relate to the Architects passion (which may not equate to design skill) or good sales or marketing skills. A young Architects service may be just a good or better than an established Architect. Architect specialization may represent knowledge of one building type, but may not indicate design skill (perhaps it means the opposite). Specialization comfort may lead to over-confidence or apathy, hence poor service and design. A non-specialist Architect may design a new building type with fresh vigour and energy, and/or may be simply a better Architect. Architects should be able to design any building of any type. Architect websites or advertising can have the Architect, not the potential Client (Owner) taking precedence. Architects need to be focused on service for the Owner. Photographs of a Architect work can look better than reality, digital photography can be enhanced, and photographs alone can not communicate a design.

The Architects Fee Proposal Architect fee proposals for the same project will vary and it can be difficult to compare different proposals. No proposal format or service scope description is identical. Legal and Architectural advice should be sought on proposals. Proposals become Contracts so they can be and should be complex. Some basic things to be included in an Architects proposal should include (but certainly not limited to): – The exact scope of the building work. – Outline of the Architectural design and construction activities, stages and timings. – Participants including Consultants and Engineers. – How Authority approvals are dealt with. – Typical responsibility and protection clauses for the Owner, Architect and other Parties.

– Contractual terms specific to the project. – Design documentation copyright.

The Design Process The design process is extremely complex. It pays to have experienced personnel involved, and pay them accordingly. Serious building mistakes, once built, can be an overwhelming burden for an Owner. The design process is usually divided into two basic stages. These stages are design and contract documentation. The design stage involves reaching a documented resolution as to the general scope and layout of the work. Building work can not be done from design documentation The contract documentation stage involves taking the design and converting it into accurate and thorough technical drawings and written specifications. These documents are then used for building pricing and construction. Good documentation results in very little or no Builder questions or price variations. Design involves processing a complex idea, representing it in graphic and written form, and realizing it through construction. In realizing any idea, the unforeseen may exist making the process imperfect. This imperfection is compounded by the different opinions of everyone on everything, and the fact that most design decisions require balanced compromise between advantages and disadvantages of every decision, no matter how small. Perfection does not exist. Architects are trained and qualified so Owners should listen to and seriously consider their opinions, even if these may sound unpalatable. An Architects opinion should not be forcefully imposed. Owner reservations of a design idea or a Architect should be negotiated to achieve compromise or resolution. Design is complex, taking time to develop, consider, and then develop more. Often several re-designs occur for Owner design concept satisfaction. Nevertheless it is necessary for both Owner and Architect to be firm and commit reasonably quickly to design decisions. An Architect should know, at the time of idea conception, how an idea will be built. If not, critical design evaluation may be delayed possibly resulting in late stage re-design. Architects should avoid incomprehensible “design speak” jargon. Responsible Architecture involves practical science ordered artistically, not the opposite. Owners pay for expensive construction so design detail should be clearly and logically explained by the Architect and have practical purpose. Owner commitment to a Architect is critical (and of course vice versa). It is unproductive to change Architect, or go elsewhere to develop one Architects work, as the original concept will likely be lost and communication needs repeating. Copyright also needs consideration.

The Building Process


The building process also is extremely complex. It is usually divided into the two basic stages of Tender and construction.

The successful Tenderer signs the building contract with the Owner to become the Builder (Contractor) who then starts construction.

Project Tender Tender is pricing the construction from the technical documentation done by the Architect. Several Builders simultaneously bid for this identical work. After 30 years industry experience, I firmly believe that Tender off completed technical documents is always the best way to select a Builder and obtain a firm contract price. Builders are best first involved with the project at Tender. Tender is best done by 3-4 Tenderers, as less reduces competition and more is unfair (Tender involves a lot of work). Rough estimates should be avoided. An Owner “running out of money” should not happen when the project is comprehensively documented then put to Tender. Items not documented will likely not be built. Items not documented accurately may cause dispute. Verbal instructions often result in miscommunication and dispute. During Tender, there is opportunity to include minor design or documentation changes without contract variation. Changes to Tender are called Addenda, and are issued to all Tenderers. Tender conduct (including issue, submission, and negotiation) is to the specific rules of the ‘Conditions of Tender’ document given to Tenderers. Tender is to be confidential, done without collusion. The Architect should administer the Tender as it is a serious matter. Pricing can only be accurate through competitive Tender. However, Tender prices will vary, and it is acceptable for Tender prices to be within +or- 10% of pre-Tender estimates. It may be unacceptable for a Architect to charge extra fees to alter excessive design and documentation to suit Tender prices, without pre-Tender warning to the Owner of the excess. No Tender needs to be accepted, nor should submission of the lowest Tender price mean winning the Tender.

Building work follows the detail specified in the technical documentation prepared by the Architect. The building contract is completed 6 or 12 months after the Owner occupies the new building. This 6 or 12 month period is called the defects liability period and begins at Owner occupation (called Practical Completion). As there is a natural imbalance of construction knowledge between the Owner and Builder, the absolute safest way for an Owner to undertake construction work is engage the Architect to perform contract administration. The extra fees for this will far exceed the costs of contractual mistakes if an Architect is not engaged to act on the Owners behalf.

Conclusion This article represents a general overview of some of the things Owners need to consider when embarking on any building work. Finding the right Architect is paramount. Once this is done, and the scope of both the Architectural service and the construction work is established, the Owner should be able to take a more relaxed approach knowing that their Architect has the competence and experience to deliver the project as agreed. All the best with your building project. Greg Blain started his Architectural studies part-time in 1978 in Brisbane while working with a variety of Architects and Builders gaining Registration as an Architect in 1989 and his building license in 2000. Greg has worked on many different size and type projects during his career, often in the role of Project A ­ rchitect. Currently Greg operates a Technical Consultancy and Specification Writing Service to other Architectural Practices and is working to develop a Subscriber based design, technical and educational resource for the Building Industry, hopefully to be operational in a year of two. Greg has authored the design and construction e-book guide for house Owners and will soon publish a similar e-book for commercial building Owners.

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EXTENDING THE NABERS RATING SCALE TO 6 STARS NABERS, or the National Australian Built Environment Rating System, rates the environmental performance of Australian buildings on a five star scale. For example, NABERS Energy calculates a star rating which compares the energy efficiency and greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) of a building to others in its market.

