Category Archives: Sustainability

Crown Spa Hotel refused planning permission for wind turbines

Today (12th January 2012) the Crown Spa Hotel’s dream of installing 16 wind turbines on the roof of a Grade II listed building, was refused at a Planning and Development Committee Meeting held at Westborough Methodist Church, Westborough, Scarborough, even though 24 individuals publically supported the application, while only 10 individuals were against it.

David Frank Director said “Though we disagree with the judgement, we will accept and respect the planning officers’ and the democratically elected Councillors’ independent opinion. This is merely a setback in our quest to have greater energy efficiency, thereby reducing energy costs and our impact on the environment. Overall we have learnt a lot from this particular planning application process. The contemporary and elegant blade design of these Pramac wind turbines will add to the building in fusing the past with the future, whilst helping to bring awareness to some of the energy supply issues our children will have to deal with.”

Mr Frank added “We are simply back to the drawing board for a solution, which is more acceptable to the Scarborough Civic Society, English Heritage and the planning and Development Committee”

Modern sub 10KW Wind Turbines are different to the large turbines

One issue the Crown Spa management team felt they came up against was a lack of awareness of existing wind turbine technology, particularly turbines below 10KW.

During the planning process a number of issues were raised from individuals and English Heritage, which has made a number of assertions as to vibration, weight and noise without undertaking any research of modern gearless turbines.

  • Vibration in a wind turbine can damage the wine turbine itself; modern turbines have vibration sensors with safety cut outs if vibration levels exceed a very small threshold i.e. they turn themselves off if they get wobbly. Modern gearless turbines have virtually no vibration as there is virtually no contact between the moving parts.
  • Weight the hotel recently built 24 rooms on the roof of the building using a steal structure. The weight of these turbines are 65kg for the turbine and 35kg for all fittings each, total extra weight is around 1600kg, equivalent to a Ford Focus with 3 passengers, the hotels advisors have informed them that this is well within the design parameters of the construction allowing for the additional wind pressure.
  • Noise for the Pramac Turbines that were going to be used is 52dB at 4 metres; 52dB is equivalent to a Quiet suburb or a conversation at home add to this on surrounding noise levels (wind, cars waves etc..) these units will be hardly noticeable for neighbours or from the ground. Sound intensity follows the inverse-square law, for example in the 50dB is 1/4 as loud as 70db (an Office environment) at 4 metres and for each doubling of distance from a sound source dB is reduced by roughly 6db. In fact the latest model of wind turbine the management team have seen has a sound rating of 38db at 4metres (equivalent to a quiet library).
  • English heritage said that the Crown Spa have already met the EU target requirements; in response David Frank Responded “the problem is most scientists and economists in the field think the targets are far too low, and greater measures need to be taken. what we need to appreciate is that these European rules predominantly pushed through by Germany and France are nations which were already better prepared when the targets were set. Germany with 40% renewable energy production and France (where you are no further than 55 miles from a Nuclear power station), will be sitting pretty when oil prices rise. Unfortunately, we as a nation are not as prepared as we should be, for a developed nation.
  • English Heritage in their objection mentioned lack of public benefit to which the Crown Spa team strongly feel that apart from bring greater public awareness of the benefits of wind energy; they felt the need to point out that the earth is a finite size with finite resources, oil will not be plentiful or cheap in the next 10 years, and therefore businesses must plan now, while energy costs are relatively cheap. – If this is not in the public interest what is?

Mr Frank added “Basically, I strongly feel that if we as a nation can reduce our reliance on oil, then that will mean less chance of your daughter; your son, being sent off to a distance country to die, or be maimed and mentally scarred, just so our nation can have a stable oil supply. We as a nation were in Iraq for oil! Not principles. We are in Afghanistan in order to stabilise the countries surrounding it, in order to stabilise oil flow – History has generally shown that nations go to war for resources, not principles.”

“Further, overall renewables and nuclear (thorium, and slow burn) though expensive in the short term will be far cheaper in the long run, by reducing our reliance on oil now, then when oil does become more expensive , we will be far more competitive than other nations who have not prepared properly.”

