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Room Service by Vantage

Bringing environmental control to U.N. diplomats’ NYC destination hotel

December 17, 2012 By Nancy Klosek
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The just-opened, 10-floor, 170-room West Tower of the newly renovated ONE UN New York Hotel represented Phase One of a multi-phase project where Vantage Controls was a prominent vendor and design participant, supplying lighting and temperature control solutions and its TPT650 touchscreen as the guests’ control interface. The installation in the hotel, directly across from the United Nations, gave Vantage a sterling opportunity to show off its InFusion-based control system as a suitable solution for a hospitality/commercial application of this magnitude.  It included 50 InFusion controllers, 640 ScenePoint dual relays, 320 keypad stations, 150 TPT650 LCD touchscreen controllers, 160 thermostats, 800 sensors and in-room keypads from Vantage parent Legrand.

It was an undertaking that brought some logistical challenges; not the least of these was the inflexibility of the completion date.  The renovation of the tower, one of two that comprise the hotel complex, began in April, and Vantage got access in mid-May – but all had to be done before the start of the U.N. General Assembly in September. 

“We could offer product to aesthetically meet the build, and technology that could be adaptive to the space,” said Randy Thomas, director of business development, in explaining why Vantage’s product portfolio was selected. “The construction developer wanted the most suitable technology, but it had to be scalable so they would have the option to grow it in future.”

Management’s wish-list for the hotel, which had no level of automation before the renovation, included the installation of occupancy sensors to activate and turn off lighting, along with temperature sensors that could help in both energy saving and guest comfort. Given the diverse international clientele that the hotel serves, an unusual request was for touch screens that could be programmed in several languages, and that could also be switched to display Celsius temperature readings from Fahrenheit for the HVAC system.  “We brought a lot to the table from the design side,” Thomas said. That included input on devising a turndown scene creation program that took over a function usually handled by hotel housekeeping.

Moreover, management did not want to go wireless because of security concerns; the hotel, which averages 80 to 85 percent occupancy, also houses various government operations, said Andrew Wale, Vantage’s vice president of marketing. 

Feedback since the tower reopened has been highly positive. Guests regularly give a thumbs-up on room scene control. They find the touch panel simple and convenient to use, and like the fact that there is no response latency, since it is hard-wired, Thomas said.  The hotel is planning on adding the capability of viewing live scenes on the touch panel from high-profile tourist sites such as Times Square and Central Park, he added.

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