Over time, building performance has improved, and it is now necessary to extend the scale to 6 stars to promote and reward market leading environmental performance. Extending the scale to 6 stars is an important part of the ongoing quality assurance and strategic review process for NABERS. The newer tools, for hotels and shopping centres, have been developed using a different methodology to the original office rating tool, as explained in this fact sheet. Over the next two years, the NABERS office tool calculation methodology and benchmarks will be modified to work in the same way as the hotel and shopping centre tools, aligning the suite of tools. Once this is completed, it will be possible to use the three tools together to rate a multi-use building with any combination of these functions. Formal industry and stakeholder consultation will take place over the next two years to progress this important project. Concerns about climate change are driving rapid changes in the property industry, which is adopting new technologies and supply agreements for low emission energy and recycled water. The NABERS National Administrator (NSW Office of Environment and Heritage) is also undertaking a strategic review of NABERS to consider how to highlight and reward the use of these low emission, low impact innovations. Key industry representatives and experts will be invited to join technical advisory groups to provide direction to this process. Future changes to the rating scale, for instance to recognise zero emissions buildings, will be subject to further consultation, taking a long-term view to alignment between rating tools.

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How is a NABERS Energy for offices rating calculated? 1. The office building’s total Energy Use for a 12 month period is collected from billing data and meter readings. 2. The Energy Use is multiplied by the constant NABERS Greenhouse Gas (GHG) factor. The NABERS GHG factor stays constant from year to year so that ratings can be compared over time. 3. The Energy Use is also adjusted to account for area, climate, hours of occupancy and equipment density. This enables buildings with very different attributes to be compared against the same performance targets. 4. The corrected figure, called the Benchmark Factor, puts the building on a level playing field with other buildings in the same geographic location. The Benchmark Factor is not a kgCO2/m2 figure, but rather a value that enables a building to be located on the benchmark rating scale. NABERS Energy for offices also calculates the Greenhouse Gas Emission Intensity of the building in kgCO2/m2 using current National Greenhouse Accounting factors for greenhouse reporting purposes. This information is provided in the NABERS Energy rating report which accompanies the rating. 5. The Benchmark Factor is compared against the star rating benchmarks, or performance targets, for the property market in the building’s own state, to determine the star rating.



2 Multiplied by

3 Adjusted for area,

constant GHG emission factors

climate, hours and equipment


6. A NABERS Energy Star rating is then awarded based on the performance level the building has achieved.

What are the Benchmarks for office buildings? The Benchmarks are the target performance levels which are represented by each of the star ratings. The Benchmarks were developed based on analysis of the performance levels of real buildings in each market. To compare a building against the benchmarks, its performance is ‘normalised’, or adjusted to account for the differences between its attributes and the attributes of a typical building.


Compared to star rating benchmarks


Figure 1: Calculating a NABERS Energy for offices rating.

For all NABERS ratings, the rating scale has been set so that 2.5 stars represents Average performance. 5 stars has been set to represent Excellent performance, and the new 6 star level will be Market Leading. When the five star Benchmark scale is plotted on a graph, the Benchmarks form a linear scale for each location, with an equal reduction in GHG intensity between each star level.

NABERS Energy for offices rating scale expansion 300

GHG intensity(kgCO2-e/m2)

250 200 150 100

How have the office Benchmarks been extended to 6 stars?

50 0 1











Zero emissions


Figure 2: NABERS Energy base building rating – emission thresholds for a typical office operating 50 hours/week using electricity as the only fuel source in major cities.









To determine the 6 star point, NABERS first looked at how far the Benchmark scale would need to be extended to reach optimal building performance – zero emissions for Energy ratings, or zero potable water consumption for Water ratings. This occurs at a theoretical 7 star point.





Multiplied by NGA GHG factors



Compared to predicted average performance of building with similar attributes


Compared to star rating benchmarks


Figure 3: Calculating a NABERS Energy rating for a hotel or shopping centre.

NABERS Benchmarks for hotels and shopping centres

The average predicted emissions (i.e. 100%) is at the mid-point of the 2.5 star rating band.


How is a NABERS Energy rating for a hotel or shopping centre calculated?

2. The Energy Use is multiplied by the current National Greenhouse Accounting factors, to calculate the Total Emissions in kgCO2-e.

100% 80% 60% 40% 20% 0%

Future changes to the rating scale to recognise zero emissions buildings will be subject to further consultation, taking a long-term view to alignment between rating tools.

1. The hotel or shopping centre’s total Energy Use for a 12 month period is collected from billing data and meter readings.

160% 140%

The graph illustrates the 6 star extension in each major centre for office Energy ratings. The ‘Y’ axis shows the actual emissions intensity thresholds for a typical office building in each major centre:












Zero emissions

3. The Total Emissions are compared to the predicted average emissions for a building with the same attributes, such as size, climate, functions and operation.

NABERS Star rating band

Figure 4: The Benchmarks for hotels and shopping centres have been extended to 6 stars

Emissions at the start of the rating band compared to average predicted emissions

High performance buildings are usually designed to be climate-independent, so no adjustment for climate has been included beyond 5 stars. To extend the rating scale to 6 stars, a fixed percentage reduction in actual emissions (without climate normalisation) was used that would ultimately take the scale to zero emissions. As zero emissions or zero water consumption would be a 100% reduction from 5 stars, a 5.5 star building represents a 25% reduction from the 5 star GHG emissions, and 6 stars is a 50% reduction. For example, a typical office in Melbourne using only electricity and operating 50 hrs a week would achieve: 5 stars

with ≤ 67 kgCO2/m2

(on the existing rating scale)

5.5 stars with ≤ 50 kgCO2/m2

(25% less than 5 stars)

with ≤ 33 kgCO2/m2

(50% less than 5 stars)

6 stars

Rating levels above 6 stars have not been released. Extension beyond 6 stars will be considered over the next two years as part of completing the integration of the existing tools for commercial office, hotels and shopping centres as well as new tools planned for release during this period. The original five star rating scale is linear, whilst the extension to 6 stars diverges from the original linear scale. The expansion is applied consistently across the suite of NABERS tools including hotels and shopping centres.

