NOVEMBER FOCUS

Hotel Design: Home Away From Home

 

Designing For Disinfection: The Newest Trend in Hotel Design

By Brian Stern CEO & Co-Founder, PURO Lighting | November 01, 2020

There is no doubt that the current worldwide COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically impacted the entire hotel industry, as well as general tourism, air and cruise ship travel, the convention industry and all other travel-related categories. For the hotel industry, the plunge in reservations and RevPAR were precipitous, beginning their dramatic tumble in the first weeks of March 2020, and remaining broadly unrecovered today.

The hotel and travel industries, like so many other industries from manufacturing, sales and services were simply caught unprepared for the advent of the novel coronavirus. The concept of "preparedness" becomes important when we consider the typical market forces that have guided the vast majority of companies since the beginning of the 20th Century.

American enterprise, and even the valuation of most companies, is based on placing efficiency and cost containment over resiliency and preparedness. The obvious result of this orientation is the difference between short-term thinking and long-term planning. The truth is, it's hard for many companies to shoulder the costs associated with being prepared for "whatever may come" in their desire to operate in the most cost-efficient ways possible.

Even for higher-end luxury hotels, costs are often weighed against the perceived benefit. Buying and stockpiling expensive disinfection equipment, materials and even employee hours, when not faced with a potential pathogenic threat is nearly unthinkable…more of a Hollywood movie plot than anything that might occur in real life.

Things Have Changed

The events of the past 8 months have forced the hotel industry, as well as so many other industries, to reevaluate the notion of efficiency vs. preparedness. And, as we consider the future of travel and hotel accommodations, the implications for hotel design and remodeling creates new opportunities for resiliency and survival in the months and years to come.

Technologies exist today that not only help in the short term, but can be powerful solutions in the future, if the hospitality world places more value on being prepared for any future infectious event. And, it's important to consider that travelers, driven by concern and in search of peace of mind and higher standards of safety, will be searching for accommodations that provide for higher levels of disinfection. The traveling public will not soon forget the impact and fear created by this pandemic.

One such technology is UV light disinfection. Today, more and more hotels and resorts are turning to the germicidal properties of UV light to quickly disinfect guest rooms, fitness facilities, bathrooms and other public spaces in order to earn the confidence of re-emerging travelers searching for safety protocols that can protect them against the COVID-19 virus. UV light products, if powerful enough, can make spaces where people gather up to 99.9% pathogen-free.

But first, let's understand a bit of the science behind the germicidal properties of UV light.

How Does Ultraviolet Germicidal Irradiation Work?

Ultraviolet light is naturally present in sunlight and makes up roughly 10% of the total light generated by the sun. UV is a form of electromagnetic energy with a wavelength from 10 nm to 400 nm, but the germicidal effects are found on the wavelengths of UV-A, UV-B, and UV-C light.

By targeting the sensitive DNA of a pathogenic organism, various wavelengths of UV light can modify the genetic material of microorganisms by destroying nucleic acids and disrupting their DNA causing cell death as well as an inability to reproduce. This disinfection can occur on surfaces and in the air, making high-energy UV light disinfection products perfect for air handling units, food and water purification, surface disinfection and more.

Additionally, UV-B and UV-A light causes oxidation of proteins and lipids causing cell death. Broad spectrum (UV A, B and C) lamps are proven to inhibit photoreactivation, the process that can result in self-repair of damaged microbes. Powerful, clinical-level UV disinfection fixtures can produce strong enough UV light to irradicate microorganisms such as today's COVID-19 virus, as well as bacteria, molds, and fungi up to a clinical level of 99.9%. This makes UV light disinfection technology also perfect for hotel properties that experience issues with water damage and general mold and fungi growth.

From Rehabbing and Remodeling to New Construction, Build Toward Preparedness

UV disinfection light technology, delivered through small yet powerful units integrated into rooms, restaurants, spas, event spaces and other public areas of a hotel, is one way of seamlessly bringing disinfection into the overall operation of a hotel. The disinfection qualities of UV light have been scientifically proven for well over 100 years. Recent innovations of this technology have made the delivery of UV light disinfection more powerful, flexible and affordable than ever.

From UV lighting products mounted into the ceilings of bathrooms, to portable units that can disinfect all surfaces and the air in hotel rooms, to autonomous robots that follow predetermined paths throughout unpopulated halls and large public areas, hotels can build in clinical-level disinfection cycles to keep guests, staff and visitors safe from infectious diseases. And, unlike traditional housekeeping protocols that use harsh chemical cleaners to wipe down surfaces, UV light can literally inactivate up to 99.9% of viruses, including today's COVID-19 virus, but can destroy molds, fungi and bacteria that plague so many hotels nationwide.

As architects and lighting specifiers consider helping their hotel clients be as prepared as possible for any future pathogen, as well as provide real solutions for containing the growth of bacteria, molds and fungi, building in UV lighting solutions from the very start will allow hotels to continue to operate responsibly and profitably come what may. The cost of this layer of preparation can be far less than the cost of operational shutdown. And, in time, the overall cost of building in sanitation by UV light can be less than the constant cost of stockpiling additional chemical cleaners and the labor hours needed to do all disinfection by hand.

