In 1960, when the Crowne Plaza Cabaña Palo Alto (CA) Hotel was first built, water conservation was not on the forefront of the minds of commercial building owners. As the population grows so does the demand for water, and conservation is now a critical issue. That demand manifests itself in the necessity to lower water usage in the restrooms of today’s modern hotels.
Coming to the crest of modern technology are infrared sensor-operated plumbing fixtures, not only for water savings but also for compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Currently, infrared technology is microprocessor-based, so it self-adjusts a sensor’s range depending on the environment. Sensors “sense” the presence or absence of users and react by turning on or off automatically. Not only does this technology reflect a high-tech image for the hotel, it is also touch-free and hygienic.
Hotel management chose Sloan Valve touch-free, sensor-operated faucets and flushometers for the hotel’s public restrooms because of these important features. All public buildings, such as hotels, must have at least one bathroom fixture that is fully accessible. Under the ADA, bathroom fixture products must be operated and located under specific parameters.
Installing sensor-operated faucets and flushometers is an effective and smart way of doing just that. According to conservation analysts, water usage by hotels/motels is on average 21,527 gallons per day. There are other various “smart” ways that can help hotel facility managers and owners save potentially up to 24 percent on average in water and money.
• Fix leaks. A toilet leak can use more than 50 gallons of water; dripping faucets or showerheads can waste up to 1,000 gallons per week.
• Showerheads, faucets, and toilets that must be replaced due to normal wear-and-tear should be replaced with low-volume self-cleaning and pressure-assisted models. Low-volume showerheads use only 2.5 gallons or less of water each minute, plus they are self-cleaning and closing.
• Replace faucets that use as much as 2.5 gallons per minute with those that are electronic and sensor-operated. Low-volume aerators can also be installed.
• Replace toilets with pressure-assisted toilets with a low-volume capacity of 1.6 gallons per flush. An average savings of 7 percent of a hotel’s total water use is possible.
• Consider using sensor-operated flushometers for hygienic, as well as water, savings and ADA compliance.
• Use retrofit kits with dual-filtered bypass to help screen impurities for long life.
“Smart” Water Saving Technology
• Electronic flushometers are devices that use an invisible beam of light to detect a user. Flushometers operate only on user demand and never forget to flush. Each electronic unit replaces buttons, levers, and handles to automatically save water; they also are handicapped accessible. There is no contact with any surface by users, which helps prevent the spread of disease.
• Electronic faucets are totally automatic devices that use electronics to deliver “no hands” operation. Electronic faucets are not only more hygienic but also save water through the use of “time out” settings and low-flow aerators. Smart electronics in plumbing fixtures provide the benefits of water savings, money savings, and ADA compliance, while complementing contemporary décor and classic styles.
• The hotel combines an elegant style with strong water conservation policies, providing the California ambience and convenience that hotel guest have come to expect.
Susan Kennedy is director of marketing for Sloan Valve Co. (www.sloanvalve.com), a leading manufacturer of plumbing fixtures based in Chicago.