Ohana Real Estate Investors

Optimizing unexpected inefficiencies to drive value at LA’s top hotel

Montage Beverly Hills Hotel energy efficiency

Montage Beverly Hills has few peers when it comes to luxury and elegance. In 2015, the Forbes Travel Guide gave the hotel five out of five stars, calling it “the pinnacle of decadence.” It was also ranked the #1 hotel in Los Angeles by Conde Nast Traveler in the 2015 and 2016 Reader’s Choice Awards.

Located in the heart of the Beverly Hills “Golden Triangle” shopping district, Montage Beverly Hills boasts more than 200 guestrooms, signature restaurants, a rooftop pool with cabanas, a 20,000 square foot two-level spa and over 20,000 square feet of event space.

As Forbes noted: “In pure square-foot, ROI terms, Montage Beverly Hills may just be sitting on one of the most prized pieces of hospitality real estate in Los Angeles. The hotel’s zip code — 90210 — is one of America’s most prestigious.”

But Ohana Real Estate Investors, the hospitality-focused investment and development firm that owns the Montage Beverly Hills, wanted to raise the bar even further by uncovering new sources of financial value while improving the asset’s environmental performance.

Maintaining luxury amenities to meet the high expectations of guests can be costly, and Ohana was interested in finding a way to minimize OPEX, and energy spend in particular. Given the hospitality industry’s volatility, driving new value in existing assets is one of the best ways to gain a competitive edge.

Meanwhile, the company needed to ensure that any OPEX projects were implemented as smoothly as possible as not to inconvenience guests or detract from their experience.

Ohana takes a data-driven approach to identifying value where others might not. Naturally, this made them a great match for Carbon Lighthouse, where we follow the same modus operandi. Understanding that Efficiency Reserves could be a valuable source of new guaranteed financial value, we got to work on Montage Beverly Hills.

The Technicals

We faced an interesting challenge with Montage Beverly Hills — it was a relatively new building and boasted a top-of-the line equipment set and great facilities team. What do you do when all of the low-hanging fruit and even middle-hanging fruit is gone?

Fortunately, we have CLUES®, our proprietary, patent-pending software, which enables us to process vast quantities of original data to identify the scattered energy inefficiencies that add up to significant savings.

Find out how much ROI we can produce.

  • The biggest opportunity we uncovered was in its central plant, where the building’s chiller, cooling tower and pump work together:
    • We discovered an opportunity to optimize chilled water plant efficiency by increasing condenser pump speed. Higher pump speed allows all other equipment to run more efficiently, creating a net reduction in energy usage. 
    • We also made small changes to fold in lighting measures and other methods for running the pump more efficiently
  • Using our data-driven process, we uncovered that the hotel’s three identical cooling towers were working at different rates. We were able to correct this by optimizing their performance so that they were all working at equal rates.

The Impact

  • Immediately cash-accretive, with significant first year savings
  • Improved NOI
  • Total energy bill reduced by 8%
  • Lifetime carbon reduction of 1,789 tons, the same as avoiding the use of 4,142 barrels of oil

A seamless experience

“Our experience working with the Carbon Lighthouse team was seamless,” said Joe Ward, VP of Asset Management at Ohana Real Estate Investors. “They analyzed and studied our issues, performed extensive research to rectify the situation, and then proposed an efficient and effective solution that could be easily implemented.”

At a luxury hotel like Montage Beverly Hills, there is no room for anything less than seamless – hotel owners cannot afford to risk guest disruption. Because Carbon Lighthouse operates only in the engineering areas of a building, we can provide Efficiency Production without touching common spaces guests frequent.

With implementation at Montage Beverly Hills completed, we move into our Results Assurance phase to make sure that Ohana continues to receive the financial savings we projected.

Much to Ohana’s delight — and ours — we currently are over-delivering on energy savings, meaning more financial value for the client.

Because we charge a flat fee for our services, our clients realize additional revenue when we deliver more savings than expected, providing additional financial value as well as added climate benefits for the planet.

“The Carbon Lighthouse team delivers excellence in all they do – from our first interaction to our ongoing project updates, they never cease to impress us with their ability to seek out and create value through an environmentally conscious lens.”

“We appreciate their dedication and enthusiasm to our project and are very pleased with the end product.”

ClientOhana Real Estate Investors


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