The notion of engineering comes from the Latin root 'genius'. In the 17th century the French Marshal
Sebastien Le Prestre de Vauban (1633-1707) coined the expression 'military genius' to indicate
specifically 'the construction and maintenance of military buildings, fortifications and highways'. The
corresponding scientific discipline was named 'ingénierie', whence the English term 'engineering'. With
the further development of science and technology this original definition came to include all kinds of
applied technical disciplines, such as mechanical engineering, civil engineering, chemical engineering,
genetic engineering and so on. Today the term engineering indicates the study and execution of an
industrial project, including its technical, economic, ecological and social aspects and involving the
coordinated efforts of a multitude of specialists. The major objective of engineering is the optimization of
the means necessary to solve a given technical problem.
Hotels are basically buildings used by hotel owners and managers to offer hospitality to their clients.
The hospitality industry sells a bundle of services. Therefore, the key to success is client satisfaction.
This satisfaction depends to a great extent on the comfort a client is offered in a given hotel, and
comfort in its turn, depends to a large extent on the performance of technology.
Generally speaking, there are two kinds of comfort: physical and psychological. Both depend at least
partially, on technology.
Physical comfort Psychological comfort
Access to premises Safety
Room surface-area and volume Security
Heating, ventilating and air-conditioning Hygiene
Lighting both natural and artificial Privacy
Sanitary, electrical, kitchen equipment Soundproofing
Leisure and sport installation Safekeeping
State of repair (maintenance)
Safety: Minimizing physical plant risks and dangers through good design and sound
Security: Exits, sprinklers, emergency lights, hidden-camera security systems; modem, high
quality, computer linked key systems
Hygiene: Design and installation of easy to clean sanitary, dish washing, and laundry equipment;
cleaning machines; cleaning products
Privacy Door and window systems; design and installation of heavy duty curtain systems
Budapest Business School •Tourism & Hotel Management 1
Soundproofing: Sound insulation; double-glazed windows; vibration control at the source;
expansion joints; acoustic wall and ceiling claddings
Safekeeping: Room safe deposit boxes
The responsibilities of this department in a hotel have always been of great importance. The
engineering department has two distinct areas of responsibility:
The first is to provide the hotel on a day-to-day basis with utility services required for its proper
operation-electricity, hot water, steam, air conditioning, and other services. These costs are collectively
grouped under ―Heat, Light and Power‖.
The second, the engineering department is responsible for repairing and maintaining the equipment,
furniture, and fixtures in the hotel. These costs are collectively grouped in the profit-and-loss statement
under the heading of ―Repairs and Maintenance‖.
The above areas a bit differently detailed:
Protect the investment in the physical plant.
Control the maintenance costs.
Contribute as appropriate or necessary to overall guest satisfaction.
Contribute to the efficient operation of other departments.
Minimize the energy costs of the facility.
Minimize potential safety problems.
As lodging facilities have grown in physical size, they have also grown in their complexity of
their design, systems, and services. The physical plant s of simple roadside motels of the 1930s and
1940s required little more skill to maintain and operate than that needed by a homeowner. In contrast,
the today’s mega-hotels require especially degreed engineers and individuals with specialized skills.
A list of some of the systems found in most modern lodging establishments would include:
HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning)
Water (hot and cold)
Sewer (storm and sanitary)
Cable television, In-house movie, Music service,
On the engineering staff are the plumbers, carpenters, painters, electricians, and other technicians who
do this work. However, although in certain hotel all maintenance and repairs are carried out by the
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engineering staff; other hotels may find it more economical to use outsourcing contractors for many of
them. This is particularly significant in areas where the work is done periodically rather than on
continuing basis. For example, in a small hotel, there may not be enough work to employ a full-time
painter or painters, so an outside concern is hired when painting becomes necessary. Similarly,
specialized areas such as elevator repairs, and maintenance of sophisticated equipment, are often
handled this way. Proper maintenance and provision of hotel services have a significant effect on the
attitude of a guest toward the hotel. A lobby elevator, which has not been maintained properly, or
inadequate air-conditioning, poor heating etc. will result in immediate complaints. Therefore, the chief
engineer and his staff have an important role in satisfying the guests’ demands and thus helping to
maintain the profit level for the hotel. At the same time, the costs of the engineering department must be
properly monitored and controlled.
