Westin Doha Hotel & Spa boasts 'green' facilities
James Shuford, director of Engineering, The Westin Doha Hotel & Spa, shares intimate details of the BMS and energy efficient technologies in play at new holiday destination
With its ribbon cutting ceremony a mere three months away, the Westin Doha Hotel & Spa is poised to become the next biggest five-star holiday destination in Qatar.
Ubeknown to the public, the hotel will be one of the most cost-efficient and ‘green’ facilities of its kind in the world.
The 365-room property boasts a built-up area of 92,232m2 on a plot space of 49,512m2. Despite having a full spa, three restaurants and a club, coffee lounge, two pools and a wave machine, the Westin Doha is expected to keep its utilities in the ‘green’.
Integrated with the hotel’s property management system, which is based on Micros’ Opera, the Westin Doha’s building management system (BMS) was originally deployed by the site’s previous owner, Regent Hotel.
Instead of replacing the system when Westin brand’s owner Starwood Hotels and Resorts took over, the operator repurposed the system for its own use.
“Our guest room management system (GRMS) and BMS are completely automated and we’re energy efficient. We’ve given a lot of consideration to energy and water management,” explains James Shuford, director of engineering, The Westin Doha Hotel and Spa.
“What we have is just over $246.9mn (QAR 900mn), for the contractor and construction costs,” adds Shuford.
Adhering to both ASHRAE and IESNA standards, Westin Doha’s BMS oversees the facility’s Honeywell HVAC plant and pump. The system comprises nine air-cooled chillers with approximately 900 tonnes of cooling capacity, designed with a thermal modelling concept in mind.
For the ‘house areas’, the system utilises variable air volume (VAV) to manage the climate of the open space.
“We have air handlers spread throughout the building that feed into different zones. There is a control box in the duct works. So what it does is modulate the air, based on temperature requirements,” explains Shuford.
“All the VAV and air handlers are controlled through the front-end computer. Essentially we programme it with set points and monitor it. If the area needs adjusting, we use the computer to adjust it manually.”
While the hotel’s BMS manages the public spaces, a wholly different system is in play in the guest rooms. Designed and manufactured by UK-based VDA, each room in the Westin Doha comes equipped with an all-digital GRMS.
When unoccupied, temperature control is handled through the hotel’s BMS, but when a guest checks in, full-control is handed over to the GRMS.
Furthering its cause towards curbing energy consumption, Westin Doha has deployed energy efficient motors throughout its infrastructure, as well as installing an LED-based lighting systems.
Since first arriving on the project, Shuford replaced over 2,000 halogen bulbs deployed in the hotel’s corridors with LED models.
“One of the things we’ve done is to try to utilise LED lighting to save power. We are also recycling the water, though we do not recycle the sewage water…all the grey water is recycled into the landscaping, because we have large green areas,” explains Shuford.
Each room comes equipped with a grey water system. As part of the overall plan towards sustainability, the grey water systems collect waste water from the water basins, lavatories and tubs. The water is then treated at the onsite grey water plant and repurposed for the hotel’s irrigation system, flushing WCs and surrounding landscapes.
While the BMS can oversee and address any critical issues that arise across the public areas of the hotel, the director of engineering asserts that it is difficult to predict and manage guest consumption.
Although there are technologies that can be deployed to limit consumption, Shuford asserts that the focus remains on deploying energy efficient technologies within the public spaces.
“You could install water-saving devices on the taps and the showerheads. This basically reduces the flow to a set standard, but for the guests, it can be tricky,” warns Shuford.
Outside of managing the hotel’s lighting controls and HVAC, Westin Hotel’s BMS interfaces with the site’s 740-camera IP-CCTV network and fire alarm systems, which are interconnected on a single IP-based network. In theory, this could enable the hotel’s operator to remotely access the management of the facility.
In addition to the main control centre, the site also houses security and fire command centres. The latter maintains full coverage of the facility’s entire network of smoke detectors and alarms. In case of emergency, plans have already been laid out with muster points, as well as a monthly training schedule.
Based in the residential neighbourhood of Bin Mahmoud, The Westin Doha Hotel and Spa is set to open on 1 October 2015.