Hotels or hospitality is one of the largest commercial construction markets. Hotels can range from roadside accommodation to 5-star resorts. They include extended stay, convenience and conference hotels. The wide range of uses creates a wide range of demands on the building itself. Hotels can be divided into three main areas:
Guest rooms can range from a sleeping area and bathroom to extended stay rooms with separate living rooms and kitchens.
- Lobby, Atrium and Lounges
- Meeting Rooms
- Restaurants and Dining Rooms
- Swimming Pools
- Health Clubs
Back of the House (BOTH) Areas
- Storage Areas
- Service Areas and Equipment Rooms
Maximum comfort in the public and guest room areas is critical to the success of the hotel. Hotel operators will use room occupancy (e.g. 90% occupancy) as a measure of a successful hotel. Anything that takes a room out of service (e.g. air conditioning not working) will hurt the hotel performance. Public areas enhance the guest experience providing lifestyle and professional resources.
Large hotel chains can both own and operate the hotel or franchise their brand to a third party owner. Typically the franchisee arrangement has requirements and guidelines from the Franchisee to follow describing level of service, building design etc.
Guest comfort is paramount so guest rooms should have individual climate control offering heating and cooling on demand, low sound levels, no drafting and good indoor air quality. Most guest rooms have an exterior exposure and low internal heat gains so envelope loads are dominant. The ventilation load can be up to 15% of the guest room cooling load.
The ventilation sensible load can vary from 0 to 100% in one day while the ventilation latent load can remain relatively constant. Low sensible heat ratios are common in moderate to humid climate zones. It is critical that the HVAC design accounts for the low sensible heat ratios to avoid a “clammy” environment inside the building. The “clammy” sensation occurs then room temperature is correct but the relative humidity is too high. Air conditioning systems controlled only by sensible heat (i.e. thermostat) will not dehumidify. When the sensible heat load is low and the latent load is constant, the air conditioning system will operate a low capacity or worse, cycle on and off providing little or no dehumidification.
Hotels are one of the higher energy use building types according to CBECS (Commercial Building Energy Consumption Survey) with an Energy Use Intensity (EUI) of 95,000 Btu/ft²-yr.
Typical Hotel Energy Usage
- Space Heating
- Water Heating
- Space Heating
- Water Heating
Where the energy is used in hotels varies greatly depending the services offered by the hotel. The Hotel Energy pie chart shows national levels. The energy for HVAC is almost 50% so optimizing the HVAC system can have a significant impact on hotel energy use.
Diversity especially in conference focused hotels can be considerable as the guests will either be in the rooms (night) or the public areas (conference areas).
Hotels tend to use specialized Building Automations Systems (BAS) that integrate the HVAC and lighting controls with hotel operations. Examples include front desk room assignment, housekeeping reporting room availability, HVAC and light controls all integrated into a common platform.
The ventilation air can be introduced into the return of the fan coil or delivered directly to the space through a supply air grille. The exhaust is typically taken from the bathroom.
Decentralized systems require a dedicated outdoor air system (DOAS) to deliver ventilation air to the occupied space. For hotels, the ventilation air can offset the bathroom exhaust air to maintain neutral building pressurization.
Ventilation systems are 15% of the room cooling load so using energy-efficient ventilation equipment can greatly improve the hotel energy footprint. Demand Control Ventilation connected to room keys or the room scheduling controls can lead to further energy savings.
The need for individual room control promotes decentralized HVAC systems. Decentralized systems shift the heating and cooling units in or near the occupied space and allow local zone control. There is typically a centralized primary plant that provides the heating and cooling by means of water or refrigerant.
Decentralized systems can be very energy efficient because they move heating and cooling energy in either water or refrigerant which has a very low transportation cost as compared to all air systems which can have high fan energy.
Generally, there is no false ceiling in a guest room where HVAC equipment can be located. Hotel layouts that are more horizontal (i.e. resorts) often use a horizontal terminal units located in a bulkhead above the bathroom or entrance area with the piping running in the corridors. When the hotel layout is more vertical, it makes sense to have water/refrigerant piping and ventilation risers drop down shafts through the floors between rooms. The shaft can service the room on either side.
Hotels & Fan coils
Fancoils are commonly used in guestrooms. Fan coils can be horizontal type in the bulkhead above the bathroom or entrance or stacked type. Fancoils will require condensate piping. A service access panel will be required for a fan coil in bulkhead. Stacked units can be serviced through the return air grille.