Job titles and descriptions within individual hotels vary, but the areas of responsibility and the
classifications of equipment and services do not.
Types of maintenance:
Routine maintenance activities are those which pertain to the general upkeep of the house and require
minimal training or skills, like: replacing burn-out bulbs, oiling doors, screwing in or out certain parts.
Preventive maintenance is much more directed and specific, has elements of inspection and decision
and is scheduled and recurs within a much longer time frame than most routine maintenance. These
activities are usually performed based on guidelines from equipment suppliers. These actions are
planned to prolong the life or minimize the breakdown of equipment, and consist of the following steps:
inspection, minor corrections, and work order initiation.
Scheduled maintenance attempts to meet known needs in an orderly and timely manner consistent with
overall needs and demand at the hotel. Some people would mix it with preventive maintenance;
however this is different, since they may remove certain item or items from serve for a time.
Emergency and breakdown maintenance are crisis oriented, costly and unpredictable. Emergency
maintenance is without a doubt an expensive maintenance service, since it requires a disruption of
scheduled activity and may result in a problem. These problems could be initiated by a guest, something
is in malfunction in the room, or an employee initiated, if not corrected will result in guest dissatisfaction.
Breakdown maintenance is generally the most expensive form of the maintenance, the equipment must
be repaired immediately or the operation will be shut down. E.g. ruptured water-heaters, failed motors,
broken window or doors
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Guestroom maintenance, as the guestroom is one of the most visible elements of the hotel experience,
it has a special meaning. The condition and proper operation of furniture, fixtures, and equipment, the
appearance of ceilings and walls (whether painted, plastered, or wallpapered), the condition of carpets
and floor coverings, and the cleanliness of the exteriors of the windows are all included in the
maintenance and repair of the guestrooms. (Attention to leeks from faucets and proper caulking of sinks
and tub control maintenance cost by stopping greater problems from occurring.
In order to effectively manage the maintenance function, it is necessary to keep records, use certain
management systems, and establish standards for the work to be done. Failure to establish correct
departmental operating procedures will result in the inability to perform work in a cost efficient and timely
manner. In addition, failure to document work performed, sources of parts, modifications made to
building systems, and so forth can result in future problems when ownership changes or the chief
engineer leaving the hotel.
Records concerning the building, the equipment, and the maintenance performed on both are a major
contributor to the effective management of the engineering department. The building plans are often
referred to in the years following construction as changes occur in the building’s physical layout, control
systems, electrical service, and other features. Ideally, these changes will be all noted on sets of the
building plans to maintain a constantly updated set of plans portraying the building as it actually exists.
Work orders are a key element of the engineering department operation. The document necessary
work and serve as means for all departments to communicate with engineering.
Preventive maintenance instructions can be thought of as form of work order. Rather than being
initiated by an individual as a result of a problem or need, however, they are issued as a regular part of
the building maintenance program.
Equipment data cards contain basic information about pieces of equipment. This information can
include technical data, manufacturer’s information, cost, special instructions, warranty information, and
references to other information as well. It is useful when we have to determine whether a repair is under
warranty or not.
Equipment history records are logs of the inspection and maintenance work performed on a given
piece of equipment. They may be separate items or may be incorporated into the equipment data card.
Virtually every piece of equipment purchased for a building will have some sort of an instruction and/or
repair manual shipped with the product. Many of these will contain troubleshooting data, schematics,
part numbers and ordering information.
Maintenance schedules are developed at the property using a number of information sources.
Equipment instruction and repair manuals, preventive maintenance instructions, climatic data and other
relevant factors are used to prepare a long-range maintenance schedule which attempts to plan
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property maintenance. It should be in coordination with staffing plans. Adequate provision for
breakdown or emergency maintenance should be taken to consider.
Engineering systems in Lodging Facilities
Major engineering systems include water and wastewater, electrical, lighting, food-service refrigeration,
and heating, ventilation and air-conditioning. The components of most (but not all) major systems can
be organized into four functional subgroups: sources, distribution systems, delivery or utilization
devices, and various elements of control and safety equipment.
