ATLANTA — Located in the enclave of Buckhead, just a few miles from downtown Atlanta, the St. Regis Atlanta, which opened April 14, 2009, stands out as an impeccably groomed “in-town” resort with a gracious, residential feel along with exquisite guest amenities, plus, stylish water conserving plumbing fixtures are in every guest room and public area.
Since the St. Regis Atlanta is located in a drought-stricken area — the entire state of Georgia has been drought stricken for sometime now — installing water-conserving plumbing fixtures were a must. In Sept. 2007, Georgia officials declared the state to be in a severe drought, and since that time, water rates have been increasing rapidly. For example, between fiscal year 2007-2008 and 2008-2009, the City of Atlanta water and sewer rates increased by 27.5%, and the expected increases for the following three fiscal years are 12.5%, 12.5% and 12% respectively.
By installing high-efficiency toilets and eco-friendly showerheads, faucets and aerators, St. Regis is doing its part to reduce water usage and ease the strain on the local water resources — Lakes Lanier and Allatoona. Plus, by using water conserving fixtures, St. Regis Atlanta is also cutting operation costs by reducing its water and sewer usage. Assuming 300,000 gallons of water saved per fiscal year, the savings from reduced water and sewer usage are impressive, totaling nearly $30,000 over a four year period.
To help reduce indoor water usage, the hotel owners chose Caroma high- efficiency toilets (HETs) for all bathrooms. Three toilet styles were selected for the 150 guest rooms and public areas: 170 Colonial Round Front Plus, 20 Colonial Easy Height Round Front Plus, and 33 Sydney Low Profile Easy Height Elongated.
“While the review process was going on, there were several features that were critical to the St. Regis for the bathroom fixtures,” said Mike Charleville, director of engineering, St. Regis. “The toilets, for example, needed to fit the style of the elegant rooms and have the appropriate options for the ADA compliant rooms and stalls. Additionally, having toilets that are low maintenance is always preferred, and water conservation is critical for our dry area.”
The Colonial range of toilets from Caroma was chosen for its authentic period look and its two bowl height options: standard and Easy Height. The Sydney Low Profile range is ideal for installations that want to conserve water and require a shorter toilet due to space restrictions, such as under a counter or a grab bar in ADA installations.
All HETs in the hotel are dual flush. The dual flush system allows the guest to choose how much water to use. The flushing volumes include a 1.6-gpf for solid waste and a 0.8-gpf for liquid and paper waste. The average flush volume for the Colonial and Sydney Low Profile is 0.96 gallons assuming a 1:4 full flush/half flush ratio. For new toilet installations, the maximum amount of water that can be used is 1.6-gpf. Because the Caroma toilets installed at the hotel average 0.96-gpf, one room can save more than 5 gallons per day when using the HETs (assumes eight flushes/room/day). Assuming a 75% occupancy rate, the St. Regis could save 575 gallons of water per day or more than 210,000 gallons per year.
Art Plumbing Co., Smyrna, Ga., installed all the water-conserving fixtures, including the toilets and Kallista bathroom fixtures, including showerheads and basin sets in the Michael S. Smith line, and basin sets and undercounter basins in the Barbara Barry line.
According to Scott Garrett, project manager, Art Plumbing Co., the most unique aspect of the St. Regis project was the high level of finish required for the project, which was also challenging since it was coupled with an incredibly compact construction schedule.
Not only is the hotel staff pleased with the water conserving fixtures in the hotel, hotel guests are too. Since the hotel opened last April, no guests have complained of clogged toilets, and some guests even inquire about the plumbing fixtures in the guest rooms.
“I don’t remember a single clog that we’ve had to clear,” said Charleville. “The maintenance savings is nice. Caroma toilets feature a large trapway, nearly double the industry average, making them virtually impossible to clog.
“In addition to Caroma’s high-efficiency toilets, we also have eco-friendly showerheads, faucets and aerators for a complete package,” added Charleville. “We are often receiving requests from customers asking for more information on the products installed because they like the style and that they help protect the environment.”