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4. NABERS calculates the Percentage difference between the emissions of the rated building and the predicted average emissions for a building with the same attributes 5. The Percentage is compared to the star rating benchmarks that form the rating scale. 6. A NABERS Energy Star rating is awarded based on the performance level the building has achieved.

What are the Benchmarks for hotels and shopping centres? Unlike the benchmarks for office ratings, the hotel and shopping centre Benchmarks are percentages that represent how far a building’s performance differs from its predicted average performance. All Benchmarks were developed based on analysis of the performance levels of real buildings in each major market. Ultimately, the office rating tools will be modified to work in the same way as hotels and shopping centres. The rating scale has been set so that 2.5 stars represents Average performance. 5 stars was set to represent Excellent performance, and the new 6 star level will be Market Leading. When the five star Benchmark scale is plotted on a graph, the Benchmarks form a linear scale, with an equal percentage difference in GHG intensity between each star level. Future changes to the rating scale to recognise zero emissions buildings will be subject to further consultation, taking a long-term view to alignment between rating tools. Further information, including the data tables that lie behind these graphs, are available from NABERS. Call 02 9995 5000 or email

Neil Weenink’s

Back of House Marg Maloney was the Exec Housekeeper of the Regent Hotel in Melbourne at a time when the name Regent meant a superlative experience for guest and staff alike. I shall never forget the founder Bob Burns telling us that if a guest wished for a pink elephant in his room then by gum we had to provide it; the guest is King, he would thunder, and don’t none of you ever forget it! Happy days they were – happy days now gone for the simple fact that you can no longer build and operate a 5 –star hotel solely for love. Marg Maloney had worked with Bob for many years and knew and respected his many whims, particularly his almost maniacal insistence on large fluffy white bath towels and robes for “my guests”. Marg and her girls were something of a legend in Melbourne at the time, and we in Engineering were in awe of the whole caboodle. What created the most awe, the most desperation in our ranks however, was a fine sheen of dust which daily settled on Marg’s brass handrails bordering the magnificent atrium within the hotel. Miles of brass railing. What a sight in the evening as soft lighting played on the spiral balcony access to guest rooms; the great balcony spiralling down some 20 floors with the wretched brass tube railing atop the parapet between you and the atrium. It transpired, of course, that the dust came from Marg’s vacuum cleaners. Air with heavy dust in, and air with fine dust out. The difference in the quality, the degree of dust out, is of course a matter of cost. In a word filtration on the exhaust end of the system and training of Marg’s girls to clean both the usual bag AND the exhaust filter. Simple. A vacuum cleaner, commonly referred to as a “vacuum,” is a device that uses an air

pump to create a partial vacuum to suck up dust and dirt, usually from floors, and optionally from other surfaces as well. The dirt is collected by either a dust bag or a cyclone for later disposal. Vacuum cleaners, which are used in homes as well as in industry, exist in a variety of sizes and models: small battery-operated hand-held devices, domestic central vacuum cleaners, huge stationary industrial appliances that can handle several hundred litres of dust before being emptied, and self-propelled vacuum trucks for recovery of large spills or removal of contaminated soil. Says the text on the matter. And then there is Nilfisk. I do believe that of all the myriad properties I have had something to do with, this is the brand most widely encounted. Great machines. In 1910, P.A. Fisker patented a vacuum cleaner using a name based on the company’s telegram address—Nilfisk. It was the first electric vacuum cleaner in Europe. His design weighed just 17.5 kg and could be operated by a single person. The company Fisker and Nielsen was formed just a few years before. Today the Nilfisk vacuums are delivered by NilfiskAdvance. Indeed Vacuums by their nature cause dust to become airborne, by exhausting air that is not completely filtered. This can cause health problems since the operator ends up inhaling this dust. There are several methods manufacturers are using to solve this problem. Some methods may be combined together in a single vacuum. Typically the filter is positioned so that the incoming air passes through it before it reaches the motor. Typically, the filtered air then passes through the motor for cooling purposes.

Ordinary vacuum cleaners should never be used to clean up asbestos fibres, even those fitted with a HEPA filter. So spare a thought for the long list of inventors, and the ‘Marg’s and girls’ who have for eons devised, tested [sometimes with horrendous results,] but ‘stood the trial at journey’s end.’ I was showing my wife today how the early back-and-forth machines worked. You had a long lever to operate a huge encased flexible valve disc, which ‘sucked’ air and dirt particles through a hose which was pointed with the other hand of the 19th century operator, which hose ejected material enough guarantied to send Marg Maloney like Mary Poppins through the roof top! Have a good one. Neil

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Hotels of the Future Wi-Fi is the emerging standard for Guest Convenience Ted Horner

Advanced digital information services will soon be as common as televisions and comfortable beds in the hotel of the future. Hotels that don’t offer digital services aren’t likely to see that future, because an ever-larger slice of travellers expect everything from in-room shopping to dinner reservations at their fingertips. Hotels that offer those services for less money will own the future.


ecure, reliable, and scalable Wi-Fi connections are the foundation for digital information services. According to some recent US research the majority of Americans (59 percent) now access the Internet wirelessly. Wi-Fi is already a deciding factor for travellers. It must be both easy to access and secure enough With the exponential growth of rich media flowing through the Internet, larger hotels could begin packaging Wi-Fi in tiers to accommodate someone who just wants to check e-mail and the news, or those who want to run multiple video and audio streams into his or her hotel room, for example.

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Beyond basic Internet access, hotels of the future will offer a broad array of in-room and property-wide services, from interactive digital signage to automated climate control. Some hotels in the US already use a “digital concierge” to supplement the front desk staff with guest self-service. The kiosk provides everything from restaurant recommendations to directories of attractions to news feeds. However as a broad the range of digital service options becomes available, a few are likely to become indispensable basic offerings. Among them are: • Digital check-in: Airline check-in has transitioned customers away from agents and towards self-service kiosks, raising efficiency and reducing passenger processing costs. Self-service check-in could be mainstream in hotels within five years, leaving front-desk staff with more time to spend with less tech-savvy guests, or who have questions a kiosk can’t answer. • The television as in-room control centre: Televisions and flat panel displays will replace the traditional telephone as the traveller’s in-room control centre. They will be everything from the customer’s alarm clock to their entertainment centre, dining and shopping portal, lighting and temperature console. • Guest sensors: Most hotels in the future will have sensors that detect when rooms are empty, adjusting the lighting and temperature settings to reduce costs associated with energy waste. . • Restaurant display ordering: Touchscreen ordering is on the way, though

