Carlo Gavazzi's Smart-House System in London Hotel
The Grange Hotels Group operates an extensive range of four- and five-star properties in some of the best business locations in London, each of them encapsulating the chain’s hallmark combination of traditional comfort, modern facilities and attention to detail. Certificates of Excellence from Trip Advisor – and a Business Travel Awards win in the Best Small Hotel category – show that the Group has the right formula.
Maintaining a reputation for service at the cutting edge is a tough call – especially today when guests expect five-star hospitality to provide the best experiences in TV screens and sound systems, while comforts such as air-conditioning and mood lighting, are assumed as a given.
For its latest round of upgrades, Grange called on us to create a customised solution for in-room automation. The key requirement was to evolve the guest experience using technology, whilst very carefully not allowing the technology to overwhelm the experience. It was important for us to connect the multitude of suppliers available and keep the client’s options open. The system had to have comprehensive central control and connectivity for all monitoring and analytic functions - overlaying the system are management systems that bring the latest efficiencies to the complex hospitality environment. Our brief from Grange Hotels Group can be summed up in the phrase 'Exceptional guest experience using cutting edge technology.'
The core of the solution is a decentralised system based on smart-house technology from Carlo Gavazzi, which can link together control and monitoring of lighting, heating, air-conditioning, home entertainment and security. Each guest room or suite is an autonomous building network that uses the Dupline smart-house system.
These systems consist of four basic elements: a central unit, input modules, output modules and a two-wire bus cable. The 'brain' of each room is an advanced controller based on a robust industrial-strength embedded operating system, which allows installations with up to 1000 addressed inputs or outputs, allowing a whole host of configurations, such as dimmer, relays, and switches.
After various studies around guest behaviour and expectations, we designed and produced an app to complement the controller, and this provides comprehensive room control access in a very simple ergonomic user interface. The app runs on an Android tablet to manage all of the in-room system features, such as controlling the lighting, air conditioning, heating, TV and sound systems. Guests can order room service, browse for interactive information on London attractions, and even buy theatre tickets, all from the tablet’s touchscreen, resulting in revenue growth as well as in-room comfort and guest satisfaction.
We have installed over 100 rooms of smart-house Dupline controller so far, and these are programmed to send hourly updates to a Web service, ensuring comprehensive dashboard reporting and efficient management.
The smart-house controller is provided with a very simple and effective configuration tool. Via a simple three-step approach, installers can easily configure the function of smart-house modules to be used in each room. A major advantage of the Dupline technology is that the ID for each item on the bus can be cloned onsite. For example, if a wall switch has to be replaced, its Dupline ID can be cloned to a replacement unit without anyone having to intervene remotely. The maintenance engineers on site can simply remove and replace the unit, clone its ID and install the new device. From the guests’ point-of-view, the process becomes seamless and there is no impact on privacy.
In contrast with centrally controlled automation, the distributed architecture of solutions based on the smart-house Dupline system means that lighting control is not dependent on external servers. Problems are contained because each room operates autonomously when other parts of the system are down. As a result, an issue in one room does not result in multiple rooms being affected. This is very important to the hotel, because if things do not work, guests could be entitled to substantial discounts, resulting in real revenue loss for the hotel group. Moreover, with social networks such as Trip Advisor readily accessible, even the smallest gripe can be very public as well as costly.
Based on the success of in-room automation, the smart-house Dupline-based solution has been extended to public parts of the hotels, such as lobbies and breakfast areas. Here, heating, air conditioning and lighting can be adjusted in various zones, again controlled by our tablet devices.
Just as in individual rooms, automation ensures the convenience and comfort of guests, with bottom-line benefits in comfort and flexibility.
88 x BH8-CTRLX-230 smart house controller
214 x SH2D500W230 1 x 500W Universal Dimmer
88 x BH4-RE16A8-230
8 x Relay Module
260 x B4X-LS4-U Light Switch Keypad (44x44)
2 x BGP-COD-BAT Handheld Programmer
109 x B5X-LS4-U Light Switch Keypad (55x55)
5 x BH4-RE16A4-230
4 x Relay Module
93 x BDA-INVOL Voltage Input Module
75 x BDB-INCON4 Light Switch Interface Module
100 x 40603-B-ASS
Pammi Mudhar is the Owner of M-Solutions, a specialist in providing professional leading-edge automation to offices and hotels.