Mouldy Hotel Experience Asia

You’re looking forward to that trip, you’ve booked a nice hotel, and you’re looking forward to that whole “hotel experience”, but in Asia, it can be an unpleasant experience.

Whether its Black, Purple or Pink, mould can cause a variety of ill health, different people suffer different symptoms, and some people are far more sensitive to mould than others.

Mouldy Hotel Experience Asia

In this hotel photo (above), it’s easy to spot the purple mould growing under the window, but just wiping the surface doesn’t stop growth or prevent its root cause. Moisture is the problem, the precursor for mould, don’t stop the moisture, you can never stop the mould.

Mould breeds more mould, the visible sign indicates you probably have mould spores airborne, ready to colonise the rest of the building.

Mouldy Hotel Experience AsiaOften, the hotel manager is completely unaware, until the world has already read it on trip advisor.

Kelcroft’s decades of experience, solve mould problems fast, with the benefit of an infra-red camera, the root cause can be identified and fixed, before the hotel reviews damage the business, saving both time and money in the process.

What Burberry could have done, instead of burning excess product

Burberry decided to burn bags and clothing to preserve their brand, that means they needed a fast disposal method to avoid giving away their old products cheaper than the store prices. If that’s not bad enough, it’s no revelation to fashion insiders reports are emerging, apparently, its standard practice across the whole industry.

Burberry was quick to reply to BBC report saying that “burning” complied with environmental regulations. Really? that’s their best response.

I am not a clothing expert, say they had used raw materials like silk, cotton or wool, there are gone, ashes lost forever along with the emissions and adding to the embodied energy already burnt in the supply chain, manufacturing and transporting products.

It is fair to say the global community swiftly commended Burberry’s unsustainable solution.

It’s profligate waste by a company that also claims to be responsible, their web page responsibility states:

“…we are driving new approaches to some of the most pressing problems faced by our industry, and leading by example to champion more sustainable resources.”

I could not find any explanation or carbon emissions resulting from burning approx. 28.6 million British Pounds of product last year. It’s simply irresponsible, not responsible, to burn clothes that could be recycled. Burberry even has an advisory committee reporting:

We admire the company’s commitment to broader communication with all external stakeholders, to openly discuss challenges and celebrate progress and innovation.

Innovation mentioned again! and just in case the backlash causes the webpage to mysteriously change I think it is worth copying the names of Burberry’s advisory committee here:

Mark Sumner, Lecturer in Sustainability, Retail & Fashion, University of Leeds, Sally Uren, Chief Executive, Forum for the Future, Kresse Wesling, Co-Founder, Elvis & Kresse, Rachel Wilshaw, Ethical Trade Manager, Oxfam GB

Perhaps, Burberry advisors were kept in the dark

Incineration vs Innovative

Burberry is not alone, I think it really demonstrates “Big Business Think” glossy brochures and corporate websites proclaim laudable values, social responsibility, partnerships, and innovation. However, when faced with real challenges, they sought the quick and dirty option, incineration creating a new set of unavoidable environmental impacts.

Should we be surprised? Other big businesses have been caught on the wrong side of the law, VW, and more recently Mercedes, were caught programming their vehicles to pass Government emission tests, the Japanese Steel giant Kobe faked test results, its an epidemic.

 

What Could Burberry Have Done?

Could Burberry followed a different path, there are always options instead of their dirty approach, Burberry should have sought advice, perhaps shredding cloth, for sale or donated to charity, the recycled material could be used for padded jackets, bedding/duvet fill might be good options, or perhaps recycling material into raw thread for reuse.

Another report I read mentioned that Burberry jumpers were burnt, so those cashmere or wool materials are already lost forever. I get that Burberry didn’t want free or nearly free Burberry jumpers in charity shops, equally I don’t believe in the 21st century that knitwear can’t be unpicked, and the wool recycled. Wool is a great natural thermal insulator, the material could have been processed into woolen thermal insulation batts for the construction industry.

Of course, that was far too difficult, brands today comprise media managers, not innovators, if they order too much, no problem, no need to think, they’ll burn it, just like last year. #sustainability #incineration #burberry

 

Green building certification what is it worth?

Green Building rating systems have to sell the benefits of certification before they can be physically realized because the developer needs to plan, construct, and sell the property.