because hotel restaurants aren’t big money makers it might be a little further off than other developments. Look for them to make serious inroads in three-to-five years, after they’re standard in restaurants. Nevertheless, many hotels have already dropped paper menus in favour of touch-screen tablets. The tablets provide diners with images of entrees, along with methods of preparation. They also enable chefs to promote specials and up-sell on orders while improving staff efficiency. • Digital employee communications: The hotel of the future will use digital media to keep employees informed and trained. Some Hotel brands such as Hilton Garden Inns and, aloft, are using devices like iPods and the Sony PlayStations as staff training tools. Best Western-branded hotels train employees using on-line media called BWI University. • Digital information services will be woven throughout the hotel of the future, and the future is already unfolding. None of the services discussed here are more than five years from widespread adoption, and most are much closer. The data streams from each of these digital services will need to be highly available and secure, putting more pressure on a hotel’s Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliance efforts. Along with comfortable rooms, and efficient staff, digital information services will become basic amenities in the hotel of the future.

A CAN OF WORMS From a microbiological and common sense viewpoint

The term, can of worms, relates to “A situation that presents difficulty, uncertainty, or perplexity” Today hotels are faced with a vast range of situations that can and do impact on their business. Knowing and understanding the impact of these risks especially when these risks relate to things that can and do cause illness in guests, and in the worst scenarios death, can result in enormous damage to hotel reputations.


n a society where everyone is well informed and information is so readily available over the internet no business can afford to be complacent or take the chance that they won’t be exposed to litigation by an oversight or careless action in not exorcising due diligence. So much has been said and written over the past few years that for any business not to take adequate precautions especially where everything receives instant coverage is fraught with danger. Hotels at their best are fun places to go with a lot of amenities specifically targeted to enhance the enjoyment of singles, couples and families. The last thing anyone wants at this time is to be stricken down with an illness even a mild dose of something is enough to spoil the occasion. Worse is an illness that is life threatening? Swimming pools, Jacuzzis’, cooling towers, drinking water, food and ice and the quality of indoor air can all potentially be of concern to all guests that have a predisposition to certain risk factors.

Swimming Pools and Jacuzzi’s Inadequate disinfection of swimming pools and Jacuzzis’ offers ample opportunity for exposure to a number of bacterium, viruses and parasites not to mention the individuals that can have an adverse reaction to chlorine itself. Good management of public swimming pools and public spa pools is essential for

the health of everyone that uses them. Swimming pools and spas (Jacuzzis) that contain insufficient or reduced levels of disinfectant have the potential for rapid growth of microorganisms. All swimming pools and spas should be equipped with an effective water circulation system with proper filtration and a continuous disinfectant dosing control system. • A continuous dosing system is one that uses a metering device to feed the chemical/s at a controlled rate or can manufacture or generate chlorine to maintain a satisfactory residual to disinfect the water. • Disease causing organisms that affect bathers may be introduced into a pool or spa on the bather’s skin, in their saliva, urine or faeces. • Bird droppings, dust, water make-up, dirt and soil on the feet of bathers can also contribute and cause contamination. • If pool water is not properly treated and maintained disease causing organisms are not killed and may actually grow and proliferate. • The fast and effective kill of all disease causing organisms is essential for proper control. Spa pools should be drained at least once per month to enable cleaning procedures to be undertaken. There can be a build-up of acid in the spa pool and this requires an exchange of water to reduce the level. Thorough cleaning includes removal of lint and foreign matter, and soaking overnight in 10ppm chlorine or similar disinfectant. Where spa pools are heated, the temperature must never exceed 40OC and exposures at greater than body temperature should not exceed 20 minutes for a healthy adult. Signs should be displayed around spa pools restricting bathing to 20 minutes. The temperature of the spa should be regularly checked. Temperature has an adverse effect on the killing power of disinfectants, such as chlorine, in that the disinfectant dissipates rapidly. Warmer temperatures favour bacterial growth, such as Legionella in filter media, which may be transmitted by aerosols in spa pools. Pseudomonas aeruginosa survival and growth is enhanced at temperatures exceeding 26°C.

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To help prevent the contamination of pool and spa waters by bathers, they should all be encouraged to perform toileting prior to bathing by locating such areas within dressing and change rooms close to the pool entry. Urine is the most polluting material to enter a pool or spa. Adequate numbers of showers should also be located in the dressing/change room areas and patrons should be encouraged to pre-shower before swimming. Signage should be erected to help encourage showering and soap provided. Where persons are detected with wounds, sores and rashes, infected eyes, or wearing bandages it should be requested that they not swim in the pool. Pool contamination through nose blowing, spitting and sprouting of water should be actively discouraged. Waterborne Pathogens -A List of Infectious Agents That Could Be Swimming With You Aeromonas

• Isospora belli

• Arcobacter

• Microsporidia

• Campylobacter

• Toxoplasma gondii

• Enterovirulent Escherichia coli • Adenoviruses • Helicobacter pylori

• Astroviruses

• Legionella

• Caliciviruses

• Mycobacterium avium complex

• Coxsackieviruses

• Salmonella

• Hepatitis E virus

• Vibrio

• Norwalk-like viruses

• Yersinia enterocolitica

• Non-Group A Rotaviruses

• Acanthamoeba

• Cryptosporidium & Giardia

• Cyclospora

• Isospora belli

Source: factshts.html It is important to understand the consequences of inadequate disinfection and how that impacts on your pool water, or more importantly, your guests. Most authorities recommend regular and routine testing plans to establish proper measurement and controls. Chemical levels should be performed at least at the start of pool openings and midway throughout the day. Microbiological testing should be performed by a recognised accredited laboratory at least monthly for standard indicator organisms. Swimming pools and spas should control these to minimise risk. It should also be realised that the results of a single sample do not necessarily give an indication of overall pool management therefore it is best that samples be collected over a long period of time such as 1 year to enable adequate assessment. Because there is a delay of some days before the results of a bacteriological analysis is known, the chemical quality of the swimming pool water will provide a measure of its “on the spot” ability to combat infection as it is introduced into a pool or spa.