Is the future in the wind?

You tube vidoe here

 

Wind of change? (Scarborough Evening News)

A SCARBOROUGH hotel has unveiled plans to install 16 wind turbines on its roof.

The four-star Crown Spa Hotel in Esplanade says the “elegant and pleasing to the eye” units would help it reduce its running costs, while decreasing its energy consumption and CO2 output.

The hotel has previously won awards for its green initiatives, claiming a National Award for Excellence in sustainability in 2010 and an 87 per cent Gold rating at the Green Tourism Business Awards this year.

Administration director David Frank said: “During the last six years The Crown Spa Hotel Green Team has continually reappraised each area of our environment policy. Our main strategy is to investigate and implement new technology or practices to reduce CO2 produced directly and indirectly from fossil fuels and to agree as a management team ongoing best practice.

“The ever increasing cost of fuel for heat and power is a major risk to our business. If we as a business are to continue to prosper and compete as a leading independent leisure business in the region, we must attempt to ‘hedge our exposure’ to this risk.

“A requirement for further power generation can only be met by wind power as there is not enough space within the confines of the property for solar PV.”

Mr Frank added: “The total scheme will produce around 35,200 KWh per year, roughly around five per cent of our electrical consumption – equivalent to the electrical energy used by 7.5 average UK houses or 18 tonnes of CO2.

“This will result in the company reducing total running costs of the business by roughly £17,500 per annum and a payback period of 2.5 years and a reduced reliance on the volatile energy market.

Read more at Scarborough Evening News

Crown Spa Hotel Scarborough wind turbine proposal

A proposed mock-up of the Crown Spa Hotel Scarborough


During the last 6 years The Crown Spa Hotel in Scarborough Green Team has continually reappraised each area of our environment policy. Our main strategy is to investigate and implement new technology or practices to reduce CO2 produced directly and indirectly from fossil fuels and to agree as a management team on-going best practice. We have earned many awards such as a National Award for Excellence in sustainability (in 2010) and a rating of 87% Gold rating for the Green Tourism Business Awards (2011).

The main focus for this current period is reducing consumption and improving efficiency in our Energy and Waste Management processes – especially during these difficult economic times.

The ever increasing cost of fuel for heat and power is a major risk to our business. If we as a business are to continue to prosper and compete as a leading independent leisure business in the region, we must attempt to “hedge our exposure” to this risk.

We have always had 2 main strategic aims since 2006

•             Our main environmental vision is to reduce KG’s CO2 output from fossil derived energy used in Water, Light, Heat and Power by 25% by 2010 from our 2005 – through staff training, energy efficient SMD bulbs, insulation and investment in energy saving technology and indeed producing some energy from biomass and solar hot water heating; this has now been achieved.

•             The further aim is a 50% reduction from our 2005 levels by 2015 – this can only be achieved by investment in further power generation schemes and more technology to help manage energy consumption.

A requirement for further power generation can only be met by wind power as there is not enough space within the confines of the property for solar PV.

Each wind turbine should produce 2,200 KWh of energy based on average wind speeds in the area. The total scheme will produce around 35,200 KWh per year, roughly around 5% of our electrical consumption – Equivalent to the electrical energy used by 7.5 average UK houses or 18 Tonnes of CO2.

This will result in the company reducing total running costs of the business by roughly £17,500 per annum and a payback period of 2.5 years and a reduced reliance on the volatile energy markets.

The choice of design of wind power units, have been ones which will both look elegant and pleasing to the eye, with minimum noise.

Please support our application by downloading a support letter here and sending it to

Regeneration & Planning, Town Hall, St. Nicholas Street,
Scarborough, YO11 2HG.

 

Crown Spa Retains Gold Green award and rises to 87% score!

We have just retained our GTB (Green Tourism Business) Gold rating at 87%, which is pretty good if we must say ourselves.

 To celebrate this we are offering ( and coinciding with the National Green Tourism Week) free charging for electric cars in the car park.

The four-star Crown Spa Hotel in Scarborough is to offer people with electric cars a 2 hour of complimentary charge from one of its four new charging points during Green Tourism Week (June 6-12).

