INNCOM International, Inc. Automated Guestroom Systems Play Lead Role in LEED Certification at Bardessono

  • Honeywell
  • 03.23.10
INNCOM International Inc. is what one might call an ambassador of eco-luxury to the worldwide hospitality industry.

And now its name is attached to some rather serious recognition – the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum certification, recently awarded to the Yountville, Calif.-based Bardessono Hotel, Restaurant and Spa.

LEED Platinum, the highest designation of its kind by the U.S. Green Building Council, recognizes sustainable and environmentally friendly building designs, including hotels. LEED promotes a whole-building approach to sustainability by recognizing performance in six key areas of human and environmental health: sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection, indoor environmental quality and innovation in design. Certification levels include Platinum, Gold, Silver and Standard in descending order of the rigor of the requirements. The 62-room Bardessono, a luxury boutique hotel distinguished by lavish spa amenities, is just the third hotel in the world to receive the Platinum certification.

John Tavares, vice president sales and marketing, said INNCOM brought energy management and integrated guestroom automation to the design mix of Bardessono.

“We’ve underscored the potential of green technology in the hotel industry:  to provide a superior guest experience using energy that is managed appropriately and not wastefully,” Tavares said. “It's a great honor for INNCOM to be associated with setting the pace and taking a leadership position in what these systems can do. LEED Platinum is a prestigious award for a property, and the end result has more than one benefit. It isn’t just energy management. It isn’t just a luxurious stay. It is the combination of both of them.”

Designed by Irvine, Calif.-based architects WATG, developed by Phil Sherburne and operated by Kirkland, Wash.-based MTM Luxury Lodging, Bardessono was destined for LEED certification at its blueprints. Its design, construction and operation follow LEED’s Green Building Rating System guidelines. It uses solar and geothermal energy, sustainable building materials, organic landscape-management practices and energy management systems.

"INNCOM provides three vital parts of energy management in the guestroom," said Chuck Marratt, vice president of information technology for MTM Luxury Lodging. "It controls the lights in the room, the thermostat in the room, and introduces automated 'solar shades' – highly technical Venetian-like blinds placed on the exterior of guestroom windows to keep heat in or out when unoccupied or empty. All cogs operate in an automated environment in the guestroom."

He described a walk-through of the INNCOM technology in use at Bardessono, noting the property has a unique design. Each guestroom has an entrance space that leads to two large areas: the living area and the bathroom. The bathroom area is notably larger than normal as it includes luxury spa amenities.

"INNCOM’s automated guestroom system features a magnetic strip at the guestroom door, which signals entrance and exit activity," Marratt said. "In the entrance corridor is the thermostat, which senses motion and, therefore, signals when a guest is in the room. There also are motion detectors in the living and bath areas.

“The system is fully aware of when a guest is in the room,” he added. “When occupied, the system sets the lights and thermostat to predetermined levels. Also at this juncture, the solar shades outside the windows automatically are lifted, almost invisible to the guest.” 

INNCOM’s guestroom automation system interfaces with the hotel’s property management system. That means guest-history information plays a factor in the desired room settings. “The system knows if a guest desires a room at 72 degrees,” Marratt said. “And upon checkin and entrance to the room, it sets the temperature at exactly 72 degrees. And the same goes for lighting levels.”

An occupied but empty room is detected when the door’s magnetic strip detects door activity, but no motion in the room – meaning the guest has left the room. If so, then the lights are turned off, the temperature is set to conservation levels, and the solar shades are dropped to enhance energy management. It’s what Marratt called the room’s “cocoon state.”

Finally, the system recognizes checkin and checkout status. If a room is unoccupied (or checked out) and the motion sensors detect entrance and movement (from housekeeping staff, for example), then the room remains in energy management stasis, Marratt said. “The system provides for manual over-rides of lighting and temperature settings during occupancy, meaning the guest has the final say on all lighting and thermostat settings when inside the room,” he added.

Bardessono was the first application of INNCOM’s solar shades, which were a prototype as the hotel was designed. The company didn’t roll them out until Bardessono opened in February 2009. One year later, the hotel earned its LEED Platinum certification.

“INNCOM played a major role in the LEED Platinum process,” Marratt said. “There were many pieces put together to get this certification, and when we asked ourselves, ‘How will we conserve energy?’ INNCOM provided the perfect answer.

“INNCOM pushed its technology to the limit and provided Bardessono with an edge,” he said.

Founded in 1986, INNCOM develops, manufactures and markets advanced guestroom control systems for the global lodging industry. The company’s product line ranges from programmable digital thermostats to fully integrated energy management, lighting control and communication systems. All INNCOM products are designed to enhance guest comfort, safety and satisfaction while increasing bottom-line profits for property owners. INNCOM systems are installed in more than 750,000 guestrooms in many of the most prestigious hotels in 42 countries.

MTM Luxury Lodging is regarded as a premier, high-end lodging management company for distinctive properties wanting to retain their individual identities. It has 15 to 20 management agreements for full service, luxury-lodging facilities. While its roots are in the Northwest, it now operates on both U.S. coasts and in the Midwest.




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