Hotel Energy Management Systems – Saving Hoteliers On Operating Costs

Hotel Energy Management Systems – Saving Hoteliers On Operating Costs

Hotel Energy Management Systems – Saving Hoteliers On Operating Costs

Hotel Energy Management Systems – The Basics

A typical hotel room can be unoccupied nearly 70% of the time! In addition, hotel guests are much less concerned about saving energy in your hotel than at their home. Therefore, many hoteliers pay to heat, cool, light, and power TVs for a guestroom with no one in it. How can hoteliers avoid this? One great solution is an Energy Management Systems (EMS).

Guestroom Details

The Basics:

  • An EMS is a combination of hardware and software that works to lower hotel energy consumption and improve maintenance operations.
  • These systems utilize in-room occupancy sensors to determine if a guest is present and then applies specific guestroom profiles that adjust lighting, power accordingly.
  • An EMS also uses data collection and program scheduling to increase hotel operational and maintenance efficiency.
  • The overall goal of these systems is to reduce energy use and maintenance while improving the overall guest experience.

Occupied Guestroom

Unoccupied Guestroom

The Benefits:

  • Lower Energy Use – In-use devices and lighting in an unoccupied room, such as lights and TVs, will be turned off. In addition, thermostats can drift to a temperature that requires less demand on the HVAC system.
  • Improve Guest Experience – An EMS can prep a guestroom at check-in to arrival state. This setting adjusts the thermostat to a comfortable temperature, turns on welcoming room music, provides a welcome greeting on the TV, and turns on necessary lighting. An EMS also recognizes when a room is occupied by a guest, which can help avoid unnecessary housekeeping disruptions.
  • Optimize Preventative Maintenance – An EMS can track HVAC run-times and notify hotel maintenance when filter and battery updates are required. This feature allows proactive maintenance before guest complaints and avoids generic, unnecessary replacements.
  • Forecast HVAC Problems – An EMS can help identify faulty or failing HVAC equipment by analyzing run-times as compared to similar units. This feature alerts you to urgent maintenance needs, such as when room temperatures drop too low during the winter season.

Major Players:

There are several major companies offering EMS products in the hospitality space.  Below are the top five:

 

In my next newsletter I discuss this topic in detail and explain some of the major components that make up these systems. I’m looking forward receiving further questions from you, so please don’t hesitate to contact me by email or phone.

 

Hotel Water Softener Basics

Hotel Water Softener Basics

Hotel Water Softener Basics

Hotel Water Softener Basics

In previous newsletters, I shared the basics of tank and tankless hot water systems. Today, I discuss one last and often overlooked component of the hotel water system – Water Softeners.

What Does A Water Softener Do?

  • A water softener is a tank system that removes the ions (i.e., usually calcium and magnesium) from the water to make it “softer.”

water softner

Do I Need One?

  • Over 80% of hotels in the US require water softeners.
  • Water softeners may not be required in certain areas of the Northwest and Northeast.
  • In the most cases, a water softener is required when water hardness is more than 5 grains per gallon in hot water and 7 grains per gallon in cold water. A basic water test can determine the water profile.
  • Hard water – when left untreated – can clog plumbing systems with limescale and reduce the lifespan of the plumbing equipment and fixtures.
  • After treatment, the water softens and easily liquefies soap for easier removal of soap scum from sinks and tubs.

What Types Are There?

  • There are several different types of softeners; however, the best option is a softener that uses ion exchange.
  • Ion exchange is the technology most commonly used in water softeners.

What Size Do I Need?

  • A typical 120-key hotel needs two 24” diameter softener tanks and one 30” diameter brine tank. These tanks take up an approximate 7’ by 2.5’ footprint in the water heater room.
  • Choosing the size of the system required for each hotel is important.
  • Oversized systems lead to hardness leakage due to inefficient flowrates. Undersized systems lead to pressure issues.
  • Your MEP engineer should work directly with Culligan or another softener representative to ensure it is properly sized.

Water Softener System

How Much Do They Cost?

  • A water softener for a typical 120-key hotel can range from $5,000-$10,000.
  • Cost fluctuations depend on whether you plan to soften only hot water or both the cold and hot.
  • Since hot and cold water are mixed, most manufacturers recommend treating both sources.