Then, after the dust has settled, developers can judge if the promised added value was delivered. The WGBC has reported that a Hong Kong developer sold their BEAM Platiumn rated green building for 40% more than neighbouring properties of the same type, and 21% more than other buildings in the same district. A 40% premium, that is impressive. And the developer attributed the reason for the premium was the developments green building features incorporated to gain BEAM Platinum certification.

The message seems very clear, not only does Green Building reduce the environmental impact of the buildings, having a certified Green Building adds value, and its a financially positive decision.

retro commissioning by John A. Herbert

The principal is sound, if not the name. If you are old enough to remember the adverts for a crypton tune-up, you’ll understand the gist.

Due to mechanical wear and tear the engineering systems in our buildings inevitably need attention, and some twenty years ago, the phrase re-commissioning entered our vocabulary to brand the process of tuning the often forgotten ACMV systems.

But it is not really commissioning, not even close. Commissioning occurs after a new system is installed and those static systems are set into operation for the first time, complete with the countless startup and shutdown checklists.

Here in Hong Kong, T&C (Testing and Commissioning) is commonly used for starting new systems. To fix old buildings, the term “commissioning” is a misnomer in my view, it simply doesn’t apply to an existing system already operating.  Building tuning, my preferred term, is apter. We want to check and adjust, not start from scratch. For example, for the chilled water circuit, the point of re-commisisoning, as it is called, would be to check the flow rates and pressures satisfy the design intent, Because pumps and motors may have changed, the control valves need checking, what’s the value authority, etc. From experience, flow direction labels installed backward are confusing.

John A. Herbert energy expert

Indeed, a key target for undertaking re-commissioning is the same as an energy audit, to find cost saving opportunities and lower operating costs. Particularly for air conditioning systems, warmer weather over the last three years has caused increased energy costs, and the Observatory is predicting that this season will be another record.  Yet, some buildings are still operating today where the set points were checked at Practical Completion.

Yet, some buildings operating today have set points last checked at Practical Completion. Although buildings appear to be static, internally the mechanical and electricity systems need attention.

For advice regarding re-commissioning contact the experts today!

secret life of Variable Speed Drives by John A. Herbert

Following the success of the secret life of chillers, the secret life of Variable Speed Drives (VSD) might be equally important.
John Herbert hong kong energy efficiency expert

Variable Speed Drives (VSD), also known as Variable Frequency Drives (VFD) can replace motor starters and lower energy costs, but this graph above (real data) shows the motor speed remains pretty constant all day long.  Continue reading

Secret Life of Chillers by John A. Herbert

energy audit expert

Every energy audit is the same but different, the goal, searching for cost and energy savings is the same. whether its factory or office. And we follow the same published process, yet every energy audit guide attempts to detail how to identify those cost savings, and that is where the document evolves from its clinical, prescriptive list of requirements into vague generalizations because examining data, sometimes imperfect data, to find cost savings is more art than science. Continue reading

your life in the hands of the building owner by John A. Herbert

fire safety, fire survey, Hong Kong buildings

Considering Hong Kong’s maze of skyscrapers you might be surprised to learn that the Hong Kong fire department does not routinely check your building. After opening building fire safety, and your life, rests with the building owner. Once a year the building owner must engage a Registered Fire Services Contractor to check the fire fighting equipment, that is the theory.

Continue reading

No excuse to delay energy upgrades on HK Island by John A. Herbert

Funding Energy Upgrades

John Herbert - Green Building Seminar 2011
Cost is always the key issue for energy upgrading projects right? Yet dollar matched funding, upto HKD 200,000 is available for residential projects on Hong Kong Island. For example, for Incorporated Owners (IO) where the total cost of your energy saving project is for example HKD150,000, HKD 75,000 is refunded!

Kelcroft is a Qualified Service Provider (QSP) with practical expert advice to lower your costs, and energy consumption, call the experts today!

For commerical buildings you might be interested to view our Hong Kong Building Energy Consumption Mapping Project (beta) web page.

About the Author

John A. Herbert is a veteran energy expert with more than 30 years construction experience, educated in the United Kingdom he has been working across Asia for two decades for international and local companies. He is a Hong Kong Registered Energy Assessor (REA), and BEAM Professional.