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Type of Organism

Maximum Count Allowable

Total Plate Count

100 Colony Forming Units (CFU) per mL

Thermotolerant coliforms (Faecal Coliforms)

Nil per 100 mL

Pseudomonas aeruginosa

Nil per 100 mL

Cooling Towers Cooling Towers are another area of risk with their potential to proliferate and harbour Legionella Bacterium. The three potential problems associated with cooling water are, corrosion, scale/deposits, and Microbiological activity. Corrosion will shorten the life of the equipment, Scale/deposits will decrease heat transfer and increase energy usage and unchecked microbiological activity will cause system blockages, increased operating & running costs, and potential health hazards. Further, a poorly maintained cooling water system will contribute to the growth of Legionella which as everyone knows has the potential to infect and kill. And, if a cooling tower isn’t fitted with an eliminator restricting the exhausting of tower water to atmosphere added risk is applied when these water droplets are spread throughout the surrounding area up to a distance of 2 kilometres where infection can reach a broader community and potentially create a greater risk to the public. Proper water management is crucial along with good maintenance practices to ensure that the risks to public health are minimised and the cooling system operates effectively. Best practice includes an independent and regular, routine sampling and testing programme for Legionella and Total Bacteria Counts to do two things, ensure the quality of the water treatment programme to manage bacterial levels and, to monitor these systems for Legionella so that there is minimal risk to hotel guests.

Food and hygiene Food and hygiene is another very important area of concern, here the potential for harm is high as is risk to the establishment’s reputation critical. The manufacture and or sale of food, prepared or stored in a microbiologically hostile environment may result in any or all of the following • Food poisoning or illness • Food contaminated with foreign matter

• Food contaminated with animals or insects • Food spoilage • Unhygienic or unclean premises • Unhygienic or unsafe food handling practices Unhygienic or unsafe food storage practices is mainly attributable to a lack of appropriate standards and controls. Foodborne illness is a significant and increasing public health problem. The causative agents are mostly harmful microorganisms. Most foodborne illness results from inappropriate food hygiene and food handling practices, which could have been avoided. Other factors influencing the increase in foodborne illness worldwide include: the emergence of new and virulent strains of pathogens; the increased consumption of, and consumer preference for, fresh, minimally processed food, takeaway and ready-to-heat meals; changes in animal husbandry; and the increase in the proportion of elderly and other at-risk groups (Gerba et al. 1996, ANZFA 1999). Every hotel should be aware of and incorporate proper HACCP applications and guidelines to prevent the potential for food safety problems. HACCP is a system that identifies and monitors specific foodborne hazards --biological, chemical, or physical properties --that can adversely affect the safety of the food product. Hotels

have a responsibility to their guests to ensure that all kitchen and similar activities undergo proper monitoring programs to ensure that hygiene, handling, preparation and storage strictly meet criteria designed to minimize risk. Even areas often taken for granted need to receive serious attention, such as ice machines and the handling of ice for food and drink, if manufactured off site you need to be assured that the quality of water is tested for the same microbiological parameters as drinking water, that staff are correctly handling it and bottled water provided to guests needs verification that it also has been measured and certified to ensure that there isn’t any contamination. The delivery of product should be made in such a way as to assure its quality and integrity, and that adequate checks are made before it is accepted on arrival. Every procedure and practice should be reviewed, checked, and evaluated so that there are substantiated control standards enforced to minimize any risk.

Indoor Air Quality The importance of a safe indoor environment is crucial to the health of staff, guests, contractors and the general public. In many instances, the quality of the air is overlooked for more visible problems such as broken windows, slip hazards, and overhangs. In actual fact, the air quality is the single most

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significant aspect of an indoor environment. The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that more than 30percent of all commercial buildings have significant Indoor Air Quality problems, a figure that most people are oblivious to. The indoor environment in any building is a result of interaction between the site, climate, building system, (original design and later modification in the structure, and mechanical systems), construction techniques, contaminant sources (building materials and furnishings, moisture, processes, and activities within the building, and outdoor sources), and building occupants. Indoor air should be free from harmful atmospheric pollutants such as gases, fumes, dust or vapours. The following four elements are involved in the development of indoor air quality problems: Sources: there is a source of contamination or discomfort indoors, outdoors, or within the mechanical systems of the building,

of indoor air quality (IAQ) environmental problems or higher combined symptom rates among a group of building occupants. In contrast, building-related illnesses are uncommon and by definition, are more serious in prognosis than mere discomfort. Physician diagnosis by clinical investigation of symptoms is the usual means of recognizing building-related illnesses. Building-related illnesses can have a long latent (or asymptomatic) period after exposure begins before symptoms are experienced, such as occurs with lung cancer after indoor radon exposure. Other categories of building-related illnesses, however, are associated with an immediate appearance of symptoms after exposure

Recognizing Building-Related Illnesses Toxic illness; for example: carbon monoxide poisoning

HVAC: the HVAC system is not able to control existing air contaminants and ensure thermal comfort (temperature and humidity conditions that are comfortable for most occupants),

Infectious disease; for example: Legionnaires’ disease

Pathways: one or more pollutant pathways connect the pollutant source to the occupants and a driving force exists to move pollutants along the pathway(s),

Building-related illnesses generally require a prolonged recovery time or may become a chronic problem for the patient, even after removal or remediation of the building exposure that caused the illness in the beginning.

Occupants: building occupants are present. It is important to understand the role that each of these factors may play in order to prevent, investigate, and resolve indoor air quality problems.