The most important source of energy used in today’s hotel is electricity. Its principal uses are to provide
heat, light, and power. Although the size of the engineering staff will vary from hotel to hotel, most hotels
require the services of an in-house electrician. In fact, in certain areas, only an electrician is permitted to
do electrical work. At the extreme, this may even include the changing of a light bulb.
Sources of Electricity
Electrical energy is usually purchased from the local utility that provides electricity for the area. In certain
remote locations, such as an island, it may be generated by the hotel. As a result of the energy crisis,
the costs of electricity have been increasing rapidly, and so an important responsibility of the
engineering department is to monitor the actual electrical consumption.
In all areas of hotel engineering, safety requirements are of the utmost importance, and this is
particularly true in the electrical area. The engineering department must ensure that the safety devices
are in place and operating properly. This includes the grounding of appliances, the proper location of
control switches, and the insulation and maintenance of fuses and circuit breakers. The insulation of
wires and cables is also a vital factoring maintaining proper safety precautions.
Uses of Electricity
In all hotels, electrical energy is used for lighting. Lighting is at the present time provided by three
different types of lamps: incandescent, fluorescent, and vapour. The simplest form of incandescent lamp
is the ordinary light bulb, which consists of a filament contained a glass bulb filled with gas or vacuum.
Electricity flows through wires to the filament; the filament is resistant to the electricity, so it becomes hot
and glows, giving off heat and light. Fluorescent lamp consists of a glass tube containing low-pressure
mercury gas and coated on the inside with a special fluorescent coating. Electricity flows through
electrical wires into a filament cathode at each end of the lamp. When each filament cathode becomes
hot, it emits small particles that are attracted by the filament cathode at the other end of the lamp and
Budapest Business School •Tourism & Hotel Management 5
therefore flow through the tube. The glow from these particles passing through the tube and
subsequently returning provides the light. Vapour lamps are used principally for decoration rather than
for functional lighting. They are glass tubes filled with neon or helium, or a mixture of both, sometimes
Electric motors using either alternate or direct current find certain uses in hotels. In particular, DC
motors are used in connection with the operating of the elevators. They require constant maintenance,
Hotels are required to maintain emergency electrical systems to cover minimum lighting requirements,
the operation of the elevators, and possibly other areas. Electricity for lighting and telephones can be
provided through a battery system. However, in large hotels, this is very costly. More commonly, the
emergency electricity is provided by an engine-generated system driven by a gasoline or diesel engine
that uses automatic switching in case the power goes off.
Disturbances on Electrical Power Systems
The hotel industry uses computers for different applications starting with reservations to security
purposes. The sensitivity of some of these applications requires attention to the impact of electrical
power system disturbances on computer operation. The various types of disturbances on electrical
power systems may originate both within and outside the building. Disturbances are characterized by
voltage aberrations and include sags, surges, voltage transients or impulses, low or high voltage, and
Sags are instances of short duration (usually a few cycles), when the voltage on the power line
decreases below the nominal level for one or more cycles.
Surges are instances of short duration (usually a few cycles) when the voltage on the power line
increases above the nominal level for one or more cycles.
Voltage transients or impulses are brief high frequency spikes appearing on the top of the 60-ccycle
wave. They are very brief in duration, existing for only a fraction of a cycle. Low or high voltage refers to
the situations when the voltage level is above or below the nominal level for an extended time, usually
for several minutes or hours. During power outages the electrical supply to the computer is terminated
due to the failure outside the property (transformer failure, etc.)
Each of the problems requires a somewhat different solution.
Dedicated lines: are electric lines supplied directly to the computer from the building transformer.
These lines shield out electrical noise (stray signals introduced into the electrical distribution system by
other equipment, usually of non-60-cycle frequencies, but sometimes high or low voltages as well.
Transient suppressors serve as line filters to suppress surges or spikes of voltage and/ or frequency
on the power line.
Shielded1 isolation transformers serve to isolate the computer from electrical noise produced within the
building or entering the building from outside.
