Hotels with good IAQ in demand post covid

I Sun Jul 11 2021

Varun Pahwa, President, Desiccant Rotors International | ET Hospitality World | July 11, 2021

According to the World Health Organization, indoor air is often more seriously polluted than outdoor air. When it comes to the hospitality industry, maintaining good Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) is important for the hotel environment for many reasons, some of which are potentially significant for the property’s growth. With COVID-19, wildfires and overall poor air quality, there has been a pent up demand for the hotel industry to provide options for rooms with better filtration and purification. Clean air automatically leads to higher levels of well-being allowing travellers to feel more energized during and after their vacation.

We spoke to Varun Pahwa, President of Desiccant Rotors International Pvt. Ltd. (DRI) to know the importance of a good HVAC system in the hotels and how his company is aiding the demand.

ETHospitalityWorld (ETHW): What are the green products used in the HVAC industry, their importance and their accessibility for the hospitality sector?

Varun Pahwa: The primary focus of any green building is to reduce the energy consumption of the building. HVAC systems have the largest consumption of electricity in the building. To reduce the energy consumption of the HVAC system. In the hospitality industry, the entire focus is on guest’s comfort and well-being. To strike the right balance between comfort and energy savings, a wide range of green products are available. These could be high efficient chillers, providing variable frequency drives on motors, high efficient fans etc. Apart from energy consumption, the second most important parameter of green building is Indoor Air Quality. DRI specializes in various systems that maintain the good indoor air quality in the hospitality sector. These include Energy recovery systems for ventilating the conditioned spaces without compromising on air conditioning load. DRI Energy Recovery systems are focused on Enthalpy Wheels based systems. Our FlexAir range of ERVs and TFAs incorporate Enthalpy Wheels for Energy Recovery. In the hospitality industry, maintaining proper relative humidity (RH) is important to prevent any growth of mold, mildew, which causes foul smell in guest rooms. DRI provides systems that maintain proper RH in the hospitality sector to prevent this problem. These systems help in reducing the operating costs of HVAC systems & maintain good indoor air quality. DRI is an Indian company & all its products are made in India. Accessibility of these systems is not an issue.

ETHW: Ways to Conserve Energy, Lower Costs and Increase Productivity through Arctic Coolers in Hotels?

Varun Pahwa: While the hospitality industry for starred hotels is well organized, there is a large number of hotels in mid-size or B class towns which cannot afford air conditioned systems because of the initial cost as well as the running cost. For them, air cooling is the best solution. ARCTIC coolers are designed with high efficient evaporative cooling pads to provide comfort to the guests. Hybrid HVAC systems which use Eco friendly technology like evaporative cooling along with air conditioning are also being applied in hospitality industries in areas like kitchen, laundry etc. Arctic Innovative Evaporative Cooling system is an environment friendly solution, which offers a completely natural way of delivering refreshing and cool air. Arctic coolers are trusted cooling solution providers for industries and commercial applications.

ETHW: Tell us the ways of adaptation of Green Building Solutions by architects for hotels?

Varun Pahwa: The hotel industry has been moving towards green designs, Environmentally-friendly construction practices shifted focus on conserving resources, water, energy and started to overall help and contribute to saving the environment. The importance and need to conserve has become evident due to the current situation in the world. Architects designing hotels are being forced to consider the green building concept, everything from designing, construction, operations to the demolition of the building. Providing a better and healthier environment is also one thing that tops the list in a green building, along with the LEED green building rating system.

Some considerations that help the architects in hotels are sustainable site planning, solar orientation, storm water management, high-efficiency HVAC system, green supply materials, waste reduction and management, use of recycled materials, etc.

ETHW: How can bad indoor air quality affect hotels?

Varun Pahwa: Indoor air quality in hotels has been a huge concern, especially in a post-Covid scenario as restrictions move towards relaxation. Even before the pandemic, in the hospitality sector, the experience and comfort of the customer has always been key. If the indoor air quality is not maintained, it will not only affect the staff but also the guests. Foul smells are common in hotel rooms.

Bad indoor air quality can lead to multiple issues including affecting both employees and customers, which can have a negative impact on a hotel’s reputation. The safety of guests is a serious responsibility. Bad air can cause many issues including breathing problems, lethargy and other long-term illnesses. Even for the hotel staff, if the air quality is not good, apart from health issues of working in such a space, their productivity will also decrease massively. However, with advanced systems in place and efficient air purifying systems, maintaining good indoor air quality, even in large spaces is possible.

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