Showcase Project: Super 8 Ukiah Hotel
Annual Energy Use
Annual Energy Cost
The Super 8 Ukiah is in Mendocino County in northwestern California, a county known for its wineries and farms with organic and sustainable practices. The Super 8 is the only sustainability-certified hotel in the city of Ukiah. The pet-friendly hotel has 56 guestrooms across two buildings with an outdoor saltwater pool and hot tub. All laundry is done onsite.More
This franchised property has been a leader in adopting sustainable practices and the owner participates on the Wyndham Hotel Group Green Advisory Board and the Super 8 Franchise Advisory Council, and is an ENERGY STAR partner. Sustainability is priority for the hotel owner because it reduces hotel operational costs, improves guest comfort, and positively differentiates the hotel from other similar hotels. Wyndham Hotel Group supports its franchisees in pursuing sustainable practices through the Wyndham Green program, which was initiated to encompass the Company’s global commitment to corporate social responsibility and the environment. The program’s goals include helping participating Super 8 hotels to:
- Lower operating costs by reducing hotels’ energy, water, and waste; and
- Improve guest satisfaction through green certification and recognition.
The owner acquired the Super 8 Ukiah in September 2005 and has since incorporated the following energy efficiency and water efficiency measures:
- Replaced the buildings’ metal halide exterior lighting with 40/80 Watt induction bulbs in January 2006, taking advantage of a 60 percent rebate from the utility company, and then upgraded those lights to LEDs in 2016.
- Upgraded main occupant areas, bathrooms, and lobby lights to CFLs in May 2006.
- Installed occupancy sensors for light systems in common areas and back of the house.
- Installed programmable timers on all exterior lighting.
- Replaced all windows with double-paned low E windows to minimize solar heat gain in the summer and hold in heat in the winter in 2006.
- Upgraded 60 door frames, including weather stripping, to improve insulation of the hotel starting in March 2011. An additional benefit to this work was quieter guestrooms for the guests as the volume of outdoor noise was significantly decreased.
- Installed water-efficient faucets, toilets, and showerheads.
- Installed new, more efficient packaged terminal air conditioner (PTAC) units starting in March 2011. The new PTAC units in guestrooms have built-in minimum and maximum temperature settings. Preventive maintenance of the PTAC units ensures they are operating at the highest efficiency.
- Replacements are made with ENERGY STAR certified appliances and equipment whenever possible, including TVs, mini fridges, lighting, ice machines, printers, and laundry equipment.
- Implemented a linen and towel reuse program for guests staying more than one night.
- Installed rooftop 48.5 kW solar system in 2015 and 2016 that supplies 60 percent of the electric power and 100 percent of the hotel’s hot water production for the guestrooms and the hot tub.
- Divert an average of 870 gallons per day of gray water (non-potable, re-used water) from the sewer to irrigation, allowing the hotel to irrigate 100 percent of its landscaping with gray water.
- Installed water-efficient faucets and toilets in common areas.
- Installed Electrolux Professional washers with Smart Dosing (automatically ensures the proper amount of laundry chemicals are added to match the load size) and Automatic Water Savings system which provides the correct amount of water based the load size. These upgrades have led to 20-25 percent savings in laundry energy and water consumption, faster cycle times to free housekeeping staff for other tasks, and improved guest reviews of towels and linens.
- Uses an ozone laundry system to cut the number of cycles in half by eliminating the need for pre-wash, bleach, and fabric softeners. In addition, average drying time is 20-30 percent shorter due to the use of the ozone, which results in dryer clothes at the end of the washer cycle.
To encourage low-emission vehicles, the Super 8 Ukiah installed the first electric vehicle charging station for hotel guests in Ukiah/Mendocino County, and later installed the first Destination Tesla Charger, making the Super 8 Ukiah the first hotel to install a Destination Tesla Charger worldwide. The hotel also provides preferred parking spaces for guests with hybrid or electric-only vehicles.
Recycling is available throughout the hotel as part of a larger waste management program that includes the recycling of old batteries, CFLs, and fluorescents. Additionally, many recyclable, organic, or bio-degradable products are sourced as part of a responsible procurement program. Green cleaning supplies from EcoLab are used in all guestrooms and common areas and the hotel participates in the Clean the World program, which recycles all partially used soap, shampoo, and conditioner from guestrooms toiletries. The waste management program has led to a 50 percent reduction in waste costs due to increased recycling and composting, diverting a significant amount of waste from the landfill.
Housekeepers follow several efficiency standards when cleaning guestrooms, such as:
- Separating out waste into three separate receptacles: solid waste, recycling, and cardboard products;
- Turning off the PTAC unit in unoccupied guestrooms or setting the PTAC unit back to 70 degrees in stayover rooms; and
- Turning off all lights and only using lights as necessary for cleaning.
Not only does the Ukiah Super 8 ownership implement sustainability initiatives, but staff are also encouraged to enact sustainable practices through weekly training for employees. The training materials include pictures with text in both English and Spanish to more clearly communicate expectations. Monthly check-ins with staff include a review of the previous month’s energy and water consumption, savings metrics that resonate with staff, and highlights of what went well or opportunities to improve. The manager conducts periodic internal audits of the property’s compliance with the sustainability measures.
The Super 8 Ukiah hotel clearly communicates its sustainability efforts to its guests on its website as well as at the hotel. Guests are encouraged to participate in green initiatives via signage posted throughout the property. As a result, many guests at the Super 8 Ukiah are more eco-conscious and at least 80 percent of guests are influenced by staying at a green hotel.
The property also participates in a “go local program” which sponsors local community programs. For example, Super 8 Ukiah offers free lodging to bands who perform in an annual community concert series “Sundays in the Park.”Less
With the ongoing implementation of energy efficiency measures, the ENERGY STAR score for the Super 8 Ukiah continued to improve. An ENERGY STAR score is between 1-100 with a higher score reflecting better energy performance. Hotels that score a 75 or above are eligible for ENERGY STAR certification annually and are at least 35 percent more efficient than the average hotel. The Super 8 Ukiah started at a score of 56 in 2006 and increased it to an 85 in 2011 to earn its first ENERGY STAR certification. The property subsequently earned ENERGY STAR certification each year from 2011 – 2016, most recently scoring 92. Additionally, the Super 8 Ukiah has earned 4 Keys from Green Key Global’s Green Key Eco-Rating Program, whose maximum rating is 5 Keys. The comprehensive Green Key assessment evaluates how well hotel properties are promoting green initiatives and implementing sustainable solutions across different departments.More
Super 8 Ukiah’s commitment to sustainability is even further solidified with recognition from the following awards:
- "Champion of Green" award from Wyndham Hotel Group
- Platinum certified by the Green Business Bureau in 2011
- GreenLeaders Platinum level certified by TripAdvisor
- “Certificate of Excellence” from TripAdvisor annually from 2011-2016 and “Hall of Fame” for earning the designation five years in a row
- “Pride of Super 8 & Spirit of Super 8" from Super 8 Worldwide, Inc.
- "Business of the Year Award" from Chamber of Commerce, Inc. in 2013
- Certified Green by State of California’s Green Lodging program
Learn more about why Super 8 Ukiah strives to be a sustainable hotel here: http://www.super8ukiah.com/green-hotel.htmlLess