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UPS- uninterruptible power supply: is a system which consists of a rectifier/charger, solid-state inverter,
battery bank, and other necessary equipment. UPS systems are capable of solving virtually all power
supply problems including outages. Different configurations of equipment exist which address various
Food Service Refrigeration
The primary objective of the system is to maintain the temperature of the cooled space at a specific
value by removing any heat energy that enters the space. The system is under the control of the
thermostat in the space. The system works by changing the state of its refrigerant from liquid to a gas
and then back to a liquid in a continuous cycle. There are four major components of the system: the
evaporator coil, the compressor, the condenser coil, and the expansion valve. As the liquid flows
through the coil, it evaporates and absorbs heat from the coil and surroundings. As the refrigerant exits
the coil, it is in the gaseous state at the same temperature and pressure. In the compressor, which is
driven by an electrical motor, the fluid remains a gas, but its pressure and temperature are substantially
increased. The fluid then passes into the condenser coil where it is exposed to a temperature that is
below its boiling point for the existing pressure. As the fluid is cooled, it condenses back into a high
pressure liquid at the same temperature and pressure and rejects heat to its surroundings.
Management’s interest in food service refrigeration systems is twofold. First the systems must be
selected for type and size and installed properly. Proper sizing of the equipment prevents the loss of
capacity during periods of extreme operating conditions. Proper installation includes considerations
such as adequate access for easy maintenance and the availability of the necessary utilities. The
primary concern is the reliability of the equipment. Unexpected failures can cause losses of valuable
inventory or guest dissatisfaction. In addition, maintaining the operating efficiency of the systems keeps
energy costs under control.
Just as an electrician is needed in the hotel on a daily basis, so also is there a need for a plumber.
Plumbing systems are designed not only to provide safe drinking water for the hotel guests, but also for
disposal of waste matter in a sanitary fashion. The proper plumbing, therefore, has a twofold
importance, the comfort of the guest and the maintenance of proper health precautions.
The water-supply system is monitored by the local health authorities so the requirements for potable
water may vary from location to location. Potable water is used for drinking, washing, laundering, and
cooking; but there are certain areas where water that is less safe biologically may be used, such as for
flushing purposes, for air-conditioning, and other cases where there is no direct human contact with the
Budapest Business School •Tourism & Hotel Management 7
Hot Water Cold Water
Human Use Human Use
Bathing, Cooking, Washing Bathing, Cooking, Drinking
Equipment Use Equipment Use
Kitchen, Laundry, Pool Kitchen, Laundry, Pool, HVAC,
Removal of Contaminants
Certain hotels still obtain their water from private wells, and it is in these locations that the greatest
danger exists. Water systems can be contaminated by both mineral and organic matter. Mineral
contaminants such as iron or manganese, as well as excess amount of oxygen and carbon dioxide in
the water, will result in physical damage to the plumbing system, in the form of rust or discolouring of
However, organic matter in water is a much more serious problem, in that it can create unpleasant
odours and possibly pollution. Mineral contamination can usually be corrected, either by adding certain
other minerals to the water to counteract the contaminants, or by some form of filtration. Organic matter
is removable only by very careful filtration.
A common form of mineral contaminants causes the problem known as the ―hard water‖. Water
hardness is caused by calcium and magnesium in the water supply. It results clogged pipes, stained
utensils, and ineffective laundering. It can be corrected in any of several ways; by water softening
(zeolite), or by addition of lime and soda ash, etc.
Humans can tolerate but small variations in pH. Usually this parameter is controlled by adding to water
some comestible phosphates, especially if the water has to be heated.
Undesirable germs contained in water
Name Disease caused
Salmonella Typhoid and paratyphoid
Shigella Bacillary dysentery
Amoeba Amoebic dysentery
Vibrio comma Cholera
Hepatitis virus (A and B) Hepatitis
To ensure that drinking water is free from such bacteria chemical additives are used, chlorine being the
most common. However, this may give a bad taste to water and may cause toxicity problems.
Therefore, whenever this kind of treatment becomes necessary it is most sensible to entrust the task to
water treatment specialists.
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Piping material can be made of iron, steel, cast iron, brass, lead, copper, and plastic. The type of pipe is
used has a direct effect on the cost of the water-distribution system. Copper pipe is most commonly
used for both water supply and waste disposal, although in some hotels, plastic pipe is used, principally
waste removal. The flow of water within the system is controlled by valves, which are used to set the
rate of flow, to maintain proper direction of the flow, and for various safety purposes. The water is
carried through series of pipes to locations within the hotel. The ―up feed‖ system is used when the
water enters the building at a lower level and is carried to the distribution point through a pipe known as
a ―riser‖. Cold water flows directly from the source through a riser to the distribution point; hot water
passes through a heater and storage tank before being carried upward to the hot-water distribution
Circulating pumps are used to increase the pressure and thus lift the water easily to the higher levels.
