and Related Guest & Employee Health Liabilities
Through Onity’s Energy Management Systems
ATLANTA — APRIL 8, 2003 — Make no mistake: Mold and mildew damage in hotels and resorts is a far-reaching industry issue that is literally growing as you read this.
Unlike the swath of a typical tornado that touches down for a few minutes
and wreaks havoc on a select few, mold spores continuously eat away at
property assets across the globe — to the tune of tens of thousands of
dollars per year per affected property, according to Greg Plank, former
president of Suburban Lodges of America and current president of Atlanta-based
Worldwide Travel Marketing Inc.
“There’s a costly common misconception that mold and mildew damage really only is an issue for homes and commercial buildings in California, Texas, Louisiana and Florida,” Plank said. “While certain states and hot-spot destinations are particularly susceptible, repeated incidents have proven that all properties are open to mold and mildew damage and related guest/employee health issues — from the West Coast to the East Coast. Frankly, any property with a bathroom, vinyl covered walls, any moisture accumulation and no dual temperature/humidity guestroom control system is vulnerable, if not already a victim of mold and mildew.”
In the past 12 to 18 months, hotels from Hawaii to New England have reported major mold problems, with many losing roomnights and loyal guests as well as spending tens of thousands of dollars in necessary mold remediation and related demolition and renovation.
According to James W. Kimbrough, Doctor of Mycology in the Plant Department of the University of Florida, many hotels are not built to prevent mold and mildew. The biggest issue in hotels and resorts today is that the paint over interior drywall traps moisture, creating a perfect growth environment for mold, he said. Vinyl-covered walls, required by most brand standards, are even worse. The cellulose backing of the drywall, along with the mucilage (organic) glues of wallpaper, are favorite nutrients of fungus. When the AC is on, the vinyl wall covering gets cold and blocks condensation on its underside — allowing moisture to accumulate and mold spores to germinate with their food supply right on site.
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency: Molds can be found almost anywhere. They can grow on virtually any organic substance, as long as moisture and oxygen are present. There are molds that can grow on wood, paper, carpet, foods, and insulation. When excessive moisture accumulates in buildings or on building materials, mold growth often will occur, particularly if the moisture problem remains undiscovered or unaddressed.
Enter the “no-growth” zone
Onity’s SensorStat® DDC (Direct Digital Control) thermostats offer a patented option to maintain room temperature and humidity outside the mold-spore growth range. This saves properties tens of thousands of dollars every year in asset protection — while reducing related energy costs.
A truly smart guestroom EMS, the SensorStat® DDC stands alone in its ability to provide energy savings and relative humidity sensing and control, said Larry Gomez, vice president of sales for Onity’s EMS solutions. Gomez said the SensorStat® DDC is designed to utilize the existing room air conditioner to its maximum potential for the removal of moisture from the air, while providing significant energy savings when rooms are unoccupied.
“Scientists at the University of Florida, Gainesville, have defined the psychometric zone most favorable to the growth of mold and mildew as being above 72 degrees Fahrenheit and above 60 percent relative humidity,” Gomez said. “The psychometric control algorithm of the SensorStat® DDC is designed to maintain a room environment that is outside the mold and mildew growth zone. While mold and mold spores cannot be entirely eliminated from indoor environments, their growth can certainly be halted through proactive, preprogrammed moisture control systems.”
He said just like the temperature controls on our EMS solutions, the humidity control modules are transparent to the guest.
“We have worked hard to design dual temperature/humidity smart guestroom control systems that save hotel owners and operators significant monies, headaches and risk — with zero trade-offs on the guest service end because our setback overrides are based on state-of-the-art occupancy sensors and proven algorithms,” Gomez said.
Buck Raines, director of facilities at the 357-room Four Seasons Resort & Club in Las Colinas Texas, said the property addressed a potential mold issue in 1997 by installing Onity’s SensorStat® DDC. He said the SensorStat® DDC is not only reactive, but proactive by preventing mold and mildew from occurring in the future.
“SensorStat® DDC literally is a lifesaver,” Raines said. “Mold and mildew damage is an issue that is spreading like wildfire across the globe. Guest and employee liability is the biggest area of concern: Drywall and room inventory can be recovered, but the health of our guests and employees cannot — and a multi-million dollar settlement against a property won’t help the moral or bottom line much. My advice for the tens of thousands of hotels that have not yet corrected their growing mold and mildew issues: Take action TODAY or be prepared to pay BIG later!”
For a free copy of Onity’s “White Paper On Black Mold and Moisture Control,” send your request to [email protected]. For more information on Onity’s EMS solutions, their features and proven ROI, please contact: Larry Gomez, at +1-561-775-9889, Ext. 217, [email protected]; Laura R. Acuña, at +1-770-582-8103, [email protected]; or visit www.onity.biz.
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|Also See:||Loews Hotels Installs Onity’s SensorStat® DDC II Energy Management System at the Luxurious 790-room Loews Miami Beach Hotel / March 2003|
|$90 Million Hilton Sao Paulo Morumbi Reaps Rewards of Onity’s Senercomm Solutions / Feb 2003|
|Cunard Line’s $800 million Queen Mary 2 to Set Sail with Onity / January 2003|
|Accor Soars Higher by Selecting Onity as a Preferred Supplier of Guestroom Safes Worldwide / Dec 2002|
|Onity’s SensorStat® Energy Management Systems Save Larger Hotels Hundreds of Thousands of Dollars Every Year / Oct 2002|
|New Brand Onity Promises Ultimate Unity of Service Integrity and Intelligent Facility Management / Oct 2002|