Sick Building Syndrome (SBS) The term sick building syndrome (SBS) is sometimes used to describe cases in which building occupants experience acute health and comfort effects that are apparently linked to the time that they spend in the building, but in which no specific illness or cause can be identified. The complaints may be localized in a particular room or zone or may be widespread throughout the building. Many different symptoms have been associated with SBS, including respiratory complaints, irritation, and fatigue. Analysis of air samples often fail to detect high concentrations of specific contaminants. The problem may be caused by: The combined effects of multiple pollutants at low concentrations (e.g. VOCs, carbon monoxide, formaldehyde) Other environmental stressors (overheating, poor lighting, noise) Ergonomic stressors Job-related psychosocial stressors (overcrowding, labour management problems) Unknown factors

Building Related Illness (BRI) Building-related symptoms are common and are generally nonspecific discomfort problems affecting the eyes, nose and throat. There are no definitive clinical tests available to establish the diagnosis of sick building syndrome rather, building associated symptoms are recognized by identification

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Allergic disease; for example: asthma, hay fever, or hypersensitivity pneumonitis

Assessment Objective The objective of an IAQ assessment and monitoring is to evaluate and assess that the condition of indoor air quality of a building or office premises is in compliance with acceptable limits. A typical Indoor Air Quality Assessment objective is to perform an analysis of the Indoor Air Quality as it is at the time of the assessment and identify any areas where concentration of levels is high and may cause concern to the occupants. Measurement of thermal comfort which incorporates air temperature and relative humidity within the occupied areas. These are compared with established acceptable levels. Carbon dioxide levels within the working environment which would give an indication as to whether the fresh air rate supplied is in sufficient quantity to remove unpleasant odours and other internally generated pollutants. Noxious gases such as carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide and formaldehyde and (where required) ozone. Measurement of airborne particulate levels within the workplace. Comparison with acceptable levels and between various locations within the same building. Airborne bacteria, and fungal contamination levels within the office areas. These are compared to various guidelines or best knowledge of our microbiologists. The data also helps to locate the source of the problem. A ’spot check’ assessment, longer term or indoor air quality monitoring programmes can be used to confirm that the

ventilation plant is being maintained at an acceptable hygienic and mechanical standard as well as ensuring that the building complies with current acceptable limits.

What Causes Indoor Air Problems? Indoor pollution sources that release gases or particles into the air are the primary cause of indoor air quality problems. Inadequate ventilation can increase indoor pollutant levels by not bringing in enough outdoor air to dilute emissions from indoor sources and by not carrying indoor air pollutants out of the building. High temperature and humidity levels can also increase concentrations of some pollutants.

Pollutant Sources There are many sources of indoor air pollution. These include combustion sources such as oil, gas, kerosene, coal, wood, dust, pollen and tobacco products; building materials and furnishings as diverse as deteriorated, asbestos-containing insulation, wet or damp carpet, and cabinetry or furniture made of certain pressed wood products; products for cleaning and maintenance, or personal care, central heating and cooling systems and humidification devices; and other sources such as radon, pesticides, and outdoor air pollution. The relative importance of any single source depends on how much of a given pollutant it emits and how hazardous those emissions are. In some cases, factors such as how old the source is and whether it is properly maintained are significant. Some sources, such as building materials, furnishings, and cleaning products like air fresheners, release pollutants more or less continuously. Other sources, related to activities carried out in a building, release pollutants intermittently. These include smoking, the use of solvents in cleaning, the use of paint strippers in redecorating activities, and the use of cleaning products and pesticides in house-keeping. High pollutant concentrations can remain in the air for long periods after some of these activities.

Amount of Ventilation If too little outdoor air enters a building, pollutants can accumulate to levels that can pose health and comfort problems. Unless they are built with special mechanical means of ventilation, buildings that are designed and constructed to minimize the amount of outdoor air that can “leak� into and out of the building may have higher pollutant levels than other buildings.

Indoor Air Pollution and Health Health effects from indoor air pollutants may be experienced soon after exposure or, possibly, years later.

Immediate effects Immediate effects may show up after a single exposure or repeated exposures. These include irritation of the eyes, nose,

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While pollutants commonly found in indoor air are responsible for many harmful effects, there is considerable uncertainty about what concentrations or periods of exposure are necessary to produce specific health problems.


and throat, headaches, dizziness, and fatigue. Such immediate effects are usually short-term and treatable. Sometimes the treatment is simply eliminating the person’s exposure to the source of the pollution, if it can be identified. Symptoms of some diseases, including asthma, hypersensitivity pneumonitis, and humidifier fever, may also show up soon after exposure to some indoor air pollutants. The likelihood of immediate reactions to indoor air pollutants depends on several factors. Age and pre­existing medical conditions are two important influences. In other cases, whether a person reacts to a pollutant depends on individual sensitivity, which varies tremendously from person to person. Some people can become sensitized to biological and chemical pollutants after repeated exposures. Certain immediate effects are similar to those from colds or other viral diseases, so it is often difficult to determine if the symptoms are a result of exposure to indoor air pollution. For this reason, it is important to pay attention to the time and place symptoms occur. If the symptoms fade or go away when a person is away from work, for example, an effort should be made to identify indoor air sources that may be possible causes. Some effects may be made worse by an inadequate supply of outdoor air or from the heating, cooling, or humidity conditions prevalent in the building.

Long-term effects Other health effects may show up either years after exposure has occurred or only after long or repeated periods of exposure. These effects, which include some respiratory diseases, heart disease, and cancer, can be severely debilitating or fatal. It is prudent to try to improve the indoor air quality in a building even if symptoms are not noticeable. While pollutants commonly found in indoor air are responsible for many harmful effects, there is considerable uncertainty about what concentrations or periods of exposure are necessary to produce specific health problems. People also react very differently to exposure to indoor air pollutants. Further research is needed to better understand which health effects occur after exposure to the average pollutant concentrations found in buildings and which occurs from the higher concentrations that occur for short periods of time. Documentation of all complaints concerning the quality perceived or other of the Indoor Air Quality inside your building or property should be well documented and recorded including situations where the system has faulted or some known occurrence has impacted on the quality of the air. Improving Indoor Air Quality – There are three basic strategies to improve indoor air quality

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Source Control Usually the most effective way to improve indoor air quality is to eliminate individual sources of pollution or to reduce their emissions. Some sources, like those that contain asbestos, can be sealed or enclosed; others, like gas stoves, can be adjusted to decrease the amount of emissions. In many cases, source control is also a more cost-efficient approach to protecting indoor air quality than increasing ventilation because increasing ventilation will increase energy costs. For most indoor air quality problems in a building, source control is the most effective solution.

Ventilation Improvements Another approach to lowering the concentrations of indoor air pollutants in a building is to increase the amount of outdoor air coming indoors. Most building heating and cooling systems mechanically bring fresh air into the building at a controlled rate depending on the percentage and exchange rate of air can dramatically affect the pollutant levels. The minimum recommended fresh air rate is 10 Litres per second (L/s) per person or 10 L/s per 10 m2 for mechanical ventilation systems with optimum air movement of 0.1-0.5 m/s (naturally ventilated), 0.1-0.2 m/s (air-conditioned).