The ―down feed‖ water-distribution system operates on most of the same principles as the ―up feed‖
system, the principal difference is that the water is pumped directly from the entry point into the building
to a gravity storage tank, which is higher than the highest distribution point in the building. The hot-water
heater is on the same level as the storage tank. Water flows downward, either directly if cold or via
heater if hot, through simply gravity to the distribution point.
Water can be heated in various ways, by means of gas, electricity, oil, steam, or coal. Chilled or ice-
water systems operate much the same as hot water in an up feed system, except the course that the
water is chilled rather than heated before being fed to the distribution point.
Maintenance of distribution systems is directed toward ensuring that sediment and rust are periodically
removed from the pipes by means of traps and strainers. Proper insulation of the hot water pipes will
result in substantial reductions in heat loss and therefore much greater efficiency of the system.
Insulation must also be used on pipes that are exposed to temperatures below the freezing point, to
Wastewater (sewage) Systems
Wastewater (sewage) systems are necessary not only to remove the water brought into the property by
the water system, but also to treat this water if necessary before it leaves the property. Some of these
systems handle rainwater and site runoff from streams as well. Each category of wastewater system
requires different design criteria.. often, the different wastewater systems at a property are physically
separate from each other. Wastewater systems rely on primarily upon gravity to move wastewater
through the systems. This can result in special design and operational concerns.
Storm Parking Lot Drainage
Budapest Business School •Tourism & Hotel Management 9
Grease Producing Kitchens
Non-grease Producing Laundries
The proper plumbing fixtures are very important, to ensure that water supply can be made use of. In the
bathroom, several types of fixtures are used:
Water closets made of solid vitrified china used to control the flush of toilets. Maintenance problems
usually relate to the failure of the flush-tank to control the proper volume of water. Malfunctioning of
pressure valves and the proper cleaning of the water-closet bowls can also be a problem.
Urinals, made of the same vitrified china, the problems relate to improper flushing due to faulty pressure
valves and the need to keep the urinals clean.
Sinks are used for washing of hands and face. The major problem could be the failure of the faucets to
supply hot and cold water properly.
Bathtubs, like sinks, may have the problem of a proper supply of water. Additionally, however, they
should be properly finished with a non-skid surface to prevent the guest from skipping.
Shower stalls have exactly the same maintenance problems as bathtubs.
Within the kitchen area, plumbing fixtures provide supplies of hot and cold water for various purposes. In
addition to the proper supply of water, there should be proper drainage in the kitchen for waste materials
and disposal of excessively spilled water. The major maintenance problems in plumbing are the results
of the failure of the sewage or drainage system to dispose of the wastes discharged into it. These
systems require continuous maintenance to ensure that the sewage flows properly without creating any
sanitary problems. The venting system must provide proper pressure and circulation to prevent
corrosion, organic matter sticking in the pipes, and bad odours.
Where sewage does not get discharged into a public system, the hotel must
have its own sewage-disposal system – a septic tank in which solids and semisolids are decomposed
and converted to a liquid form. The liquid can be purified by passage through a seepage pit, a drain tile
field, or filter system.
In recent years the cost of fuel has risen drastically. Therefore, proper control over the temperature in a
hotel is extremely important. It should be closely monitored and related both the number of guests and
the outside temperature. Proper insulation essential keeping the cost of heating down.
Budapest Business School •Tourism & Hotel Management 10
Windows and doors have direct effect on the cost of heating a building. As in home building, the
use of weather stripping around the doors can greatly reduce the amount of heat loss. Similarly, such as
double doors, double windows, and thermopane glass can also decrease heat loss.
One such system uses the fuel to heat air. Which can be transmitted via ducts that move it from
location to location by gravity. Hot air, weighing considerably less than cold air, will rise throughout the
building while the cold air falls. In many properties, fans are used to move the hot air, thus improving on
the efficiency of the gravity process.