UV light technology has been proven to kill up to 99.9% of Coronavirus, E. coliSalmonella, Norovirus, MRSA, C. auris and C. diff. Using UV light technology in hotel rooms and other spaces can irradicate pathogens on surfaces including drapes, carpets, rugs, and bedding as well as irradiating the air inside the room.

New UV Disinfection Light Technologies to Watch For

Today, there is a growing number of powerful and effective UV disinfection solutions that hotels can bring to their operations as a way to earn back their guest's confidence and peace of mind in staying at hotel properties. As we look to the future, there are a number of new technologies on the horizon that will continue to advance the use of UV light disinfection for the benefit of not just the hospitality industry but many other industries as well.

Whether it's new hotel development or remodeling or retrofitting existing properties to provide a higher level of guest safety and operational preparedness, these new technologies are right around the corner and can create seamless, 360° disinfection solutions.

Far UV-C

A topic of great interest and conversation, the era for far UV-C innovation is just beginning as manufacturers and industries discover the potential of this technology. It's common knowledge that conventional germicidal UVC light, (254 nm wavelength) can disinfect spaces, on surfaces and the air, but the room must be completely empty of people or pets in order to avoid potential harmful effects of direct UV light to skin and eyes.

Far UV-C, at 222 nm wavelength, cannot penetrate the outer skin layer or the tear layer of the eye, so it doesn't pose any safety concerns for people in the room while disinfection is occurring. As it can't reach and then damage living cells in people or pets, UV disinfection can occur whenever the need arises, anytime, anyplace and anywhere. There is currently a lot of development, energy and resources devoted to this new technology, most recently because a major university has concluded that far UV-C can, in fact, irradicate SARS CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. The impact of far UV-C on the hotel industry could be huge and go a long way in allowing all hotels the chance to continually disinfect as well as protect against any future potential infections.

Integrated Ambient/UV Light Fixtures

Another approaching technology is the ability to create lighting fixtures that merge both traditional ambient lighting with UV disinfection lighting. This would allow installation of lighting fixtures in hotel rooms, bathrooms, meeting and event spaces, spas and more, where disinfection could occur seamlessly, and integrated into pre-programmed building controls and IoT platforms. So, for example, when guests check out of a room, the ambient/UV light fixtures could automatically run their disinfection cycle and room turnover could happen that much quicker.

UV-LED

Today's LED lighting products do emit extremely small amounts of light in the UV spectrum, but at levels that provide no real disinfection effect. However, UV-LED technology has seen a lot of attention in the past few years, as interest in environmentally friendly UV light production has increased. Current products available can deliver UV light throughout the UV-A, B and C wavelengths, though it's still a number of years away from being a practical and cost-efficient way to bring UV disinfection to the hotel and other industries.

The Future Will See Innovation and Limitless Possibilities

For the hotel industry, and indeed from categories ranging from healthcare and sports facilities to restaurants and schools, the real future is being written right now. The worldwide pandemic itself has caused the adoption of UV disinfection technologies, and the search for new innovations, to accelerate by 5 to 10 years. Indeed, 8 months ago, most hotel GM's, executives and owners might not have ever heard of UV light disinfection, let alone considered it. Now, the market for this technology is growing quickly as hospitality companies search for methods to keep their guests and staff safe.

Designing Hotels for Tomorrow

While the lessons of a near-total shutdown for the hotel industry will be indelible and lasting, certainly tourism, travel and hospitality will, at some point, make a full recovery. The need for business travel, along with the age-old desire to explore and experience new things will bring travel back to life. But the memories of the pandemic, altered consumer behavior, and a heightened sense of awareness and caution will drive the hotel industry to build in that extra level of safety, cleanliness and preparedness for all guests in the future.

In fact, there's indication today that travelers will be asking for, perhaps even demanding, a higher level of hotel cleanliness than ever before. Today, UV disinfection lighting technology can play a big part in winning back travelers to a hotel and hotel brand. And, in the future, building in the layer of preparedness for any new pathogen or infection, can help to safeguard hotel properties from losing revenue, profits and reputation in the blink of an eye.

As new hotel projects are being considered, or remodeling is being done, specifying UV disinfection products are a great way to stay operationally strong and most importantly, resilient well into the future.

Mr. Stern Brian Stern is the CEO and Co-Founder of both PURO UV Disinfection Lighting After receiving his BS in Business Administration from the University of Denver, Daniels College of Business, Mr. Stern founded, along with partner Webb Lawrence, LED Supply Co., LLC, a wholesale distributor of LED lighting products with a focus on sustainability and energy efficiency. In early 2019, Mr. Stern added to his lighting company portfolio by co-founding PURO UV Disinfection Lighting, with the initial mission of protecting people's health and promoting wellness with next-generation UV light technologies, powered by Violet Defense. Today, he is CEO of an extraordinarily-fast growing enterprise at the very center of helping to keep people safe and infection-free during an international pandemic. Mr. Stern can be contacted at 877-452-8785 or bstern@purolighting.com Please visit http://www.purolighting,com for more information. Extended Biography

HotelExecutive retains the copyright to the articles published in the Hotel Business Review. Articles cannot be republished without prior written consent by HotelExecutive.

