Luxury Hotel Brands Call on Novel Low-Voltage Technology to Advance ‘Greening’ and ‘Digitizing’ of the Industry
Cloud software, IoT hardware and Power-over-Ethernet cabling reduce energy consumption, speed data insights and enhance guest experience.
Three distinct luxury hotel brands have integrated an emerging low-voltage energy and data platform known as Nexos to achieve a series of strategic outcomes. The Sinclair in Texas, Hotel Marcel in Connecticut and Alila Marea Beach Resort in California will rely on the technology to reduce carbon footprints, make better use of data and provide a digitally-forward guest experience.
Developed by Des Moines-based smart building technology firm Igor, “Nexos” is the plural of the Latin nexus, meaning the central part of multiple connections. The brand is apropos, given that the Nexos platform is built on Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) cabling. PoE is a low-voltage means of carrying electrical power through data cables instead of the traditional A/C power grid.
Buildings with Nexos rely on a single platform to manage many different systems, sensors and equipment across the entire structure. In addition to multiple data analysis and occupant experience benefits brought about by connecting multiple systems, Nexos also helps buildings achieve green energy strategies – an imperative gaining urgency in the hospitality industry.
“There’s a growing interest among hoteliers to make a measurable difference around environmental impact,” said Hannah Walker, chief operating officer at Sinclair Digital, a smart building technologies design and consulting firm. “Hospitality is one of largest producers of carbon with massive heating and air conditioning loads and extensive lighting packages among other energy-guzzling systems. We’ve been impressed by our partners in the industry who are willing to try new things and leverage innovative technology. However, the sector needs more strong-willed owners with unwavering commitment to sustainability to accelerate change. Fortunately, we’re seeing more of that, as developers are finding these practices attract higher-end clientele and drive long-term operational savings.”
Three Luxury Brands Find Promise in PoE
The Sinclair, a recently renovated historic hotel originally built in 1929, has been coined the “world’s first all-digital hotel.” By implementing Nexos technology, The Sinclair saved 40 percent on utility bills from decreased energy consumption, particularly in the hotel’s 164 boutique rooms and suites. Throughout the day, automated actions in unoccupied rooms, like closing shades, turning off TVs and adjusting thermostats, generate significant savings for the hotel.
Hotel Marcel, a recently renovated and entirely electric hotel, has been designed as a net-zero energy building. The hotel is generating 100 percent of its own electricity, which Nexos and PoE deliver to a series of intelligent devices, including low-voltage lighting fixtures, smart shades, security cameras and VoIP phones. As new regulations or changes in guest preferences dictate, new devices can easily be added with a simple plug into the PoE backbone and an update to the Nexos software.
Alila Marea Beach Resort, a new-build hotel overlooking the Pacific from the Encinitas bluffs, was an ideal candidate for Nexos and PoE, according to Joshua Montana, executive vice president at Paladin Technologies. Paladin worked with a team of trade partners, including Igor, to develop and design the fully PoE hotel. “In addition to having one of the best locations you could possibly ask for, Alila Marea will be one of the most technologically astute hotels,” said Montana. Among the use cases PoE enables at the luxury coastal hotel is guest control of several different lighting levels in rooms, creating a more comfortable and personalized experience.
Nexos Powered by Low Voltage Electricity… and Imagination
Nexos began as a platform that primarily drove intelligent lighting controls. Igor’s clients used the system to automate interior and exterior illumination, deploy customizable tunable lighting and even provide UV-C disinfection during the pandemic. However, rapid innovation in smart building devices beyond light fixtures expanded Nexos use cases in ways even Igor Founder and CEO Dwight Stewart hadn’t anticipated.
“We’ve come to think of Nexos like a Lego set,” said Stewart. “All the components you need come in one box. You know what you’re going to get. But, after the build is complete, you begin to see new things. Imagination takes over and you envision greater possibilities. The incredible ideas that architects, designers and engineers dream up for Nexos continue to amaze and inspire us.”