Poor indoor air quality detracts from guest experience. Shortened bookings or outright cancellations are common at luxury hotels in many cities when air quality gets worse.
An almost empty hotel lobby during the pollution season. A common sight at luxury hotels when air quality drops.
In response, a number of 5-star hotels in Delhi, Mumbai, Shanghai, Beijing, and other major metros have recently installed extensive air filtration systems across their property, often to the tune of millions of dollars.
Clean air and cleanliness: The newest must haves post COVID-19
In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, where poor air quality has been linked to increasing severity of COVID-19 infection, clean air becomes an even greater concern.
Several luxury hotels contacted Devic Earth looking for an effective solution to provide clean air across their entire property. High priority areas include the hotel lobby, F&B, conference halls, and guest rooms.
Of concern was the lobby area, where entrance doors open and close hundreds of times per day. This brings polluted air from outside – including fumes from vehicles dropping off and picking up guests – straight into the main lobby.
Two Pure Skies units were installed in a premium luxury hotel in Delhi, one each in the hotel lobby and in the main ground floor restaurant.
The system was configured to handle particulate pollutants (PM10 and PM2.5), common pollutant gases, and certain VOCs (e.g. paint fumes).
To prevent polluted air from entering the main lobby through the lobby doors, one Pure Skies extender unit - just the size of a shoe box - was placed in a discrete location just outside these doors to clean the air in this area.
Figure 1: A Pure Skies 3000 unit installed in an out of sight area of the main dining area. Installation is plug and play. A third party air quality monitor (not shown) was installed in a discrete location to measure indoor air quality and provide real time data to optimize the AI capabilities of Pure Skies.
To quantify the air pollution levels and understand trends at the hotel, air quality monitoring was performed for a period of 7-days (baseline period) prior to Pure Skies being powered on, then continuously thereafter.
The pollutant levels were monitored using a third-party air quality monitor (Airveda Pvt Ltd, Gurgaon) at each location to help the customer understand the efficacy of Pure Skies, as well as to provide real time data for optimizing the smart technology in each Pure Skies unit.
All equipment – both the Pure Skies base stations, the extender just outside the lobby entrance, and the air quality monitors – were placed in discrete locations to avoid disturbing the guest experience.
It took just a few hours to complete the installation, covering an area of 15,000 sq. ft. Equipment was plugged in, connected to the GSM network, and placed discretely out of guests' view.
Technical requirements included only routine power supply (ordinary 10A sockets) and just 2 sq. ft. of floor space each for the two base stations.
Devic Earth monitors the performance of each unit 24x7. Pure Skies' built-in smart technology allows each unit to understand air quality patterns at its location.
The hotel’s manager and engineering head were given secure logins to view their property’s air quality data on a convenient app.
An option was also given to connect the hotel's indoor air quality data to a smart screen so that guests could understand at a glance how much better air quality inside the hotel was compared to outside.
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Outcome with Pure Skies:
During the baseline, the 24-hour average levels of two types of particle pollutants - PM2.5 & PM10 - in the lobby were high: 86±15 μg/m3 & 138±24 μg/m3, respectively.
After Pure Skies was powered On, a steady improvement was observed in the air quality. At the end of the 7 weeks Pure Skies-On period, the levels of PM2.5 and PM10 were reduced by 74% & 70%, respectively (Figure 1).
Similarly, in the restaurant the 24-hour average baseline levels of PM2.5 & PM10 were similarly high, and were reduced by 64% & 58%, respectively after Pure Skies was turned On.
Figure 1: Average pollutant levels and % reduction at the luxury hotel lobby. The red and green bars are the Pure Skies-Off (7-days) and Pure Skies-On periods (7-weeks), respectively. The successive green bars depict the incremental decrease in the levels of the pollutants over 2-weeks intervals. Similar findings were seen in the hotel’s main ground floor restaurant. Ambient air pollution levels outside the hotel were stable during this period (Dec 2019-Feb 2020). Data source: 3rd party air quality monitor (Airveda Pvt. Ltd., Gurgaon), pre-calibrated against a reference grade monitor for accuracy.
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How much did Pure Skies cost?
This installation, which covered an area of more than 15,000 sq. ft. cost just 20% of the cap ex cost of ESPs, filters, or magnetic based HVAC air purifiers.
Op ex cost is even less, as there are no expensive filters to change or clean.
System uptime has been 100%. Operation is completely noiseless.
No retrofits were required for installation. We only ask for a reliable power supply.
Electricity consumption is a mere 100W total for the entire installation.
Pure Skies - Yes! Other steps to clean air:
In addition to the selection of the right air purification system, other steps hoteliers can take to improve indoor air quality include:
High-grade low VOC paints
Eco-friendly cleaning agents
Adequate ventilation rates
Proper engineering and regular maintenance of the HVAC system. This is a common problem area we see.
Control of humidity to check growth of mold
Vertical garden walls. Single plants are good for aesthetics but their foliage lacks the surface area needed to improve indoor air quality.
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Cost cutting with Pure Skies. Let's review the ROI of clean air.