The Grand Hyatt, which has 439 rooms and high occupancies, pays about $0.02 for every gallon used. While watching the rain from the third-floor terrace, Wes Shirley, the hotel’s director of engineering, came up with the idea of using its roof to collect rainwater, which would be reused by the Grand Hyatt. He teamed with Steve Miller, owner of The Plumber, and Jim Mabes, an engineer and director of administration and development at Southern Polytechnic State University in Marietta. The project also included students at Southern Polytechnic.
The rain harvest system, which collects and stores 30,000 gallons of water (992,000 gallons per year), cost $100,000. Once collected, the water is then immediately used in the hotel’s cooling tower, allowing it to use less city water. The system will save $26,050 per year and will take 3.84 years to pay back its cost, at its current collection rate, based on Atlanta’s average annual rainfall of 50 inches.
Next the hotel will look into ways to save gray water, which is wastewater used in activities such as dish washing or laundry.
Information: visit www.grandatlanta.hyatt.com.