The ventilation air can be introduced into the return of the fancoil or delivered directly to the space through a supply air grille. Exhaust is typically taken from the bathroom.
The public areas of the hotel can be serviced by a combination of fancoils and air handling units utilizing the chilled water and heating plants.
Hotels & Water Source Heatpumps (WSHP)
Water Source Heatpumps can be used in the guest rooms and throughout the public areas. For guest rooms the heatpumps can be horizontal in the bulkhead above the bathroom or entrance or stacked type. Heatpumps will require condensate piping. A service access panel will be required for the heatpump in bulkhead. Stacked units can be serviced through the return air grille. Stacked units typically have a refrigeration cassette in the wall cabinet that can be quickly changed out with a spare to keep the hotel room available. Wall mounted units are sometimes used with the unit placed under the window.
The ventilation air can be introduced into the return of the heatpump or delivered directly to the space through a supply air grille. Exhaust is typically taken from the bathroom.
The public areas of the hotel can be serviced a by a wide range of watersource heat pump models including rooftop units.
Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF)
VRF can be used in the guest rooms and throughout the public areas. Terminal units can be horizontal type in the bulkhead above the bathroom or entrance. There wall-mounted terminal units in finished cabinets that can be applied directly to the space. A service access panel will be required for a terminal unit in bulkhead. Condensate piping will be required for the terminal units. Condensate pumps are available for wall-mounted terminal units.
The ventilation air can be introduced into the return of the terminal unit or delivered directly to the space through a supply air grille. Exhaust is typically taken from the bathroom.
The public areas of the hotel can be serviced by a combination of terminal units.
Chilled Beams are commonly used in guestrooms in Europe and gaining popularity in North America for their low sound and maintenance. Chilled beams can be horizontal type in the bulkhead above the bathroom or entrance. Exposed chilled beams come in finished cabinets and can be surface mounted to the ceiling. Chilled beams do not require condensate piping. Chilled beams in the bulkhead can be serviced through the supply and return air grilles. Water valves and controllers will require an access panel.
The ventilation air is connected to the chilled beam and dispersed to the guest room. Exhaust is typically taken from the bathroom. It is common to use isolation dampers as a form of Demand Control Ventilation to stop primary airflow when not required to improve energy savings.
The public areas of the hotel can be serviced by a combination of chilled beams and air handling units utilizing the chilled water and heating plants.
Meticulously engineered products to create the best indoor climate
Swegon GOLD Unit with Energy Recovery
The Swegon GOLD ventilation unit is an excellent choice for hotels. It can come with a rotor (RX) or plate (PX) energy recovery or as direct (SD) system. The GOLD unit includes factory-installed and tested unit controls which can be integrated into the hotel building management system via BACnet and several other common protocols.
The GOLD unit is compact and can be installed indoors or out on the roof. It is a leader in energy efficiency with high-performance plenum fans and direct drive EC motors, high-efficiency energy recover devices and advanced controls algorithms to get the most out of the capital investment.
Swegon GOLD can deliver ventilation air to the guest rooms for fan coils, water Source Heatpumps, VRF and chilled beams. It can support constant volume or variable airflow for demand control ventilation. The GOLD units can service the public areas either as an all air system or as the ventilation air system in concert with terminal units.
Swegon React Dampers
Swegon React Dampers can be used for airflow control to maintain balanced building pressurization and demand control ventilation. React dampers have independent airflow control (airflow remains at require amount regardless on upstream duct pressure). They include a stand alone controller with programming display or can be integrated into the building management system via Modbus.
Swegon Chilled Beams
Swegon has a wide array of chilled beams specifically designed for guest rooms. The Paragon chilled beam is a horizontal type designed to fit in the bulkhead. It can have a wall or bottom return. Swegon’s CCO 6 way valve can be factory installed on the Paragon chilled beam improving cooling capacity by 30 % and heating capacity by 60%.
The Adriatic chilled beam has a decorative finished cabinet for mounting in the space directly to the ceiling. The supply air is delivered horizontally right at the ceiling to mix without drafting. Cover kits that match the chilled beam finish are available for the ducting and piping.
Chilled beams can be used through the public areas and come in a wide variety based on space design. Swegon chilled beams include adjustable nozzles for capacity adjustment and Anti Draft Control (ADC) for air pattern control to deliver thermal comfort without drafts.