A 2 hour charge provides roughly 40 miles of travel for an electric vehicle, and visitors are invited to enjoy a complimentary “Heavenly Coffee” for the driver in the hotel while it is completed.

The spaces are available on a first come first served basis and will be open from 0900 to 1930 at night. Offer limited to one visit per vehicle during the week.

Electricity conservation and the energy crisis

Much of the focus on the energy crisis in the UK has been upon the cars we drive, and with good reason. Cars burn fossil fuels, creating smog consisting of greenhouse gasses, which then traps the heat of the sun and warms the environment. This causes global warming, which is a very real threat to our continued well-being as a species.

 But you shouldn’t just focus on your car. Energy conservation at home can help play a part in the energy crisis, and electricity conservation can also put a few pounds in your pocket at the end of every month.

 I always remember learning this basic fact that, for each degree you lower your heat during the winter, your heating bill will be roughly 3% less. An added bonus of running cooler in winter is that you don’t feel the cold as much and you burn up to 100 more calories a day, without any effort.

 This applies in the summer as well, with the preponderance of air conditioners from DIY outlets going full blast morning, noon and night. When it comes to electricity conservation, it’s a year-round concern.

Why? Well,the risk of global warming is a real threat that could have devastating consequences.

 The following is from wikipedia.org’s entry on the subject:

 Global warming is the increase in the average temperature of the Earth’s near-surface air and oceans since the mid-20th century and its projected continuation. Global surface temperature increased during the last century. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concludes that increasing greenhouse gas concentrations resulting from human activity such as fossil fuel burning and deforestation caused most of the observed temperature increase since the middle of the 20th century. The IPCC also concludes that variations in natural phenomena such as solar radiation and volcanoes produced most of the warming from pre-industrial times to 1950 and had a small cooling effect afterward. These basic conclusions have been endorsed by more than 40 scientific societies and academies of science,[B] including all of the national academies of science of the major industrialized countries. A small number of scientists dispute the consensus view.

 Climate model projections summarized in the latest IPCC report indicate that the global surface temperature will probably rise further during the twenty-first century. The uncertainty in this estimate arises from the use of models with differing sensitivity to greenhouse gas concentrations and the use of differing estimates of future greenhouse gas emissions. Some other uncertainties include how warming and related changes will vary from region to region around the globe. Most studies focus on the period up to the year 2100. However, warming is expected to continue beyond 2100 even if emissions stop, because of the large heat capacity of the oceans and the long lifetime of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

 An increase in global temperature will cause sea levels to rise and will change the amount and pattern of precipitation, probably including expansion of subtropical deserts. The continuing retreat of glaciers, permafrost and sea ice is expected, with warming being strongest in the Arctic. Other likely effects include increases in the intensity of extreme weather events, species extinctions, and changes in agricultural yields.

 But even if you drive is not to combat global warming, being energy efficient means you can have more money for those “rainy days” that can catch us out once in a while.

Handmade soap

There is no comparison between real handmade soap and commercial soaps that are available on store shelves everywhere. According to various reliable online sources, soap is basically water, lye, and fats or oils. When a lye and water solution is mixed with the fats, the chemical reaction is called “saponification”, which is the reaction of hydrogen, oxygen, sodium, and fatty acid molecules, resulting in about three parts soap and one part glycerin. Glycerin is a rich emollient prized for its ability to moisturize the skin and is retained in handmade soaps, but is extracted in commercial soap as a valuable by-product leaving the hard dry bars of soap sold at Wal-Mart and elsewhere. Properly prepared handmade soaps have no lye remaining, and it cannot be made without it.

