For owners and construction companies building and renovating in the hospitality and hotel market, comfort becomes a huge priority within the facility. However, in addition to comfort for the clients, another big priority for owners these days is energy savings in these facilities. This is particularly true in older, historic hotels.

Hotel Felix,, Chicago, Ill., is the first hotel in Chicago that is designed to meet LEED Silver certification, offering comfort to the guests as well as environmental benefits. The 1926 building has been redeveloped using organic materials and renewable resources. The team also put a bit of technology in the hotel in order to improve energy efficiency.

To improve energy efficiency, Hotel Felix includes low energy-use lighting, heat pumps, a high-efficiency water waste reduction valve, and load controllers.

Specifically with regards to technology, the hotel has motion-sensored HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning), which offers a savings of $125 per unit or $30,000 a year. Motion sensors can be put in place during construction of a facility in order to give owners more energy savings throughout the life of a building. In this case, motion-sensored HVAC will save the owner quite a bit of money each year.

The hotel also has an energy-management system, and the director of engineering can log into a computer and control energy systems from anywhere with an Internet connection. Energy-management systems are becoming more common in all types of buildings.

According to a recent report from Pike Research, the BEMS (building-energy-management-systems) market could total $10.1 billion in the United States between 2010 and 2016, with a compound annual growth rate of 17.4%.

These systems allow owners to improve the experience and comfort for clients while also saving money and energy in the long run. Looking forward, these systems will likely become more common in all facilities from hotels to other large commercial buildings.

As you begin building your next commercial building, ask yourself ‘what role are energy-management systems playing in the overall design and construction of the facility?’