What Maintenance Is Required?

  • Softener maintenance is fairly basic.
  • Requirements include regular cleaning of the brine tank and use of a high-quality salt and clean resin.

What Brands Are The Most Popular?

  • Culligan is the most popular water softener we specify in our hotels. They have a longstanding reputation and are available nationwide.

 

 

Select the Right Elevator for your Next Hotel!

Select the Right Elevator for your Next Hotel!

Select the Right Elevator for your Next Hotel!

Select the Right Elevator for your Next Hotel!

Passenger elevators play a vital role in hotel guest circulation.  In this article, I discuss some basics of elevator design and selection to ensure you make the right decision for your next hotel.

We often receive questions from hotel developers about proper elevator selection. Here I address some of the most common questions we receive. For now, I focus this discussion on low-rise hotels (three to seven stories).

Elevator Graphic 01

When are elevators required? According to IBC (International Building Code) guidelines, at least one elevator is required for all buildings with four or more floors. Beyond code requirements, hotel franchises also have minimum requirements for elevators as part of their brand standards.

How many elevators do I need? At a minimum, a good rule of thumb is one elevator bank per 75 keys for low-rise hotels plus one service elevator for up to 100 keys.  For most hotels between 100-150 keys, two elevator cabs are sufficient. However, many times hotel owners elect to include more than one to limit wait times or meet franchise brand standards. When the key count goes above 200 keys, we typically recommend a third elevator be added.

What is the right size cab (Inner Cab Dimensions)? Typical elevator cab sizing for a standard guest elevator is 6’-8” x 5’-5”. However, minimum sizes will vary by the franchise as part of their brand standard requirements.  Some projects will also require a stretcher elevator.

What is the right capacity? Typical hotel elevators have a capacity of 3,000 – 4,000 lbs.  Many of the major hotel brands have minimum capacity requirements as part of their brand standards.

What is the ideal location: Walking distances from the elevator lobby to any room should not exceed 150’. The higher the brand classification, the lower this number should be in order to maintain guest expectations.

When do I need a service elevator? Hoteliers should typically provide a minimum of one service elevator.  For smaller projects, it is often permitted to share a guest elevator with a service elevator by utilizing dual front and rear opening doors. Service elevators should open directly to back-of-house areas with keyed access to service housekeeping and laundry services.  Please note that these cab types necessitate a slightly wider than normal elevator shaft.

 

When is a stretcher elevator required? A stretcher elevator is required in all buildings with four or more stories above or below grade plane per the IBC. This elevator must accommodate a 24” by 84” ambulance stretcher in the horizontal open position and have an off-centered door with a minimum capacity of 3,500 lbs.

Elevator Graphic 03

What speed of elevator is required? Elevator speed requirements vary based on elevator type and number of stories. For most three- to five-story hotels, the speed is approximately 100-200 fpm (feet per minute). Most major franchises also have minimum requirements for elevator speed which must be met.

What are the most common brands? Typically, hoteliers select their elevator brand based on price, reputation, and service/maintenance availability.  Most major elevator brands have service support available in all major cities, but for more rural locations, service availability should be a consideration. Below are the four most common brands we typically see in our designs.

 

Do I need backup power for my elevator? Yes. There are two different options to consider.

  1. Buildings with fewer than 4 floors – Elevators must be connected to the MSB (Main Switch Board) with a battery lowering system. This system will bring the elevator cab to the landing level in the event of an emergency or loss of power.
  2. Buildings with 4 or more floors –  Elevators must be equipped with emergency generators to keep the elevator in operation in the event of a power loss. A general requirement is to provide a generator capable of two hours of operation.

Hotel buildings are typically designed with one of the following two types of elevators; Hydraulic Elevators or Electric MRL (Machine-roomless) Elevators. In my next newsletter, I discuss both of these in more detail and explain the benefits and drawbacks of each.

 

  Blair_PIC_WEBSITE

 

How To Build A Five Story Wood Framed Hotel

How To Build A Five Story Wood Framed Hotel

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How-To-Build-A-Five-Story-Wood-Framed-Hotel-Part-3-Header

podium-construction

Increasingly, hoteliers rely on podium construction (sometimes called pedestal construction), which allows four or five stories of wood framing above one story of traditional concrete framing.   This is often referred to as four-over-one or five-over-one construction. Through an exception in the building code (titled: Horizontal Building Separation), podium construction design adds space and value to your wood structure.