Handmade soap is rich and moisturizing, soothes and softens the skin, and cleanses without drying. Handmade items for the bath and spa leave even sensitive, allergy-prone skin feeling wonderfully moisturized, luxuriously soft and smooth. Soaps and other skin products are beautifully scented with rosewater, organic herbs, and flowers grown in organic gardens. Handmade soaps, herbal bath and beauty products, skin care gift baskets, and handcrafted natural toiletries can be purchased online from soap makers and retailers around the world. Countryrosesoap.com offers a complete range of natural handmade bath and body products including handmade natural soaps, bath bombs, shampoos, and more. Lush.com is another site that features lush fresh handmade soaps in addition to natural cosmetics and beauty tips. For pure gentle and natural home made glycerin soaps visit Carrie’s Creations at www.handmade-soaps.com, where you can find more natural handmade bath and body products.

Makers of handmade soaps often use various ingredients like olive oil or fresh goat milk, in addition to pure essential oils and fragrances, like soaps featured by Alabu.com makers of all-natural farm fresh goat milk soap, and OliveOilSoap.com that offers pure handmade olive oil soaps and body products. You’ll find a comprehensive listing of makers of handmade soaps from small and large companies all over the world, that make their own handmade soaps completely from scratch. Choose from scented, unscented, colored, swirled or layered soaps, round soap, or just plain and simple soap. Handcrafted soaps, handmade soaps, herbal soaps, or natural soaps are the gentlest, silkiest most latherful soaps you can buy. Light a candle, grab your favorite bar of soap, add some water, and in no time you’ll feel renewed; use this simple pleasure as an act of loving kindness to yourself.

Get a Healthy Glow with Organic Skin Care Products

Have you ever looked at the ingredients label on your favorite bottle of moisturizer or foundation? Chances are, the list contains lots of chemicals that are practically impossible to pronounce. Have you ever wondered what kind of long-term effects these chemicals can have on your face? I have, which is why I switched to organic skin care products about a year ago. Now my face has a healthy glow that makes me look years younger and far healthier than ever!

My friends have noticed the difference, and asked me to share my secret. I told them about my new regimen that consists of only organic skin care products, thinking they would immediately share my enthusiasm. I was therefore surprised to see my revelation met with a bit of skepticism. Apparently, my friends had tried some items marked “all-natural”, but didn’t get the results they were after. After asking them a few follow-up questions, it seems that they weren’t really using the right brands. Because it’s so trendy to be natural these days, many manufacturers are decorating their packaging with pretty flowers adding a touch of herbal extract, and marketing their stuff as organic skin care products. Obviously that’s not what I meant!

In order to find the best organic skin care products, it’s essential that you do some research first. If you have a beauty consultant or esthetician that you regularly see at the salon or spa, then she can probably start you out with some great recommendations. This would be the best route, since the person is already familiar with your skin and any specific issues (such as oiliness or dryness) that you might have. Also, your regular esthetician is likely to be aware of your general budget and how much you usually spend on beauty creams or whatnot, so she’ll be able to recommend a product that you can afford.

If you don’t have a consultant, then you can just do some online research. Take inventory of your usual beauty supplies first, and then try to find organic skin care products to replace the ones you use. This could be anything from moisturizer to cold cream, wrinkle cream, toner, cleanser, serum, makeup, and even bath gels. Once you figure out which items you want to buy, go ahead and check for some organic skin care products that have a good reputation among consumers. There are lots of customer review websites and beauty-related message boards where people can offer their personal opinions and experiences with a particular product, and these are often wonderful places to find unbiased information.

Switching to organic skin care products can help you start looking your very best. If you haven’t gone all natural yet, then you could be doing more damage to your face than good. Make the change today!

Answer Job Interview Questions

Most of us have some level of anxiety walking into an interview; it can be extremely overwhelming and difficult to concentrate. When you interview for a job, you want to put your best foot forward and demonstrate that you are the right person for the job. By familiarizing yourself with how to answer job interview questions ahead of time, your chances of securing the job increase significantly. Interviewers are adept at asking job interview questions and your success depends primarily on how you answer these pertinent questions. Some may appear overly direct, but the intention is always the same; the interviewer(s) simply want to find out if you’re really the best candidate for the job. Familiarity with the company and the types of questions the interviewer will ask will greatly enhance your career, no matter how experienced and skilled you are.

