Rodney Schauf

Rodney Schauf

Director of Engineering, Westin Seattle Hotel, Washington

Water Reclamation Project Yields Significant
Water and Energy Savings

The constant turnover of clientele in the hotel sector means that one of the largest resource demands is for water. Laundry is the major component of this demand, which also requires significant energy resources for use of hot water. At the Westin Seattle Hotel in Washington, Director of Engineering and BOC graduate Rodney Schauf helped tackle this issue with a project designed to recycle the laundry water through a filtration and sanitization system.

After installation, water usage for laundry was reduced by 70%. The hotel was already using an ozone cold water system for its laundry, for which estimates are that, generally, an ozone system can save around 30% on water and over 50% on the fuel costs to heat the water. There was a small increase to the electrical building load due to the installation of four 1.5 HP electric pumps used to get the water to and through the recycling system, but the trade off on this was minimal. In twelve months, the savings for water and sewer charges was $121,500, equal to an approximate 9.5 million gallon change, more than justifying the additional electrical charges of almost $3,000.

With the 70% recycle rate and a subsequent conservation grant of $68,000 from Seattle Public Utilities, the project cost of $170,000 has a payback period of just fourteen months. The subsidy was calculated by providing sub-metered stats for the laundry water supply for a twelve-month period. ROI for the project was eleven months. Once the readings were verified and the unit installed, Schauf and his staff provided tracking for a 90-day period. Again the readings were verified by the utility and a check was mailed to the hotel for the utility conservation grant. The successful results of the project were presented at the annual meeting for the Starwood Hotels & Resorts last year and interest ran high. Says Schauf, “I don’t know how long it will take to get it all in the works, but the use of the recycling equipment will definitely expand. In the last three weeks I have received inquires for recommendations from hotels across North America including Hawaii.”

Ever on the lookout for new energy-conservation projects, Schauf and his staff worked with Seattle City Light to replace all HID lighting in the hotel’s parking structure with T5 lights, reducing consumption while improving light levels, and received a $12,000 rebate on the $36,000 dollar lighting retrofit. They are also working on upgrading chiller controls and programming for greater building temperature control.

“BOC training is helpful because they are always current in new technology, stimulating creativity and getting people to think outside the box,” says Schauf.