Horizontal Building Separation is defined in Chapter 5 of the IBC and allows you to consider the ground floor (concrete) section of the building and wood framing section above as two separate “buildings.” However, for the purposes of fire and life safety, the following requirements must be met:

  1. Ground Floor “building” must be Type 1A construction.
  2. Ground Floor “building” must be only one story above grade (*Please note: This requirement is removed in the 2015 IBC).
  3. 2nd Level floor system separating the two “buildings” must satisfy 3-hour rated horizontal assembly.
  4. Enclosures penetrating the above horizontal assembly must satisfy 2-hour rated assembly.

One additional important requirement is that the total building height (including both sections) cannot exceed the maximum building heights outlined in Table 503.  As highlighted below, the buildings must satisfy the smaller allowable height requirements, as follows:

Table-01-for-Web

  1. Type 1A construction has an unlimited maximum height. Therefore, podium structures will be height-limited per construction type for the upper “building”.
  2. Per Table 503, the following construction types for upper “buildings” with NFPA 13 sprinklers allow for the following:
    • Type VA – 4 Stories & 70’ maximum height
    • Type IIIA – 5 Stories & 85’ maximum height
  3. Ultimately, this gives you two options for podium construction:

Option 1: Type 1A ground floor podium with 4 stories of Type VA wood framing above. This design provides a maximum total building height (from grade plane) of 70’.

Option1-Type-1A

Option 2: Type 1A ground floor podium with four or five stories of Type IIIA wood framing above. This design provides a maximum total building height (from grade plane) of 85’.

Option2-Type-IIIA

Important Consideration: the determination of high-rise status. As defined by Chapter 2 of the IBC and depicted in the below graphic, “high-rise buildings” have occupied floors located more than 75 feet above the lowest level of fire department vehicle access.

This standard must be considered because once a building is defined as a “high-rise,” additional design measures must be taken for fire and life safety requirements.  These measures, such as the additions of smoke evacuation systems and stair pressurization, can add unwanted costs to your project.  For this reason, when using podium construction, project leaders aim to design the highest occupied floor below the 75’ threshold.

 

Hotel Laundry: Common Issues and Major Expenses

Hotel Laundry: Common Issues & Major Expenses

Hotel Laundry: Common Issues & Major Expenses

Hotel Laundry: Common Issues & Major Expenses

In my previous newsletter, I discussed the basics of designing a hotel laundry area. Today, I present some important considerations for creating a well-maintained laundry system. I also discuss approximate hotel laundry expenses according to various hotel laundry needs.

 

LAUNDRY ROOM PLACEMENT:

  • High extraction hard mount washers tend to vibrate, so these units should be installed on the ground floor and bolted to a 12-inch concrete slab, if possible.
  • During the initial conceptual space planning, you need to think through laundry travel routes from the guestrooms, meeting areas, and amenity spaces to the laundry room. Avoiding interaction between hotel laundry loads and guests is critical. Therefore, a rear opening elevator with direct laundry room access is an important aspect of your ground floor design considerations.
  • Dryer units should always be installed on an outside wall when possible so that make-up air and venting lengths can be kept to a minimum.

Typical Dryer Exhaust Venting

COMMON ISSUES:

  • Undersized Laundry Rooms – Efficiently running laundry operations require space for housekeeping staff to work and maneuver carts. Developers who are not operating the hotel often mistakenly undersize these spaces to prioritize front-of-house space for guests. Dryers should also have a minimum of 2 feet (3′ preferred) clearance behind equipment to aid in maintenance.
  • Undersized Equipment – Similar to undersized rooms, if developers are not familiar with BOH (back-of-house) laundry operations, they may undersize equipment as part of a value engineering exercise. Having equipment that cannot keep up with laundering demands leads to extended housekeeping hours.
  • Door Access – Restricted door access is a common problem! For example, a typical 75-pound dryer will not fit through a standard 36-inch wide door. A larger 120-pound unit can be more than 46 inches wide. Designers must carefully think through door sizing and access to ensure units can be delivered to the space.
  • Dryer Make-up Air – A typical tumble dryer uses forced air exhaust, which requires make-up air to replace vented air. A standard 75-pound dryer requires nearly 200 in2 of open access to fresh air. High-performance models require 250 in2 or more. These openings should not be located near venting grilles (see below) in order to avoid reintroduction. Owners should be cautious of ground clutter and snow which can obstruct these openings and dramatically reduce the performance of the equipment.
  • Dryer Venting – Units must also be vented. Manufacturers recommend individual venting with one duct per unit to fresh air with a 14-foot maximum run. Although not preferred, manifold venting using a main collector duct may also be used. A laundry vendor should always be consulted for proper sizing.
  • Dryer Enclosures & Noise – Manufacturers recommend enclosing tumble dryers in order to segregate the make-up air supply. This process also reduces the heat emissions in the laundry room by up to 80% and significantly cuts down on noise emissions which can be a common guest complaint for hotel rooms near laundry operations.

Typical Dryer Enclosure

COST BREAKDOWN:

  • Hard Mount Washers – Washers can be the most expensive part of a hotel laundry operation. Typically, these washers range from $10,000 to $13,000 per unit for a 65-pound unit. Larger 85-pound units may exceed $17,000.
  • Dryers – A typical 75-pound fast-dry tumbler typically costs around $5,000 per unit. Larger 120-pound units may cost more than $8,000.
  • Delivery & Installation – Although varying by geographic location, developers typically budget around $2,500 for installation of units.

 

Hotel EMS – Conserve Energy Without Sacrificing Guest Comfort!

Hotel EMS – Conserve Energy Without Sacrificing Guest Comfort!

Hotel EMS – Conserve Energy Without Sacrificing Guest Comfort!

 

In my last newsletter, I discussed Energy Management Systems (EMS) as an option to reduce energy waste in your hotel. One of the most common concerns about an EMS is that they shut off while hotel guests are sleeping due to lack of motion in the guestroom. After all, no hotel owner wants guests’ complaints in the middle of the night about their AC unit not working due to a faulty occupancy sensor reading. While this was a concern with earlier occupancy sensors, sensor technology has become infinitely more accurate in the past few years. A good sensor setup with supplemental sensors can result in a very accurate room reading.

Side By Side Guestroom

Below are the six major in-room components that can make up a typical EMS.

  • Smart Thermostats – These wireless thermostats typically have internal occupancy sensors built-in. Some of them can have PIR (Passive Infrared) ability that detects infrared radiation of the guests and identifies occupied rooms by comparing it to unoccupied ones. Then, it can adjust guestroom temperature and fan settings accordingly. Also, networked thermostats can track HVAC run-times and system usage.
  • Supplemental Occupancy Sensors – These sensors are an effective solution when guestroom geometry does not allow thermostat sensors to cover all areas effectively. These sensors are mounted on the guestroom wall or ceiling. Some of the sensors with PIR feature detect the presence of a sleeping guest. This helps EMS to work the HVAC system properly during the night.
  • Smart Outlets – Smart outlets can monitor power consumption and control any electric device in guestrooms. Outlets can stop or engage the flow of power to one or both outlet plugs. This allows guestroom lighting, appliances, and televisions in vacant rooms to be turned off automatically.
  • Smart Light Switches – Similar to smart outlets, smart switches operate just like a standard light switch, yet have the ability to stop power flow to lights. They are controlled by commands from a smart thermostat, occupancy sensor, or hotel (Property Management Systems) PMS.
  • Smart Door & Window Sensors – Smart sensors serve as supplemental occupancy detectors that wirelessly recognize the opening and closing of entry doors, balcony doors, and windows.  This data is then sent to the thermostat for necessary adjustments (e.g., shutting off the HVAC system when the balcony door opens).
  • Smart TVWith Smart TVs, hotel guests can stream music, watch movies, connect to social media, and even make dinner reservations. When connected to a hotel PMS, front desk staff can display a welcome screen that activates upon guest check-in.

Guestroom Details P2

Guest Profiles
Occupancy detection and scheduling are the key mechanisms for controlling guestroom environment. Please see below for an example of EMS guestroom profile per occupied/unoccupied rooms in both warm and cold climates:

Guestroom Settings Winter

 

In our final newsletter on guestroom EMS, we will explore the typical upfront costs and ROIs generated by these systems. In the meantime, please do not hesitate to contact me by email or phone.