You can find some great resources on how to answer job interview questions from numerous online employment resources. Find out the top five most asked job interview questions and how to answer them confidently from sites like www.workbloom.com and many others. The most common opening question is usually “tell me about yourself”, which is your opportunity to positively introduce yourself and your employment history, highlighting your unique qualifications, primary strengths, achievements, and other positive contributions you can bring to the job and the company. It is definitely to your benefit to know as much as possible about the company you’re applying to work at, be confident, and expect to answer job interview questions like, “what are your weaknesses?” or “what did you hate most about your last job?” Instead of digging yourself a hole, highlight a trait the interviewer will perceive as strength, such as your superb attention to detail and how you expect the same from your colleagues.

Aside from your resume, a job interview is the only thing standing between you and your dream job. Make sure you dress well; no t-shirt and jeans or revealing party-wear. Smile and project a positive enthusiastic attitude, and remember your manners and communicate clearly and audibly. Bring a fresh copy of your resume and cover letter too, even if they already have one. Afterward, send a thank you email later that day, and don’t wait until the next day or the day after. If you haven’t heard anything in a week, give the hiring manager a call to ask if they are close to making a decision, or if they already have. Taking on new challenges and greater responsibility should be emphasized when you answer job interview questions, because going without aspirations or career goals makes you appear unmotivated. Act like you really want the job and you’ll probably get it; attitude is everything!

Employee Privacy

Employee right to privacy is a pretty new concept in business, but one that is catching on fast. Whether you are a manager or a worker, it definitely makes sense to put some thought into employee privacy rights. There are many different approaches in different businesses, and the courts haven’t really decided what they think yet. In short, we are in the middle of a social debate about employee privacy. Which way will the debate go? That is up to all of us to decide together.

In business, I am a big fan of employee privacy. I feel like as long as my employees get the job done, that is all that matters.

You see, giving my employees privacy is a matter of respect for me. I feel that the office environment should be based, as much as possible, on mutual respect. If I acknowledge my employees have a right to self-determination, pay them well, and give them good benefits, they will in turn enjoy working for me. Loyal employees are productive employees, and employees that stay with the company for a long time. Therefore, it is to all of our advantages when employee privacy and other employee rights are respected.

I know other people in business, however, who have much different views on employee privacy. A lot of the time, the argument is made that an employees privacy stops at the door. Everything you do while you are on the job should be related to the job.

For me, it all seems to come down to management styles. I am very laid back. I like to see responsible, hard-working employees. As such, I give them freedom and expect them to do their work in a timely and efficient manner. Other people, however, see things much differently. If you work in a large company, you might see your employees more as cogs in a machine. If you primarily demand strict obedience to office codes rather than self-motivation and independence, workplace privacy probably is not that important to your business model.

Third Carbon Trust Survey

Just had out 3rd Carbon Survey, conducted by Paul Reading (www. reddingweb.co.uk ).

Targets and opportunities to look at this time are:

  1. Staff and Customer Energy Management awareness
  2. Monitoring and Targeting
  3. Reduce Energy for Catering Operations
  4. Heating Control Improvements
  5. Variable Speed Drives for pumps
  6. Consider CHP
  7. Solar Energy Options

1. Staff training is always a good thing and should permanently be on these reports to remind us that it is the people who waste energy not equipment!

2. We already have a target of 50% on our 2005 energy usage levels, and calculate against turnover, activity levels etc… Monitoring would be much easier though if “networked data loggers” were cheaper!

3. The Catering side can be responsible for large amounts of energy wastage, so more training and monitoring needs to be implemented here.

4. Heating control improvements, we are just looking at replacing our existing system with a better system at the moment.

5. Variable Speed Drive for Pumps (VSD); talk of the devil! Just after the inspection a couple of our pumps failed (2HP) and we were going to swap them for VSD pumps. However, when you work out the cost and consider the fact that they are small 2hp the payback time was ludicrously long! Sop the option failed the economic test!

6. Combined Heat and Power (CHP); I am really up for this but we recently changed our water heaters for brand new Lochinvar 98% efficient units. Shame, I really wanted to produce our own electricity.

7. Solar Energy options; the solar system needs a better control system, which we are looking into at the moment.