Air Cleaners There are many types and sizes of air cleaners on the market some air cleaners are highly effective at particle removal, while others are much less so. Air cleaners are generally not designed to remove gaseous pollutants. The effectiveness of an air cleaner depends on how well it collects pollutants from indoor air (expressed as a percentage efficiency rate) and how much air it draws through the cleaning or filtering element (expressed in cubic feet per minute). A very efficient collector with a low air-circulation rate will not be effective, nor will a cleaner with a high air-circulation rate but with a less efficient collector. The long-term performance of any air cleaner depends on maintaining it according to the manufacturer’s directions. Another important factor in determining the effectiveness of an air cleaner is the strength of the pollutant source. People with sensitivity to particular sources may find that air cleaners are helpful only in conjunction with concerted efforts to remove the source. Over the past few years, there has been some publicity around indoor houseplants and these should not be over-watered because overly damp soil may promote the growth of microorganisms which can affect allergic individuals and in the case of some plants spores can be collected and distributed through the air system to contribute significant allergy and contamination problems. Consultants in indoor air quality would state, “Dilution is the solution to indoor air pollution!” Today although we focus on controlling the source of contaminant, dilution makes a terrific second line of defence and can reduce or eliminate many IAQ concerns in commercial buildings. n

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“EAU DE CHLORINE” If you can smell it, your pool OR SPA is not safe !! ALAN LEWIS

Your hotel may have five stars, but if the pool hall reeks of chlorine, some of those stars may have fallen. Whether or not the pool is leased to a health club or swim school, the responsibility of the hotel to provide safe and compliant water falls to the management, to ensure that bathers enjoy swimming and that patrons do not leave the pool or spa with their bodies smelling of chlorine.

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t is now clear to all those who know the science and chemistry of good pool disinfection that it is nigh on impossible to maintain safe water in indoor public pools and spas without the aid of a Secondary Disinfection System (SDS). Why is this necessary? What does the secondary system do that the chlorination does not do? To answer these questions we must first look at what happens in public indoor heated pools with heavy bather loads. Chlorine is the still the most effective and cost efficient disinfectant available to us. The vast majority of public pools justifiably use chlorine to disinfect their pools. The chlorine residual is meant to be sufficient not only to prevent water borne pathogens from harming bathers, but also to prevent cross contamination between swimmers. The trouble begins when bathers enter the pool, particularly without showering prior to that, they introduce body fluids such as sweat, urine, skin cells, hair or other chemicals in cosmetics and

tan or skin lotions. This creates a whole range of Disinfection By Products (DBPs) which can and do harm bathers – principally trichloramines (NCl3) and trihalomethanes (Chloroform CHCl3 mostly). The former of these two is the predominant “Eau de Chlorine” smell that most public pool visitors are familiar with. Both of these are volatile which means that they easily convert from liquid to gas at the surface of the pool. This is aided by the action of the swimmers splashing down the lanes and stirring up the water, – or in the spas – by the water and air jets which create the bubbly effect that spas goers seem to enjoy. These gases have been found by scientists to induce asthma and bladder cancer and are considered to seriously affect regular patrons or deck staff. A further negative effect of the chloramines and THMs is that they enter the blood stream of the swimmers both as gases and as liquids. The swimmer’s nose and mouth being just

above the surface of the water where these gases are first formed, they are readily inhaled into the lungs where they attack its epithelium (outer layer), while as liquids these nasties enter the body through the pores of the skin. So the longer you are in the pool the more you are likely to adsorb these DBPs into your system.

SECONDARY DISINFECTION SYSTEMS If you want to rid your pool of these chlorinated by-products you will need an additional system to tackle this specific problem. Both Low Level Ozone and UV systems have been used successfully to control the development of these unwanted by-products in Australian pools. In Denmark additional new

specially designed equipment has been employed to reduce the chloramines in the pool and remove them from both the air and the water in the pool hall. The first criterion in achieving this objective is to minimise the amount of chlorine that is used to disinfect the water. This can be achieved – at least in part - by adhering to the Redox (Oxygen Reduction Potential) principles incorporated in the NSW Health Public Swimming Pool and Spa Pool Code of Practice (Final Draft May 2010). This document advises that an ORP of 750mV (or more) at a pH of 7.2 will allow the pool to run safely with a minimum residual; of 1.0 mg/l of free chlorine, in a pool run at over 26 deg C where an Ozone SDS is installed.

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Ole Gronborg at Ultraaqua in Denmark, has developed a comprehensive set of concepts which makes this technology the most advanced in the world today in reducing chloramines and trihalomethanes. His science associates have been able to research these issues with the full support of the Danish Government. These concepts not only produce the safest and cleanest swimming water in the world, but also make considerable savings in energy, water, chlorine, maintenance and manpower. They include:

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1. Hydraulic design of the pool which focuses on removing the tiny skin cells that accumulate on the floor of the pool in dead spots, so that they are swept quickly into the wet edge gutters. 2. The employment of gravitation so that water flows from the pool gutters to the filters – where the drum filters are installed below deck level. The filtered water flows from the drum filters gravitationally to the balance tank (see diagram on opposite

page). The pump then has only to return the water to the floor of the pool with a head of roughly 0.6 – 1.0 metres. 3. The use of a drum filter with a specially designed membrane that filters down to 10 microns – replaces the commonly used pressurised sand filters.The solids caught on the membrane are “backwashed” with a fine powerful spray at regular intervals and ejected from the system to the sewer in a concentrated slurry (the red arrow in the cut-away diagram). 4. The extraction of the trichloramines and the trihalomethanes in a small side stream using a THM and chloramine “Stripper” – seen at the rear of the filter room in the photo below. Overall, the stripper removes roughly 80% of the chloramines and THMs in the water 5. The extraction of the gaseous DBPs rising from the surface of the water in the pool hall via the wet edge gutter to a duct below the deck and out to the external atmosphere (below). 6. UV or Ozone as a Secondary Disinfenction System – for the final reduction of the remaining chloramines or THMs in the system. In conclusion it should now be clear that without secondary disinfection systems and without a comprehensive design or pool and plant, we can always expect that chloramines and THMs will be present in indoor pool halls. If we want to improve on this efforts must be made to bring about situations which avoid :

C The removal of skin cells and other small undissolved solids – from the system so that the “chloramine factory” will be starved of organics from which to produce chloramines and THMs. D The adjunct of an effective and properly sized Ozone or UV secondary disinfection system to break down and control those chloramines that always inevitably develop in the pool. E The design of a ventilation system which quickly and effectively removes Chloramines and THM gases off the surface of the pool via the gutters out to the open air. F Saving energy by the use of a drum filter rather than a pressurized sand filter and hastening the removal of skin cells from the system. G. In the last diagram chlorine is produced on site electrolytically and fed on demand at a concentration of only 1% after the final extraction of any remaining chloramines and trihalomethanes using ultra fine filtration with reverse osmosis in a second and final side loop. Even if you achieve only part of these criteria you will have a healthier pool and make the visit to your hotel pool a much more pleasant and attractive activity. That would make the effort and the expense so eminently worthwhile.