 

Does My Hotel Need a Generator?

Does My Hotel Need a Generator?

Does My Hotel Need a Generator?

Hospitality leaders must prioritize the safety and comfort of their guests!  One important consideration is your provision of an uninterrupted power supply. Guests expect hotel power will be functioning, regardless of natural disasters or other unforeseen electrical malfunctions. During unanticipated power outages, maintaining a reliable power source is vital to serving your guests. In this newsletter, I focus on the basics of hotel generators.

Does My Hotel Require a Generator?
In most cases, a generator required if a hotel has 5 or more floors above the grade.

What types of generators are used?

Both natural gas and diesel generators are acceptable.  However, for a typical 100-key, limited service hotel, a natural gas generator is used for the following reasons:

  • Natural gas doesn’t require storing large quantities of fuel or signing a fuel delivery contract.
  • Natural gas units are typically smaller and more appropriately sized (100-250 kW) for typical hotel demands.

What does a generator need to power in my hotel? 

According to National Electrical Code (NEC), a generator typically supplies power to three main areas.

1. Emergency Circuits:

  • Egress path lights
  • Exit lights
  • Fire pumps
  • Fire alarms
  • Card readers
  • Magnetic door holds
  • Other critical and life safety circuits

2. Code Required Standby Circuits

  • Elevators
  • Building emergency lighting
  • Data & communication system
  • Ventilation and smoke removal
  • Front desk outlets

Outdoor Generator

3. Optional Standby Circuits:

  • Food storage & processing
  • HVAC units
  • Electric sockets

While not required by code, optional standby circuits allow hoteliers to maintain an expected level of guest experience- especially at the higher chain scales where guest comfort remains a top priority.

Generator manufacturing brand

What should I consider when I place a generator on site?

  • Flooding –  Generators should be elevated, especially in coastal areas.
  • Sound Considerations – Generators are loud, so designing sound barriers is advised.
  • Guest Site Lines – Generators are large, bulky pieces of equipment that require strategic placement to remain out of sight.
  • Access – Technicians must be able to access and service generators, requiring proper clearances around the units.

What is the size of a typical hotel generator?
A typical 150 kW generator is approximately 10’ long by 5’ wide by 6’ tall and weighs 7,000 lbs.  This is a very large piece of equipment that must be accounted for during the early design phase.

Do I have to regularly test my generator?
Yes, according to The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), you must regularly test generators.

I’m looking forward receiving further questions from you to discuss the most suitable generator options for your project. Please don’t hesitate to contact me by email or phone.

Hoteliers Now Considering Salt Water Pools

Hoteliers Now Considering Salt Water Pools

Salt Water Pools Header

Hotel Developers Now Considering Salt Water Pools

Love them or loathe them, pools are a brand required amenity for many popular hotel flags. For hotel owner, it’s important to understand your options when it comes to pool technology as it ultimately will affect the overall maintenance, costs, and guest experience at your property. In this newsletter, I’ll discuss a growing trend in pool design of saline (salt water) pool systems.

There are two major misconceptions with salt water pools that are important to address:

 

 

Myth #1:  Salt Water Pools Are Chlorine-Free

This is by far the most common misconception. A salt water pool and a chlorinated pool both use chlorine to kill bacteria. The main difference is simply in the way the sterilizing agent is added to your pool.  With chlorinated pools, chlorine is added directly to the pool water. Salt water pools use a chlorine generator and create the chlorine on site.

Myth #2: Salt water Pools Are Extremely Salty

Despite their misleading name, salt water pools are not like salt water found in the ocean. Salt water pools typically only have 1/10 or less the salinity of sea water.

Hotel Pool Design Rendering03

Hotel Pool Design Rendering02

The Basics:

  1. Salt water pool technology has been around for over 50 years when it was first used in Australia.  (Today over 80% of all pools in Australia are salt water)
  2. Salt water pools work by converting salt to chlorine using a chlorine generator the key component of every salt water pool system.
  3. The bacteria-killing chlorine created through this process is the same one found in a traditionally chlorinated pool.
  4. The generator produces a constant stream of chlorine, which means the chlorine level is typically much lower in a salt water pool than a traditionally chlorinated one.
  5. Some wellness brands, such as Element by Westin (Marriott) and EVEN Hotels (IHG) require-saline based pools systems.