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Payment for the services provided to you in, at, through or in association with HotelExecutive may be made by automatic credit card, debit card, direct debit, bankwire or Paypal and other approved payment means offered in, at, through or in association with HotelExecutive, and you hereby authorize HotelExecutive and its agents to transact such payments on your behalf.

You hereby authorize HotelExecutive's Internet Payment Service Provider to charge your credit card to pay for your membership to HotelExecutive. You further authorize HotelExecutive's Internet Payment Service Provider to charge your credit card for any and all purchases of products, services in association with HotelExecutive. You agree to be personally liable for all charges incurred by you in association with your access or other use of any content provided by HotelExecutive or any third party in association with HotelExecutive. You acknowledge and agree that your liability for all such charges shall continue after termination of your access or any type of membership arrangement with HotelExecutive.

In the event that you have chosen to have your membership automatically rebilled, unless and until you notify HotelExecutive that you wish to cancel or terminate your membership to HotelExecutive, you hereby agree and authorize HotelExecutive's Internet Payment Service Provider to automatically renew your membership to HotelExecutive on a continuing basis and to charge your credit card (or other payment means you have selected) to pay for the ongoing cost of your membership. You hereby further authorize HotelExecutive's Internet Payment Service Provider to charge your credit card (or other approved payment means you have selected) for any and all purchases of products, services and entertainment provided to in, at, through or in association with HotelExecutive.

13. PRIVACY POLICY

The following is the Privacy Policy for HotelExecutive

We can be reached via telephone, email, or online at our contact page. When you visit our site we do not log any information regarding your domain or email address. Information Sharing: We do not share user information with any third parties other than via press release distribution as described below.

Hotel Newswire is a newswire service that distributes press releases on behalf of our users. If you decide to submit a press release for distribution through our system we will transmit your entire press release including any personal information therein contained to our media contacts and online distribution points including search engines. This is the only redistribution of your information that we engage in. Your submission of press releases through our system indicates consent with this policy. The information we collect during your registration process is used to notify users about updates to our service and inform users of any special events hosted by Hotel Newswire. This information is not shared with other organizations for commercial or non-commercial purposes.

Cookies: Our system requires the use of cookies to enable the user to log back into our website to access information from the newswire, without having to log in each time using the required username and password.

If you do not want to receive email from us in the future, please let us know by following instructions included in our communication with you. Users who supply us with telephone numbers online may receive telephone contact from us regarding their account, or informing them of new products and services available on the HotelExecutive website. If you do not wish to receive such telephone calls, please edit your account and remove your phone number from your account profile. This can be done from your user account menu.

Ad Servers: We do not partner with or have any relationship with any ad server companies. From time to time, we may use customer information for new uses not previously disclosed in our privacy notice. If our information practices change at any time, we will post the policy changes to our website to notify you of these changes and provide you with the ability to opt out of these new uses. If you are concerned about how your information is used, you should check back at our website periodically.

Upon request we provide site visitors with access to all information (including proprietary information) that we maintain about them. Users can access this information by logging in to their account.

Security: We always use industry-standard encryption technologies while transferring and receiving user data exchanged with our site. We have appropriate security measures in place in our physical facilities to protect against the loss, misuse, or alteration of information that we have collected from you on our site. We do not store credit card information in our systems.

If you feel that this site is not following its stated information policy, you may contact us.

Ted Horner
Lawrence Adams
David Harouche
Hicham Jaddoud
Sara-Ann Kasner
Jeremy McCarthy
Nancy Loman Scanlon, Ph.D.
Sheetal Singh
Coming up in December 2020...

Hotel Law: Protecting Guest Privacy

Every business is obligated to protect their customers from identity theft but unfortunately, data breaches have become all too common. In an effort to protect a guest's right to privacy and to safeguard their personal data, the European Union passed a General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that could hold hotels legally liable for any breaches that expose a customer's sensitive personal information. Though the GDPR only pertains to EU citizens' data, any international business that mishandles their data can be legally responsible. Another legal issue of concern is the fight involving hotel "resort fees." Several states attorney generals have recently filed suit against two major hotel chains in an effort to litigate this practice. Their suit alleges that these companies are "engaged in deceptive and misleading pricing practices and their failure to disclose fees is in violation of consumer protection laws." The suit seeks to force the hotel chains to advertise the true price of their hotel rooms. There are several other legal issues that the industry is being forced to address. Sexual harassment prevention in the workplace is still top of mind for hotel employers-particularly in New York and California, which now statutorily require harassment training. Hotels and motels in California will also soon be required to train all their employees on human trafficking awareness. Immigration issues are also of major concern to hotel employers, especially in the midst of a severe labor shortage. The government is issuing fewer H2B visas for low-skilled workers, as well as J-1 visas for temporary workers. Though there is little hope for any comprehensive immigration reform, hotel lobbying groups are actively seeking legal remedies to alleviate this problem. These are just a few of the critical issues that the December issue of the Hotel Business Review will examine in the area of hotel law.