A Bathers entering the pool without showering B The maintenance of a low pH (>7.2) thereby reducing the chlorine needed for an ORP of 750mV

Please feel free to contact Alan for information or elaboration of these systems by email:

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Company: Blygold stops corrosion in air cooled Air Conditioning systems from occurring by cleaning and coating both new and existing heat exchangers with our unique anti-corrosion products. As a result substantially savings are realized on energy expenses and capital costs. Blygold also specializes in treating AHU’s and casings of chillers with the Blygold anti-corrosion treatment.

Background: Blygold Australia is part of Blygold International, which has been established for over 30 years and has a reputation for excellence and quality of products and services. Blygold services many clients Australia wide, amongst them: office buildings, shopping malls, airports, hospitals, universities, hotels, museums, restaurants, and many industries.

Our great value proposition: Everyone knows Air-conditioning systems are huge energy consumers (40 - 70% of energy use in most buildings). Therefore, it is very important for each unit to operate at optimal levels with the highest efficiency possible. When corrosion occurs and pollution adheres the performance will decrease dramatically and energy consumption will increase. The Blygold corrosion protection will avoid this from happening and stop an increase of energy consumption. The current generation of anti-corrosion treatments from Blygold has been tested successfully at 4000 Hours + against salt and acid spray. In existing (aged) coils Blygold coating acts like a paint filler and fills the cracks between the fins and the tubes and due to the metal pigmentation conductivity is partly restored and the unit will be more efficient after

Product News

treatment than before. The coating is very smooth (Teflon like), which has a result of far less dirt adhesion, airflow stays high, and therefore the heat transfer and efficiency stays high. New heat exchangers and slightly corroded units can be treated to prevent or to stop further deterioration. Most heat exchangers will corrode as they are exposed to rather harsh conditions being in a marine/urban environment.

Benefits Blygold treatment: • save up to 20% on energy use • double the lifespan of the heat exchangers • ensure the highest level of performance of heat exchangers • increase reliability of the climate control system • provide cleaner air to staff, visitors and other users • our services generally earn themselves back within 12 months

Specifications Blygold treatment: • a post coating, meaning applied after assembly of the coils • salt and acid resistant for over 4000 hours • coating 25 to 30 microns • provides full coverage, not only of the fins but also the copper tubes and the connection between the fins and the tubes • has a metal pigmentation, so conductivity stays high • can be applied on site as well as in our workshop • can be maintained on site • a member of the GBCA and approved by EcoSpecifier Blygold can increase the lifespan of these systems as well as greatly reduce the amount of energy they use over their lifetime.

Contact Blygold Australia on 1300 271 115 25 Fulton Street Oakleigh South, Vic 3167 or email: 78 | Vol 16 No. o.3 | Hotel Engineer 78 | Vol 16 N 3 | Hotel Engineer


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


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 – easy to see and quantify as a fixed and immediate cost. 2) Running cost – 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.

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

(b) Maintenance and Breakdown. These costs are often not treated with the same priority as the cost of the power 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 MTA Australasia Pty Ltd Ph: 1300 304 177 Email:

Hotel Engineer | Vol 16 No. 3 | 79



Product News

it's in the bag “It’s in a bag , permanent and not afraid of water!” That’s the message from Jackie Thew, owner of Sales Agency Australia and distributor of Asphalt in a Bag. Ready to use in all conditions, Asphalt in a Bag provides a pre-mixed product that offers a permanent repair solution for potholes, cracks, utility cuts, driveways, cycle ways, and car parks. We have been supplying many local Queensland Councils and Roadtek depots for a couple of years now. Due to recent changes to our internal structure and the addition of a 10 gauge and a 14 gauge mix on top of the already successful 7 gauge mix we are now in a position to expand our supply across Queensland and the rest of Australia. We currently supply three different grades of mix. Mix 7 – 7 gauge stone – residential roads, car parks – cracks and small potholes Mix 10 - 10 gauge stone – rural roads, highways – larger potholes Mix 14 – 14 gauge stone – specialised use – extra large potholes. “Asphalt in a bag is not designed to replace traditional hot mix for road building purposes, but to provide a quick and reliable means of effecting permanent repairs,” says Jackie based in South East Queensland. “The mixture works so well that many of the Asphalt contractors and local councils now use it for repairs and maintenance all around the country.” Manufactured from selective aggregates, bitumen and polymers, the bagged mixture is designed to suit the harshest of weather conditions. With an indefinite shelf life, the ready-mix is ideal for maintaining paths, driveways and roads and can be safely stockpiled awaiting future use. “Asphalt in a Bag expands and contracts with the surface and will bond to concrete, steel, asphalt and even wood,” explains Jackie. “The application of the product is five times faster than the average solution and can be exposed to traffic immediately.” Providing minimal disruption to traffic. With a lifetime performance guarantee, when applied according to the manufacturer’s specifications, Asphalt in a Bag will permanently adhere to the area which is being repaired. With the kind of wet weather we have been enduring this past few months, demand for our product has increased, we have a number of stockist’s throughout the country who can supply 1 or more bags, for quantities by the pallet load (50 bags) either contact one of our stockist’s/resellers or Jackie directly. Asphalt in a bag is a perfect and quick solution in the wet or dry for repair of those dangerous potholes. For more information, consult the website at or give Jackie a call on 1300 789 967 for price and availability.

Fill that hole!

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

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