Hilton Austin renovates to include networked energy-management system

Hilton Austin launched a $22 million renovation, primarily to simplify guest comfort and boost energy efficiency. Now, the property's state of the art energy management system meets and exceeds Austin's green mandate. When Hilton Austin decided to renovate its 801 rooms, management checked in with city officials to ensure the project would meet codes for lighting, plumbing, and energy use.

"We have a good relationship with the city," says John Culp, Hilton Austin's director of engineering. "We call them before renovations – especially in this case, when we planned to update guest room furniture, lighting fixtures, and integrated room automation systems equipment."

Effective energy management was only one goal of Hilton Austin's renovation project. The hotel chose Inncom by Honeywell's Deep Mesh Network with wireless IRAS integration because it handles both priorities.
An Inncom bedside controller lets guests adjust room temperature and lighting without changing wall switches or thermostats. Inncom’s controller also sends privacy and "request service" messages to housekeeping for prompt assistance.

"We were concerned about ease of use and our guests’ technology learning curve," says Culp. "But we found that the controllers are intuitive and easy to use. Guests clearly like them because they don’t have to move around the room to control their environment."
The Inncom Deep Mesh network wirelessly links in-room lighting, thermostats, energy systems, and the property’s Saflok RFID guest room door locks. Sensors monitor when a guest enters or leaves a room and sends an alert if the room is vacant and the door is ajar. This feature is a major plus for guest security and safety.
This reduces costs when multiple systems like energy management and door locks use the Deep Mesh network backbone. The INNCOM network monitors all guest room energy systems.

"The system automatically notifies us when equipment needs attention," he explains. Occupancy sensors detect when the room is empty so the property can dispatch one of his 26 engineers to address equipment issues while guests are out. "We can solve a problem before people even notice it," he says.
The property prints daily reports from the INNCOM system to make sure room systems remain within the property’s pre-configured temperature and operational parameters. "If I see that a room varies more than two or three degrees from our optimum settings, it's a red flag. We can quickly check the equipment and provided maintenance before guests notice or it hits our bottom line."