Energy & Resources

Crowne Plaza Melbourne

Since Melbourne City Council invited it to participate in the Savings In The City waste wise program, the Crowne Plaza Melbourne has implemented sustainability strategies that have seen its energy costs drop 25%.

Its efforts have been recognised internationally with a Green Globe Bronze award, an international benchmark in environmental sustainability, plus a best environmental practice award in the Victorian division of the Australian Hoteliers’ Association awards. It was ranked seventh in the Savings in the City Waste Wise program.

The hotel partnered with mySmart CTI to implement energy-efficient systems that complemented its water reduction and waste management initiatives. (It replaced its 18-litre showerheads with nine-litre heads and nearly all waste is now recycled.)

“Prior to installation we installed model rooms at the hotel to ascertain possible savings for the hotel which were in the order of 30%,” said mySmart CTI’s Michael O’Dea. “mySmart CTI welcomed the opportunity to work with Crowne Plaza to achieve cutting edge environmental standards by implementing various systems including: energy efficient room lighting control, room management systems and a fully integrated hotel air-conditioning management control system that offered audit and rectification capabilities; complimenting the water reduction and waste management initiatives.

AN32-1-ER-Crowne Plaza_5“We installed an Inncom e4 528 Smart digital thermostat in each room that allows guests to control the air temperature. By using the ecoMODE setting, guests can participate in the sustainability program by enabling additional energy savings over and above those achieved through the pre-programmed installed solutions.

“The INNcontrol central management system software was also installed to allow hotel management to control temperature setback when the guest is out of the room, or the room is not checked in.

“By ‘relaxing’ the target temperature bands, the room’s heating and cooling can run up to 60% more efficiently. The combination of the two products creates an integrated management system that allows each room to function individually or to be managed from a central control. The smart technology of the digital thermostat detects when the room is in use and doors are open, adjusting the controls accordingly.”

The system enhances the hotel’s energy efficiency and reduces hotel operating and maintenance costs.

Crowne’s engineering manager Robin Power said the user interface was easy to understand and simple to operate, giving guests the option to make their own decisions regarding their comfort and reduce their individual impact. Since 2006, the hotel has reduced its energy usage from 267.29mJ per guest night to 178.4mJ. Its energy costs have come down by 25% since the technology was introduced six years ago.

”We’re saving $50,000 a year in electricity,” Mr Power said. ”We took out the incandescent lights and replaced them with the compact fluorescent type and are now implementing LED lighting in place of halogen.”

The big screen mySmart enGauge panel that hangs in the foyer next to reception, gets people thinking about sustainability by showing information about energy and water use in the hotel, as well as advice on saving resources.

“We have already had a great deal of positive feedback from our guests regarding our enGauge screen,” Mr Power said. “As we live in an era when caring for the environment is important to most people, customers are pleased to see hard evidence that Crowne Plaza Melbourne and our own staff are very serious about reducing the impact that a building and business such as ours can have on our surroundings.

“Our employees also find it rewarding to see the results of all their sustainability efforts.

“Crowne Plaza Melbourne is making great headway in the areas of power consumption reduction and many of our sister hotels are watching and learning from us. Having enGauge in our hotel is already creating interest not only from our guests; we are even getting subtle enquiries from other hotels and businesses, keen to find out our secrets.”

AN32-1-ER-Crowne Plaza_3He said waste production had decreased from 14 litres per guest night to 3 litres per guest night.

The e4 528 smart digital thermostat combines multiple features to enhance guest experience as well as relay information to management systems. Features of the smart digital thermostat include: precision temperature control in room; advanced energy management within room as well as PMS/BMS; customer programmable parameters including MUR/DND for guest convenience; balcony door monitoring and ecoMODE; mini bar, safe and smoke detector monitoring; and on board PIR for occupancy reporting to housekeeping.

INNcontrol assists with energy management and reducing energy costs by activating programmable temperature set-back when the guest is out of the room to peak demand load shedding through PMS/BMS Interface. INNcontrol features include: real time control of energy usage in rooms with temperature setback; managing information from intelligent devices – energy trend data; automatic load shedding and peak demand algorithms; interface with PMS, BMS and other hotel systems; and reporting of malfunctioning equipment.

Crowne implemented sustainability strategies, which encompass the whole hotel.

An environmental committee was convened in 2006 and developed seven key long term strategies for environmental improvement:

1. Establishment of an environmental committee

2. ‘Reduce, reuse and recycle’ initiatives

3. Water conservation and management

4. Energy conservation and management

5. Consider the impact and influence of all hotel practices

6. Community benefits

7. Future commitments

AN32-1-ER-Crowne Plaza_7The Crowne Plaza environmental policy engages supply chain, employees, and management as well as guest and visitor participation in environmental initiatives. To create formal procedures that offer continuous improvement.

“We are using the IHG (our parent company is called InterContinental Hotels Group) developed Green Engage sustainability program for all our hotels,” Mr Power said.

Inncom systems are installed in more than 750,000 hotel rooms worldwide. Their clients range from the most prestigious five-star hotels to specialty limited service properties.

“Inncom pioneered wireless control technology for hotels, as well as the integration of multiple functions on a single, centrally monitored and controlled system,” Mr O’Dea said. “The unique building block architecture allows hoteliers to select and implement features most appropriate to their needs.”

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