gb&d: How has holistic design guided your creation of Green Leaf Inn’s energy-management system?
Fritz Kreiss: Through advancements in technology, today’s systems can integrate individual improvements, such as lighting retrofits, variable frequency drives, and HVAC systems, into one system through a holistic energy approach. A holistic energy management system (EMS) will turn the Green Leaf Inn into a power plant, earning income through demand response, a system that pays customers to reduce or curtail their energy usage at certain times of the day when the demand from everyone else is straining the electric grid. The holistic EMS can automate our demand response opportunity and interface with the curtailment specialist. As society’s need for energy continues to increase, demand response is being seen as a crucial component of a balanced power grid.
gb&d: What is especially unique about the Green Leaf Inn’s energy management system?
Kreiss: Hotels are very unique compared to residential or office buildings. Season, business versus consumer guest, conferences, and hotel location all factor into occupancy rates, which changes the equipment and the holistic control strategy. For the Green Leaf Inn, the first step is a system that can determine if a room is occupied or empty. If a room is vacant, the temperatures can be adjusted to use less energy since no one is in the room. There are multiple manufacturers of stand-alone systems that are perfect for retrofits to existing hotels. For the inn, however, we will have a more holistic system that connects what is happening in a room back to a central control that can manage the facility as a whole. Stand-alone systems for a room are done with occupancy sensors or the room key-card put into a slot to activate the room when someone is there. They can even be set up to de-energize TV sets, etc., so noncritical outlets cut the power when the guest leaves. The Green Leaf Inn will not only manage the guest rooms but also integrate the seven different energy systems to optimize energy generation to increase the least cost energy option.
Location Delavan, WI
Size 16,000 ft²
Completed Winter 2013/2014 (expected)
Program 19 suites with a conference meeting venue
Client Green Leaf Inn
Architect Anderson-Ashton Design Build
General Contractor Anderson-Ashton Design Build
MEP Engineers Matrix
gb&d: Your company, Alternative Utility Services (AUS), has played a role in the design of this EMS. What else does the company do?
Kreiss: AUS is a nationwide energy consulting company that includes energy procurement, energy efficiency, renewable energy, and cogeneration. We are a licensed broker and private aggregator for companies to procure their natural gas and electricity in deregulated markets and for demand response and RECs nationwide. We get suppliers to compete for our customer’s energy, thus driving down the costs and price. AUS is able to aggregate customer loads for demand response, which then allows them to negotiate the best options across the country. We can also develop a comprehensive energy strategy for buildings and hotels that includes energy reduction and energy commodity savings on natural gas and electricity in deregulated states.