In addition to regulating and facilitating the mobility of guests, elevators are one of the systems to analyze when thinking about saving energy.
by Richard Santa S.
Whether you are on a business trip or on vacation, when you arrive at the hotel you only have in mind to rest. One of the most important aspects for your comfort in the displacement to your room is the elevator.
For many, all elevators are the same: a drawer that goes up and down after giving you the order through a button located on a board next to the door and sometimes decorated with a mirror or a black cloth.
But that's not the case. Since 200 years ago, when the first prototype of a vertical transport system of people was known, the elevator industry has been constantly developing.
The latest advances aim to have elevators more responsible with the environment, through technology, materials and complemented with the internal processes of manufacturing, installation and maintenance in the company.
Experience in hotels
The hospitality industry has been able to take advantage of the new developments of elevators very well. One of the successful experiences is of the NH Hoteles chain, which together with the Zardoya Otis Group is implementing a sustainable elevator plan, with the first facilities in the hotels located in Madrid.
The Director of Environment and Engineering of NH Hoteles, Luis Ortega, explained that the eco-responsible elevators were born as a collaborative project in terms of sustainable innovation between NH Hoteles and Otis, in which the commitment to energy efficiency and the vision of both companies in terms of sustainability were united.
He added that "the difference is that the Otis Gen2 Comfort elevators incorporate an exclusive traction system that reduces energy consumption, reduces wear and achieves a quieter operation. If this system is combined with the ReGen drive device, energy savings of up to 75% are obtained compared to conventional elevators."
The main feature of this type of elevator is the use of flat belts instead of traditional traction cables. The belts require smaller pulleys, allowing elevators to be more efficient.
And the costs? The implementation of this equipment, according to Luis Ortega, has a very small cost thanks to the agreements between both companies. The value of the elevator is amortized in less than five years, while the useful life of the equipment exceeds 20 years.
"For this reason, and given the growth in electricity costs that is expected, this technology will be increasingly implemented in the future. With regard to maintenance costs, they are not increased compared to those of traditional elevators," said the Director of Environment and Engineering of NH Hoteles.
This model of efficient elevators implemented in NH Hoteles means an energy saving of 1,200 kWh / year compared to the traditional electric elevator, and a saving ofCO2 emissions of 1,200 kilograms per hotel per year, taking into account that each establishment of the chain has an average of four elevators.
The new technology allowed the hotel chain to decrease, along with other advanced sustainability programs, by 14% in energy consumption and 16% less inCO2 emissions by 2010.
Among the other programs are the installation of 4,057 square meters of solar panels in its different establishments, reaching 18% of the establishments in the chain that use renewable energies.
NH Hoteles' goal is to reduceCO2 emissions, energy consumption and water use by 20% by 2012.
In 2009, the firm Otis incorporated into the model of elevators installed in the chain's hotels in Madrid the regenerative device ReGen Drive, capable of producing energy for other electrical elements connected to the network of the building where the elevator is installed.
Thus, the elevators managed to provide an extra benefit by favoring the implementation of sustainable mobility in cities, because part of the energy produced by their movement can be reused for the recharging of electric vehicles at the points installed in NH Hoteles.
This situation was taken advantage of by the manufacturer, which incorporated the first electric vehicles in its elevator maintenance routes in the city of Madrid.
"Otis vehicles are recharged at the points that exist in a Madrid facility of NH Hoteles, so the elevator assistance service of our establishments in Madrid has become carbon neutral, that is, it avoidsCO2 emissions into the atmosphere," said Luis Ortega.
It is estimated that the vehicles that OTIS uses for the maintenance routes of the elevators can save the emission of 2,900 kilograms ofCO2 in the 25,000 kilometers of annual route traveled for the maintenance of the nh hoteles elevators.
This technology at the moment is only installed in Spain, but it is expected that little by little it can be incorporated into the rest of the hotels of the chain, which reaches 400 locations with 59,847 rooms in 25 countries in Europe, America and Africa. It also has 24 hotel projects under construction, which will involve 3,000 new rooms.
The eco-responsible elevator project is part of the NH Sostenible Club, the first club of suppliers in the hotel industry worldwide that develops sustainable and innovative projects for the purchasing area.
This Club was established in 2008 as an innovation and joint work workshop between NH hoteles and its suppliers with the aim of designing, developing and implementing processes and actions that allow the responsible and efficient use of available natural resources.