Grand Hotel Palace Ancona, where first class hospitality meets ABB technology

2018-01-31 - An historic building gets a new lease of life thanks to ABB technologies that create an accessible, safe location and enhance the comfort and wellbeing of hotel guests
When the owners of the 17th Century Grand Hotel Palace Ancona in Italy commissioned a major refurbishment, delivering a balance between preserving the heritage of the building while adding the latest technology to improve customer comfort and improve the running of the hotel, was key.

Following its re-opening in 2017, the hotel now features the latest in-room technology, from automatic lighting scenes to controllable heating and entertainment, together with a sophisticated, easy to operate central control system.

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Integration

From the outset, integration that delivered greater flexibility, connectivity and ease of use for both guests and personnel, was crucial for the installer and system integrator, Dago Elettronica srl.

“Lots of ABB products were used in the installation because they provide highly reliable and connected solutions, evident in the quality of both the individual plant and the entire integrated service-structure system,” explained Sandro Cardinali, Managing Director of Dago Elettronica.

The solution was the installation of a new building automation system that allowed the entire hotel to be controlled from a fixed location in the reception area.

“Our primary aim was to make everything user-friendly for our clients,” said Michele Bernetti, the hotel owner. “As well as enhancing the customer experience, we wanted greater visibility of the entire system from the reception desk, which would allow us to manage our facilities more efficiently and significantly improve electricity consumption.”

Following the refurbishment, new software in the control unit allows hotel staff to operate all systems from heating and video door entry systems, to sound broadcasting, lighting and air conditioning, from one central control panel.

Flexible KNX system

Dago Elettronica specified ABB’s i-bus® KNX smart management and control system, which handles all functions in private and public areas and offers maximum flexibility and implementation options, while optimizing performance, safety and energy efficiency.

The bespoke system created for the hotel, features 14 KNX lines, 538 devices, IP backbone and can be controlled remotely.

ABB i-bus® KNX system delivers outstanding flexibility, which is particularly important in a hotel environment, where public and private functions must integrate, and the constant turnover of guests leads to continuously changing comfort parameters.

Room automation in the Grand Hotel Palace Ancona’s three new family rooms demonstrates its potential. Family rooms feature two separate rooms, which can be quickly converted into a single large family room. The new system allows rooms to quickly ‘join’ automatically to form a single environment, by blocking the locks of the individual rooms and managing lights and air conditioners as if they belong to just one room.

In addition to delivering strong functional control, the system makes the entire building easier to monitor and service. A centralized display of important parameters including fault-signaling or servicing requirements ensure a high degree of operational reliability and customer satisfaction.

“Since installation, our guests have been delighted by how user friendly the new system is,” added Michele Bernetti. “They particularly appreciate how key features like heating, lighting and entertainment can be easily controlled from the comfort of their bed.”

Switchgear and real-time monitoring
Electrical distribution within Grand Hotel Palace Ancona is now managed by ABB’s ArTu range of low-voltage sub distribution switchgear and components.

ArTu provides a number of benefits, including the ability to choose switchgear most suited to installation requirements, based on the available space, and reduced installation time thanks to its rapid assembly kits.

In addition to KNX, the switchgear contains key components including circuit-breakers, disconnectors, fuse holders and residual current circuit-breakers. A multi-meter constantly monitors electrical parameters and interacts in real time, transmitting alarms to the control center if abnormal or excessive consumption is detected.

Mylos, functionality and coordinated style
Functionality and aesthetics were guiding principles of the project and were applied by the designers in the choice of every material, system and technology used: from surface finishes to floors, furnishings to accessories, lights to monitoring and adjustment systems. Products had to be flexible yet create a sense of uniformity in style and aesthetics, while blending in a consistent and elegant way with the interior design of the hotel.

ABB’s Mylos Velvet residential series fulfilled these requirements. Over 900 cover plates (with 3, 4 and 7 modules) in white and 20 cover plates (with 3 and 4 modules) in black were used to complement the decor in the different parts of the building. The unique velvety “soft-touch” of the cover plates also intensifies the multi-sensory experience and enhances the minimal design of the collection.

To improve functionality, the hotel also installed the Mylos bedroom access monitoring system. Guests can now, with the use of a tag they receive on check in, easily activate the room light scene. More importantly, the tag also activates a red LED outside the room showing staff that it is occupied. Highly sophisticated yet simple to use, the system is also able to distinguish between guest and service tags. When the system detects a service tag, it automatically switches the light scene to one that is optimized for room cleaning. The LED in the external reader also turns orange and the room status is changed to cleaning. This gives reception staff greater real-time visibility on the status and occupancy of rooms.

Charging point
As part of the Grand Hotel Palace Ancona’s commitment to sustainability, the hotel now offers guests an ABB charging station for electric vehicles. The new AC charging points feature 3.7 kW to 22 kW rated power and are equipped with type 2 European standard sockets. Small in height (1200 mm) and with a reduced footprint, the charging points can be easily installed anywhere, while reliable and efficient charging is guaranteed thanks to their excellent performance.

“We’ve achieved something special at the Grand Hotel Palace Ancona. Thanks to clever design and technology, the hotel now features a perfect blend of the old and the new, combining historic architecture with state-of-the-art systems that enhance the comfort and wellness of guests together with making our entire operation more efficient,” added Bernetti.


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