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CLIMATE CONTROL COUNTS, PART II – EXPLORING HVAC OPTIONS FOR MODULAR HOTEL CONSTRUCTION, RENOVATIONS & REPLACEMENTS

Hotel developers and owners are tasked with endless decisions to make at the onset of a construction or renovation project regardless of property size, location or market segment. Equally important as architectural style and room décor is the implementation of an effective cooling/heating solution because climate control in every corner of a property – the guest accommodations, fitness center, restaurant, lobby and more – unequivocally impacts the guest experience. 

Fortunately, multiple options exist that hit all the marks on energy efficiency, flexibility, easy maintenance and products built-to-last, all without sacrificing quality, whether developers and owners are embarking on building a new limited- or full-service hotel, modular construction, renovating a site or replacing existing cooling/heating systems. The ultimate goal is simple – install a system that satisfies hotel and guest needs, enhances the customer experience and boosts RevPAR in the process. In the last of this two-part series, options for modular construction, renovations and replacements will be outlined.

Modular Builds – Solutions Integrated At Construction

With the increase in modular hotel construction – thanks to faster assembly time, improved product consistency and better ways to transport pre-built units – a unique set of HVAC challenges have emerged. Meeting the distinct needs of this growing hotel trend are vertical package systems – a practical cooling solution that can be seamlessly integrated at the time of multi-level modular construction. Here’s why these systems are a market game-changer.

  • Modular hotels can take advantage of vertical package systems (instead of a central air system) to solve the chaotic back-and-forth of climate control that is particularly difficult in suites and rooms with multiple bedrooms. Friedrich’s Vert-I-Pak system is available in various cooling capacities from 9,000 to 24,000 BTU, providing a variety of options for numerous spaces. One unit can effectively cool multiple rooms in a suite

  • Self-contained and out of view, vertical package systems include a condenser, compressor and evaporator inside a compact unit that fits in a small mechanical closet. All guests notice is the thermostat.

  • These systems provide a clean, attractive outdoor aesthetic – no clutter of outdoor condensing units, no rooftop cooling tower with a chiller, and no need for refrigerant lines to run between floors.

  • They can be low on noise and high on efficiency, which in turns saves money on the bottom line. Excellent insulation that drastically diminishes sound and yields monetary rewards – this is modular hotel building that is smart from the start.

Vertical package systems are part of the next generation of hospitality enhancements aimed at elevating customer satisfaction. PTACs (packaged terminal air conditioners), mini-PTACS and Friedrich’s VRP® (variable refrigerant packaged) heat pump system are other feasible options for modular construction that can save time and money without forfeiting design quality or efficiency.

Renovations & Remodels – Upgrade To Guest Satisfaction & Profits

Out with the old and in with the new…when hotels are planning to extensively renovate or when a cooling/heating system is constantly troublesome, the time is right to implement a more efficient and cost-effective solution to maintain comfortable temperatures. Before a property renovation or system replacement begins, hoteliers must have a thorough mechanical evaluation to determine the extent of work required to install a new cooling/heating system so that a project can adhere to strict budgets and timelines. Hoteliers are encouraged to research newer and better products in the market that deliver worthwhile financial rewards instead of reverting to what’s familiar, particularly if the old system experienced a high number of glitches and breakdowns, because the loss of comfortable hotel climates equates to lost profits.

Design enhancements to the self-contained PTAC system have made them not only more efficient, but much quieter – a major bonus when lesser-quality systems need to be replaced or during renovations to upgrade hotel spaces. The dramatic reduction of operating noise creates a relaxing environment where guests can sleep better or be more productive because there are no noisy distractions. These systems are also easier to maintain (since the PTAC’s chassis slides out of the wall sleeve), which ensures a longer product life and positively impacts a hotel’s budget, not just during a renovation but for the long-term. A leader in the commercial hospitality market, Friedrich’s PTAC features a curved coil design to deliver better efficiencies, tangential fans for powerful but quiet airflow, and thick insulation to diminish noise.

Mini-PTACs, also known as through-the-wall air conditioners, are perfect for remodeled rooms on the smaller size. These more compact versions of standard PTACs are installed in similar fashion – so they are easy to clean and maintain – and afford the same benefits of optimum energy usage and quieter operation.

Properties with suite accommodations favor an energy-savings vertical PTAC system because one unit can successfully cool and heat multiple rooms. In keeping with guests’ desire for decreased noise, the vertical PTAC is generally quieter than traditional PTAC systems because they are installed into a small insulated utility closet.

Not having ductwork doesn’t need to be a major problem during the renovation of a full-service or limited-service hotel. Ductless split systems can be operated independently, although part of a multi-zone system, and provide cooling comfort in lobbies, laundry rooms, fitness centers, indoor pools, spas and food preparation spaces. The units can be wall-mounted or installed in the ceiling, and they even cool rooms without windows or exterior walls. They are sleek, near-silent and quickly reach – and maintain – the desired temperatures.

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Both limited-service and full-service hotels can win big on customer comfort and the delivery of superior air quality while saving both energy and money thanks to various cooling/heating solutionsself-contained PTACs, mini-PTACs, vertical package systems (like the Vert-I-Pak) and ductless split systems. Plus, full-service and modular properties thrive with Friedrich’s VRP® cooling and heating solution without the high cost or complexity of systems such as chillers and VRF. Being pleasantly cool or comfortably warm is not something specific to full-service or high-end properties, and developers who think strategically about HVAC solutions – prior to construction of new builds or renovations of existing sites – as a way to encourage guest satisfaction and secure customer loyalty are best poised to realize profitability with their hotel project.

Founded in 1883, Friedrich first entered the air conditioning industry in 1952 manufacturing room air conditioners. Over the years, Friedrich has expanded its product offering to include a full line of specialty HVAC products known for excellent energy efficiency and rugged dependability. Friedrich’s line of PTACs and the single package Vert-I-Pak® line provide superior comfort solutions for the lodging industry. The new, innovative VRP® is a total HVAC package, delivering best in class cooling and super-efficient heating, and also providing real dehumidification and conditioned fresh air.

This article was created in collaboration with the sponsoring company and our sales and marketing team. The editorial team does not contribute.