Case Study: How Hand Dryers Can Help Facilities Save on Costs
Contributed by Excel Dryer
In addition to being the hallowed home of the New England Patriots, Gillette Stadium is a world class entertainment facility that hosts everything from international soccer matches to concerts by Jay Z, Beyoncé, Taylor Swift and Kenny Chesney.
During what they call a full-stadium event, nearly 70,000 people crowd the stands — and use the restrooms.
Since 2009, Gillette Stadium has used XLERATOR high-speed, energy-efficient hand dryers to cut costs, meet sustainability goals, promote restroom hygiene and improve the guest experience.
“The XLERATOR is a win-win-win-win for us,” says Jim Nolan, chief operating officer. “First, it’s better for the environment. Second, we are saving money while our staff is spending less time cleaning paper off the floor and refilling dispensers. Third, staff is freed up to respond more quickly to fan issues. Fourth, and most important, fans prefer it to paper, giving them a better experience.”
Big Money Player
Originally equipped with paper towel dispensers, the stadium used an average of 6,264,000 paper towels per year, at a cost of more than $50,000 for paper, maintenance and waste removal. In September 2009, Gillette installed more than 125 XLERATOR dryers featuring exclusive, custom digital imaging cover technology throughout Gillette Stadium.
When you do the math, that means 125 XLERATORs do the work of 6 million paper towels.
“The XLERATOR hand dryers reduce the cost and maintenance associated with paper towels in the stadium’s restrooms,” says Nolan.
The XLERATOR represents a 95 percent cost savings when compared to paper towels, eliminating their labor, maintenance and waste. It is the only hand dryer Made USA Certified with a dry time of 8 seconds — tested to guidelines from the Global Hand Dryer PCR published by UL Environment — and it uses 80 percent less energy than conventional hand dryers. The XLERATOR is BuildingGreen Approved and helps facilities qualify for the most LEED credits.
“We want to make sure our operations are as efficient as possible,” says Jason Stone, Senior Director of Operations. “Having the XLERATORs, we’re able to be more efficient in the bathrooms and provide our customers with a great experience.”
A Strong Defense Against Dirty Restrooms
In addition to cost savings, the XLERATOR has helped increase restroom cleanliness and hygiene — while freeing maintenance staff to focus on other areas.
“With the XLERATOR hand dryers, we’re not finding paper towels all over the floors, toilets, urinals and sinks,” says Stone. “We had to have staff continually monitor the bathrooms. Now, if we have a spill out in the concourse area or in a seating section, they’re able to get to those issues a lot quicker and enhance the experience of our guests.”
While the XLERATOR hand dryers make the restroom experience faster, cleaner and more efficient for fans, they also hold up like workhorses against high traffic and usage.
“One thing we really like about the XLERATOR hand dryers is that they’re very reliable,” says Stone. “With the millions of people who have come through the facility, we really haven’t had to change any of the units out since they were first installed. We’ve just changed the covers on them, from a branding perspective, but the main components have not been switched out.”
Gillette makes great use of Excel Dryer’s custom cover option — keeping the branding fresh with updated designs and communicating their sustainability mission to fans.
Excel Dryer’s cover finish options are the most diverse in the industry, including custom cover options for corporate branding or environmental messaging. Exclusive patented Kolorfusion digital image technology is used to customize covers with graphics, team colors, corporate logos, green messaging or any other high-resolution image.
From the stadium’s inception, the designers and contractors focused on long-term sustainability, energy efficiency and ecosystem management. In 2002, they won the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s New England Environmental Merit Award for the stadium’s design.
“When we built Gillette Stadium, we used a lot of recycled materials, from concrete to steel. We daylighted a portion of the Neponset River that was going through the horse track that was here,” says Stone. “Sustainability and green initiatives are a big part of our operation.”
Gillette Stadium employs several cutting-edge sustainability practices, including:
• Timing devices installed on the electrical distribution system that enable all nonessential lighting after hours to be automatically shut down, minimizing energy use.
• An on-site wastewater treatment facility that treats the stadium’s sanitary drainage such as wastewater generated from hand washing, laundry and bathing. This water is then reused in thousands of toilets throughout the facility, saving millions of gallons of water annually.
• During the construction of the stadium, more than 130,000 cubic yards of blasted open rock was processed through on-site crushers and reused on site. This process resulted in more than 90 percent of the residual product being reused as opposed to being added to the region’s diminishing landfill capacity.
• A photovoltaic power system that generates approximately 525 kilowatts of clean, renewable solar power at Patriot Place, the 1.3-million-square-foot entertainment, retail and dining destination adjacent to the stadium. The system supplies approximately 30 percent of Patriot Place’s power and approximately 2,800 crystalline photovoltaic panels span seven building rooftops at the complex.
The facility management team at Gillette Stadium continues to search for new ways to expand its conservation efforts. “Some of our latest sustainability initiatives include our food waste diversion program where we recycle approximately 200 tons of food waste per year,” says Stone. “We send that off-site where it gets converted to electricity. We’ve also incorporated LED lighting throughout the facility, including converting the lights that illuminate the game field to LED.”
“While our primary focus remains on creating the ultimate fan experience, we’re continually looking for new areas to make environmental improvements,” says Nolan. “Updating the restrooms with XLERATOR hand dryers represented another large step in reducing our carbon footprint.”
A Bright Future in the NFL
“The NFL currently has XLERATOR hand dryers installed at its New York headquarters, NFL Network Studios in Los Angeles and is encouraging the use of high-speed, energy-efficient hand dryers at stadiums as part of the league’s ‘Green Initiative’,” says David Krichavsky, director of Community Affairs, National Football League.
“We are proud of our relationship with one of the most respected organizations in professional sports,” says William Gagnon, vice president of Marketing and Sales, Excel Dryer. “The Kraft Group has created the model franchise in the NFL. Its team, operations, business and green initiatives are a proven blueprint for success.”