How Smart Design Changes Can Help Maximize a Hotel's Operating Efficiency

By Kyle Rogg President & COO, Value Place | March 16, 2014

Three years ago Value Place's executive management team decided to take a critical look at our building designs and see how we could make each hotel as efficient as possible. Terms like "green", "smart buildings", and "sustainable design" came to mind that guided parts of our quest. Like other hospitality brands, business owners, and corporate citizens, we value green certification and sustainability initiatives. But the recurring mantra that dominated our executive board room conversation "operating efficiency" – making a building that, as a whole, enhances operational performance and opportunity.

Our goal was to design a building, top to bottom, that would result in real savings to help provide our guests quality, comfortable rooms at competitive rates. We needed to honor our core values – being clean, safe, simple, and affordable but still raise the bar on return on investment. It was not easy but we did it. Smart design, as we call it, has proven to be the driver behind cost reduction, staff efficiency, and maximum return on investment for our franchisees and investors. The following are just some of the many examples of how focusing on decisions and execution in the early stages of design and construction, make a positive impact in the eventual bottom line later in the process.

  • LED Lighting Saves on Energy and More

We have 600 ceiling lights in the average Value Place property. Our traditional design used compact fluorescent light fixtures. That meant staff members periodically had to climb ladders to remove glass coverings and clean out debris including insects. Certainly not a job any one likes to do and not something that is attractive to our guests. Perhaps as importantly, it is not a good or efficient use of our staff's time. Our change to LED (light-emitting diode) lighting made the difference. LEDs use 80 percent less energy than incandescent bulbs, last five times as long as fluorescents, do not require special disposal due to hazardous chemicals (like neon, lead powder, mercury, etc.), and without glass coverings, there are no trapped insects to clean.

There were added benefits, we found, to LED conversion in the construction process. The slim height profile of the light, with about one inch of protrusion verses the six to eight inches of allowance required for fluorescent fixtures, makes the hallways feel taller, more spacious, and more inviting for guests.

LEDs represent a smart design choice that saves our franchisees during construction, operations, and incur on average just 20 percent of the electricity costs associated with traditional lighting. We install them in every new build and are even retrofitting some of our existing properties.

Choose a Social Network!

The social network you are looking for is not available.

Close

Hotel Newswire Headlines Feed  

Dennis M. Baker
Jennifer Dunphy
Rob Rush
Felicia Hyde
Cid Jenkins
Roberta Nedry
Gary Isenberg
Brandon Edwards
Matthew Rosenberger
Drew Rosser
Coming up in May 2019...

Eco-Friendly Practices: Corporate Social Responsibility

The hotel industry has undertaken a long-term effort to build more responsible and socially conscious businesses. What began with small efforts to reduce waste - such as paperless checkouts and refillable soap dispensers - has evolved into an international movement toward implementing sustainable development practices. In addition to establishing themselves as good corporate citizens, adopting eco-friendly practices is sound business for hotels. According to a recent report from Deloitte, 95% of business travelers believe the hotel industry should be undertaking “green” initiatives, and Millennials are twice as likely to support brands with strong management of environmental and social issues. Given these conclusions, hotels are continuing to innovate in the areas of environmental sustainability. For example, one leading hotel chain has designed special elevators that collect kinetic energy from the moving lift and in the process, they have reduced their energy consumption by 50%  over conventional elevators. Also, they installed an advanced air conditioning system which employs a magnetic mechanical system that makes them more energy efficient. Other hotels are installing Intelligent Building Systems which monitor and control temperatures in rooms, common areas and swimming pools, as well as ventilation and cold water systems. Some hotels are installing Electric Vehicle charging stations, planting rooftop gardens, implementing stringent recycling programs, and insisting on the use of biodegradable materials. Another trend is the creation of Green Teams within a hotel's operation that are tasked to implement earth-friendly practices and manage budgets for green projects. Some hotels have even gone so far as to curtail or eliminate room service, believing that keeping the kitchen open 24/7 isn't terribly sustainable. The May issue of the Hotel Business Review will document what some hotels are doing to integrate sustainable practices into their operations and how they are benefiting from them.