Today, the U.S. Department of Energy's Better Buildings Challenge recognized Loews Hotels & Co. for the energy efficiency upgrades made at the Vanderbilt Hotel through the company's showcase project. Through the Better Buildings Challenge, Loews has set a goal to reduce energy use across all of its hotels by 20% in ten years. Over the past two years, the Vanderbilt hotel has improved its energy efficiency by 22% and achieved a total energy cost savings of $328,250.

With updates to lighting and HVAC systems, guest rooms, and building envelope, the Loews Vanderbilt Hotel is demonstrating how building efficiency upgrades can preserve both comfort and affordability for its visitors.  

"Businesses across the country are making a difference by stepping up and investing in energy efficiency in communities like Nashville," said Kathleen Hogan, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency, U.S. Department of Energy. "Through the Better Buildings Challenge, Loews Hotels & Co. is saving money and investing in improved customer experiences while protecting the environment and helping create a roadmap for others to follow."  

In order for the Loews Vanderbilt Hotel to reduce energy consumption by 22% within two years, Loews upgraded all public-area lighting fixtures to LEDs, installed new direct-drive elevator hoist motors on seven passenger elevators, replaced outdated 750-ton centrifugal chillers with re-sized, highly-efficient 500-ton chillers, and installed a new, more efficient water system. The hotel also installed new variable frequency drives on the existing chilled water and condenser pumps in order to further enhance HVAC efficiency and replaced the water distribution media inside the cooling tower. And by enhancing and insulating the hotel's façade and ballroom roof, the building's overall R-value (insulation effectiveness) was improved by 20%.

"There is always more we can do to enhance building efficiency and reduce energy costs throughout our hotel," said Tony Phillips, General Manager, Loews Vanderbilt Hotel. "By teaming up with the Better Buildings Challenge, the Energy Department provided a wealth of resources to help cut costs and reduce energy waste. In turn, this cleared up plenty of resources to ensure our guests enjoy the best of what our hotel and the City of Nashville have to offer."

In addition to facility upgrades, Loews recognizes leadership among its engineering managers in every hotel nationwide. The Gold Wrench Award incentivizes engineers to find energy-saving solutions proactively and contribute to Loews' sustainability goals. The award highlights employees in the engineering department who have gone above and beyond performance standards. 

Through the Better Buildings Challenge, the Energy Department is partnering with more than 345 private businesses and public-sector organizations to achieve 20% portfolio-wide energy savings and share successful strategies that maximize efficiency over the next decade. These organizations represent more than 4.4 billion square feet of building space, include more than 1,000 industrial facilities, and have committed $7 billion in financing. Since the Challenge launched in 2011, partners have shared over 1,000 solutions, saved 240 trillion Btu, and cut an estimated $1.9 billion in energy costs.

Read about how partners are increasingly working to catalyze change and investment in energy efficiency, and their proven solutions, in the Better Buildings Solution Center.