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Marrying Style with Sustainability: The Rise of the Green Hotel

Figures show that just 25% of the total costs in the lifecycle of a hotel are for the concept, design and construction, compared with 75% for its operation. It’s therefore not surprising that the sector is increasingly looking at ways to improve the operational efficiency of its properties and reducing energy consumption should be a central part of this strategy.

For a new build property, there is an even bigger opportunity to maximise these savings by ensuring that energy efficiency is a key part of the hotel’s concept. This has been the approach for the latest addition to the Grange Group’s portfolio – an independent chain of luxury hotels in London.

With a commitment to be one of the most energy efficient hotels in London, the new-build Grange Tower Bridge Hotel Design by Buchanan Architects has ensured that sustainable practices and environmental features, which include renewable solar and photovoltaic panels, high performance glazing and low energy lighting, are part of the DNA of this luxury hotel. With its sleek lines, ambient coloured lighting and a high quality feel, how has this luxurious property ensured the highest levels of guest comfort while staying faithful to its environmentally responsible aims?

Moni Dhanjal from The Grange Tower Bridge Hotel, explains: “This hotel is about redefining the luxury property market for central London. We want our business and leisure guests to enjoy the highest levels of comfort in both the bedrooms and public areas. With a new build project, there was a real opportunity to think about how we could marry that with a strong commitment to creating an energy efficient space.

“Working with like-minded partners and suppliers in the design and build of the hotel was an important part of achieving this aim and extended into every area of the building, ensuring that there were no compromises on the aesthetics even in minor details.”

One of Grange’s key partners has been the Siemens Building Technologies division.  Responsible for scoping and providing electrical infrastructure for the hotel and key elements of the building management system, the team has worked closely with Grange and other partners involved in the construction of the property to deliver the most energy efficient and flexible solutions, without compromising on a high quality and aesthetically pleasing finish.

In terms of managing the hotel environment, Grange chose the Siemens Building Energy Management System (BEMS), Desigo™, which helps to make efficient savings, whilst ensuring the optimum level of comfort for hotel guests.

Nigel Galling, UK National Account Manager Hotels for Siemens, explains: “The flexibility of this system means that it can be tailored to suit the requirements of the building and can also be adapted to change or enhance the functionality in the future. A good example of the use of the system is the two penthouse suites, which boast outstanding views across the Thames, and use the Desigo™ system to control the lighting in the room.”

Siemens Solution Partner, BAS Building Automation Solutions Ltd, installed the Desigo™ BEMS which resides upon an Ethernet network using BACnet/IP open protocol for communication. A key element of the project was to ensure heating and cooling demands are controlled to ensure energy efficiency, particularly where the use of waste heat from the condensed water loop was concerned and also to co-ordinate the borehole cooling and DHW sequences.

In addition, the public areas and the Health Club utilise the eu.bac certified Desigo RX room automation system for energy efficient control of fan coil units and variable air volume (VAV) boxes to deliver the required temperatures for the hotel guests. The air handling units throughout the hotel are supplied with factory fitted Siemens Climatix controllers and these have been seamlessly integrated into the Desigo BEMS.

All the key functions of the BEMS are available via the Desigo Insight management station or remotely via a standard web interface and plans are in place to begin an energy monitoring regime by using data collected from various meters across the facility.

When it came to selecting the wiring accessories in the hotel suites, it was important that they fit in with the hotel’s sleek and modern look.  The Crabtree range used, with screw-less fittings, was easy to install, making this aspect of the fit out straight-forward and efficient, as well as delivering a professional ‘finish’ to the rooms.

Away from the luxurious guest spaces is the plant room, which houses the major infrastructure for providing an efficient, safe and effective power supply to the hotel.  Working with its power partner, ICW, Siemens has provided a totally integrated power solution, which includes medium voltage transformers and four LV switchboard panels (Essential, Non-essential, Life safety and Critical supplies) all fully monitored and metered, and complete with automatic changeover controls.

With a 14-storey west tower and 12-storey east tower, the two areas of the hotel are connected by a seven-storey central core. In each ‘tower’ the Siemens busbar trunking system, designed for easy installation, flexibility and endurance, feeds 27 three phased distribution boards on each floor via tap off units, which connect to 370 Siemens single phase room distribution boards to provide power to each hotel room.

Throughout the building, there are a further 40 Siemens distribution boards providing power to public areas of the hotel. With a full scale conference centre, as well as a separate suite of meeting rooms, the hotel is able to accommodate small gatherings right through to major events. At full capacity, the hotel could house 2000 delegates across numerous meeting rooms on several levels, so it’s clear why an effective and efficient power supply is vital.

Moni Dhanjal from The Grange Tower Bridge Hotel, said: “We have formed a true partnership with Siemens to be able to realise our ambitions with this project. They always delivered on time and to the highest standards and we look forward to working together on new and innovative developments that we have in the pipeline.”

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