The most commonly found system, however, uses hot water flowing through the series of pipes,
aided by pumps and convectors. Hot water heating systems can use either a single pipe, which provides
somewhat less than uniform heat to each room, or a two-pipe system, which corrects this problem. The
level of heat is controlled by a thermostat. In some hotel there is only one thermostat, however, it is
desirable to have individual thermostats in each rooms. Careful monitoring of these thermostats is
needed not to waste the heat when the room is empty.
Ventilation and Air-conditioning
The simplest ventilation system consists of simply opening windows and doors at one side of
the building, pushing in fresh air, while at the same time removing the stale air by removing a ventilation
The types of heating and cooling systems available are the followings, started with the least
A through-the-wall-unit, with its own separate compressor and heating coil, that will be controlled by the
guest and will usually have a three-speed fan and high-low temperature control.
The two-pipe heating and cooling fan-coil unit, which receives the cooling water and heating water from
a central plant.
A four-pipe heating and cooling fan-coil unit, which is supplied with cooling water or heating water
depending on whether the guest requires heating or cooling.
The location of ventilation system is extremely important, normally, having the supply ducts on one wall
and the exhaust ducts on the opposite wall that will provide an adequate flow of air.
Ventilation in the kitchen area is of utmost importance. Ventilation is provided through the use of a hood,
which covers either the individual appliance or the total appliance area. Inasmuch as grease builds up in
these hoods, they must be equipped with grease filters and drop pans, so that grease is properly
collected and disposed of. Failure to keep the grease filters in proper condition can result in a
dangerous fire hazard. Automatic fire extinguishing systems using either steam, CO2 (carbon dioxide) or
a dry chemical are now essential.
As with improper heating and improper air-conditioning can be a major source of guest complaints. Air-
conditioning can be provided either through individual units in the rooms or a central air-conditioning
Budapest Business School •Tourism & Hotel Management 11
system. When central air-conditioning is used, a constant air temperature is maintained throughout the
entire building, but the guests can regulate the temperature in their rooms individually. In some months,
propeller fans precool the air before being circulated through the system.
Elevators and Escalators
In the modern building, the elevators and escalators are principal means by which guests are moved to
their rooms or the public areas. The maintenance schedule and use of elevators is carefully regulated
by the authorities, and the equipment is subject to periodic inspection.
Cable elevators are normally used in the movement of guests. They go up or down in their shaft
depending on whether the cable is being raised or lowered. The cable movement is controlled by a
machine situated in a tower at the top of the shaft. Hydraulic elevators, in which the car moves up or
down, supported by a plunger, are still in use in some locations as freight elevators.
Escalators have become common in convention hotels, where large masses of people must be moved
to convention floors, but they are extremely expensive compared to elevators. The maintenance of
escalators is also very much greater, since objects frequently become imbedded in the moving steps
and disrupt the system. Furthermore, the open spaces they create between floors provide a chimney
effect, requiring additional fire protecting.
Other Engineering functions
The responsibilities and duties of the engineering department include some relating to certain
recreational facilities of the hotel. In particular, swimming pools require extensive maintenance to ensure
proper filtration and to prevent the accumulation of algae. The maintenance is carried out by the periodic
application of various chemicals. Also, tennis courts, recreation rooms, saunas, and other innovations
frequently require the attention of the engineering department. New regulations are continually issued
by the authorities in regard the pollution control. The requirement that hotels adhere to these regulations
has placed an additional burden on the hotel engineering department, requiring higher levels of skill and
performance than even before.
APPLIED HOTEL ECOLOGY
In the last few years, we have heard a lot on ecology. Terms such as: 'pollution', 'environmental
protection', 'greenhouse effect', 'ozone layer depletion', 'sustainable development' and the like, have
been heard repeatedly. Several specific measures have been taken to correct the most blatant
environmental mistakes. But the general public remains as attached as ever to unabashed
consumerism. In particular, the developing nations want to catch up fast with the living standards of
developed nations and this is without too much concern for the environment. It is not our intention to
engage here in a philosophical or ethical discussion. From an engineering point of view, the pursuit of
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industrial 'progress' without consideration for the environment is no longer defensible, the more so as,
nowadays, there are ways and means to do a reasonably good job in this respect.