Major Benefits:

  1. Less Maintenance – Chlorinated pools require constant surveillance and testing not required by salt water pools. Since the generator produces chlorine at a steady stream, only chlorine and pH levels must still be monitored with no need to add regular doses to the pool.
  2. Softer Feel – Those that swim in salt water hotel pools describe the water to be ‘silky.’ –  This is similar to the effect of a water softener in your home where the addition of salt makes the water feel ‘softer.’ – Many people prefer this feel over chlorinated water.
  3. Easier on the Clothes, Eyes, and Skin – Because of the way chlorine is generated in a salt water pool, the chlorine levels are generally much lower. The lower chlorine levels mean salt water pools protect eyes, skin, and bathing suit. Hotel guests that experience irritations from chlorine will likely have fewer problems. Saline systems are often recognized to be a “greener” choice for hotel developers looking for the sustainable route.
  4. Safer and Lower Liability – At higher levels, traditional liquid or tablet chlorine can be dangerous. Recently, a hotel in Maryland had to be evacuated when guests were complaining of eye irritation in the pool area.  It was later found that a 5-gallon container of chlorine tablets had gotten wet in the chemical storage area, resulting in spreading odors and negative guest experience. A salt water pool does not require large doses of chlorine, greatly reducing potential environmental, health or legal concerns for owners. Also, this solution fits to hotels with rooftop pools as liquid chlorine need not be delivered through guest occupied areas of a hotel.

Hotel Pool Design Rendering05

Drawbacks

  1. Initial Cost – The biggest drawback for most hotel owners is the initial investment required for salt water pool equipment, which can cost thousands of dollars. It should to be noted that some or all this cost can be recouped due to the savings on maintenance and purchasing/storing of chemicals.  Typically, developers need 3-4 years to get a return on the installation cost.
  2. Complexity –Salt water systems are a bit more complex and likely require professional for assistance when problems arise. it is more likely that you will need to reach out to a professional for assistance.
  3. Corrosivity – Although you are not dealing with concentrated chlorine, salt by itself can be extremely corrosive and damaging. Developers sometimes report damage to ladders, pool decking, fixtures, and more due to the effects of salt water. Usually these problems arise from improper maintenance or outdated equipment, but the risks still exist.

Hoteliers considering a salt water pool need to evaluate the initial upfront investment, maintenance, and ultimate end guest experience they want to give their customers. If you have a salt water pool at your hotel – we’d love to get your feedback on both the benefits and drawbacks you’ve experienced!

 

 

 

How To Keep Your Hotel Guestrooms Quiet!

How To Keep Your Hotel Guestrooms Quiet!

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How to keep your hotel guestrooms quiet! 

Flanking Noise Sources
We discussed two of the most common sources of flanking noise. (Link to Part 5a) This week we focus on two additional sources and how to reduce and eliminate them in your hotel. As a brief reminder, flanking noise is simply noise that transfers from one space to another via an indirect pathway. Below are the most common sources of flanking noise and the related design ideas to reduce such noise in your hotel guestrooms:

 

1. Connecting/Communicating Doors 

These are doors that directly connect guestrooms to one another through the demising wall. In terms of noise pollution, connecting doors are the weakest link.  In fact, many guests specifically request that they not be placed in a room with a connecting door due to the added noise. However, since most hotel franchises require 10% of the rooms have connecting door options, you cannot avoid this source of noise.

Luckily, you can control some of this noise via a communicating door system. A communicating door system involves two independent doors that face each other to create an airlock between them. This system yields much higher performance than a single door.  But be careful! Design considerations make all the difference when using a communicating door system. Here is what you must know:

  • You will need a wide enough demising wall space with room enough to accommodate the protrusion of the door handles on each side, as shown in the graphic below.
  • You must use a heavy solid-core door as their hollow-core interior alternative will not perform nearly as well.  Hollow core wood doors have an STC range of 18-22 whereas most comparable solid-core doors range from 29-32 due to the additional mass.
  • Proper sealing is also very important. As required by many franchises, you should choose specialized acoustic door seals for placement around the entire jamb.
  • You should utilize a sweep or automatic drop down seal at the base of the door. Automatic drop downs are beneficial in areas of transitional height between your door threshold and guestroom flooring (ie.heavy carpet) as shown in the graphic below.

Communicating-Doors

Automatic-Door-Bottom-Graphic-1

2. Ceiling Can Lighting

Similar to outlet boxes, ceiling can lights create holes in your assembly and eliminate the drywall layer. Noise then travels through the metal cans from the rooms above.  Fortunately, proper design limits the effects of this noise, as follows:

  • Eliminate all ceiling can lighting. This is one of the reasons you rarely see ceiling can lights in most hotel guestrooms.
  • Install ceiling cans in a soffit. While not always possible due to ceiling height requirements and RCPs, the soffits provide opportunity for a layer of drywall above the can and maintain an effective sound-barrier.
  • Utilize backer boxes. Although not always economically feasible, backer boxes create a sound-isolated box in which to mount the can and reduce sound transmission. See the below graphics for helpful details.

Ceiling-Can-Lighting-Graphic-2

 

Fáilte Ireland highlights need for more hotel rooms

Fáilte Ireland calls for hotel room investment outside Dublin

 

Image result for failte ireland hotelThe report highlights that the biggest squeeze is in Kilkenny, where 41 new rooms are likely to come on stream by 2022 to add to the current supply

With the number of tourists visiting Irish shores estimated to rise by about a fifth over the next five years, Fáilte Ireland has undertaken a study of hotel room capacity in some of the country’s major cities outside Dublin.

And, the tourism body’s assessment of Cork, Galway, and Kilkenny suggests a significant overall gap between new hotel rooms coming on stream and likely demand for these rooms.

Chief executive of Fáilte Ireland Paul Kelly said the report “takes a look at the pipeline development of hotel rooms over the next five years.

“We’ve done this in Dublin over the last number of years and because of the spread of tourism around the country increasing and great growth coming outside of Dublin, we are now looking at other areas.”

The report highlights that the biggest squeeze is in Kilkenny, where 41 new rooms are likely to come on stream by 2022 to add to the current supply.

 

On the situation in Kilkenny, Mr Kelly said: “Only about a 4% increase is what’s currently in the pipeline, so we believe there is significant opportunity for the private sector to invest and to develop further hotel stock in Kilkenny.

“There is a tremendous tourism offering that’s already there, it’s getting better all the time, we’re investing, the local are investing, and it’s becoming a more and more popular tourism destination.”

The Fáilte Ireland CEO said it is calling on a “combination of all” types of investor to get involved in the hotel sector.

“There are two fundamental ways to increase the number of hotel bedrooms. You can extend existing hotels or you can build new hotels.

“We’re signalling this to all of the existing operators that are in the market, we’re signalling it to landowners who may have suitable sites in the area, we’re signalling it to property developers who can buy those sites – so to the entire market really.”

 

Mr Kelly said there is already significant investment in the pipeline for both Dublin and Cork when it comes to new hotel rooms.

Galway, which is currently at 82% annual occupancy, also has significant room for investment.

With an estimated 17% increase in hotel bed stock over the next five years (500 new hotel rooms), this growth is likely to fall short of expected demand, according to Fáilte Ireland.

For Cork, Mr Kelly says there is “a very healthy pipeline of development.

“Cork is coming from a little bit behind probably where it should be in terms of hotel stock but it’s great to see there’s about a 35% increase due in the pipeline in the next five years and that will be needed.”

This 35% rise equates to over 920 new hotel rooms in Cork by 2022.

On the impact Government plans to crack down on Airbnb lettings might have on hotel room demand, Mr Kelly said: “We’re still working through the exact implications of this for tourism.

“It seems from the information we’ve been able to get so far, the vast majority of the stock that’s available through Airbnb is less than the 90 days and the vast majority is people who are renting out a room in their house.”

He added: “From what we’ve seen so far it doesn’t look like it will have a major effect” on hotel room supply”.

However, he added “one of the big concerns in that area is that we need to make sure that the long-established self-catering sector of the Irish tourism economy in rural Ireland that can support hotels does not get inadvertently hit by these new regulations”.