For the hospitality industry, environmental problems have always been acute and have now become
extremely urgent. Hotels are traditionally big users of energy, water, consumer goods and luxury items.
With the increase of operating costs and pending environmental legislation, we have to find innovative
solutions to environmental problems without lowering the level of service to our clients. This apparent
contradiction can be resolved and there are already several examples as follows.
Alternative refrigeration. As mentioned earlier, CFC is now out of favour. Newer products and processes
are being used and studied. Further progress in this field is imminent.
Super insulation. Hotel Managers have discovered that insulation is as useful in cold climates as in
warm climates. Double-glazed windows are now universally adopted.
Biodegradable products. Plastics, long some of the worst environmental offenders, are getting much
more environmentally friendly. Paints, glues, soaps and laundering products are now obtainable in
environmentally friendly varieties.
'Bio' food products. Agriculture is improving not only its image but also its actual performance in this
Economy bulbs. Hotel managers have long discovered that, where light quality is not important, they
can substitute economy bulbs for ordinary incandescent lamps, thereby saving about 75 per cent of
energy costs (see Box 10.12).
Grey water technology. There is no reason to flush toilets with pure drinking water, recycled water is
much better. In dish washing machines cycles scrubbing can be performed by recycled water. In both
cases, energy savings are in the order of 30 per cent.
Cogeneration. Heat and electricity can be produced simultaneously by a clever arrangement of modem
machinery. In this case, the Hotel Manager cannot only realize substantial savings but also profits, by
selling surplus electrical energy back to the supply network! Whatever the case, attention to efficient
energy use will be a key issue for businesses in the future .
Many other interesting ideas are in place and several hotels are already winning awards in
environmental management. In the future we will certainly see new wonders such as extensive
recycling, creative waste management (including bio-methanization), generalization of hydrogen
technology and, inevitably, the development of safe nuclear technology (lets not forget that the sun is
nothing but a huge nuclear furnace!). Whatever the future may bring. Hotel Managers live in the present
and, as good corporate citizens, they must respond to the environmental challenge in a positive way.
1834 - Indoor plumbing was introduced into hotel industry by Astor
1859 - First hotel elevator is installed in New York's Fifth Avenue Hotel
1894- The Netherlands Hotel in New York City became the first to have telephones in the rooms
Budapest Business School •Tourism & Hotel Management 13
1900 – A typical first-class hotel offers steam heat, gas burners, electric call bells, baths and closets on
all floors, billiard and sample rooms, barbershops, and liveries. The Lenox Hotel, known today as The
Lenox Hotel & Suites/Village Lodge, offered "fireproof lodging, unexcelled cuisine, a shower bath, roof
garden, and American/European lodging plans starting at $2."
1904 – New York City's St. Regis Hotel provides individually controlled heating and cooling units in each
1907 - The Hotel Statler chain begins in Buffalo. All guestrooms have private baths, full-length mirrors,
telephones, and built-in radios, serving as the model for hotel construction for the next 40 years
1910 -Electricity is beginning to be installed in new hotels for cooking purposes, as well as for lighting.
However, most hotels place candlesticks, new candles, and matches in every room– electric light bulb
1927 – The Hotel Statler in Boston becomes the first hotel with radio reception; rooms are equipped with
individual headsets to receive broadcasts from a central control room. The Huntington Hotel in Calif.
installs the first Olympic-size hotel swimming pool.
1934 – The Hotel Statler in Detroit is the first to have a central system to "air condition" every public
room, and guest rooms
1940 – Air conditioning and "air cooling" become prevalent
Early 1960s – Siegas introduces the first true minibar (a small refrigerator displaying products).
1973 – The Sheraton-Anaheim is the first to offer free in-room movies.
1974 – The energy crisis hits the industry — hotels dim exterior signs, cut heat to unoccupied rooms,
and ask guests to conserve electricity.
1983 –VingCard invents the optical electronic key card.
1984 – Choice Hotels offers no-smoking rooms. Hampton Inns is the first to offer a set of amenities.
Holiday Inn debuts Embassy Suites Hotels,
1991 – Westin is the first hotel chain to provide in-room voice mail.
Budapest Business School •Tourism & Hotel Management 14