Full Magazine: http://www.hotel-magazine.co.uk/hotel-business-april-2016
To a/c or not to a/c, that is the question
Office temperature is the single biggest complaint raised by employees on a daily basis. That statement alone should determine the importance of air conditioning (a/c) in our lives. Justifiably, each employee expects to achieve their own perfect conditions which is proven to directly affect their productivity levels. Due to this fact, employees in the modern offices haves become ‘guests’ within their workplace as employers seek to deliver a great ‘workplace experience’ for their teams. This directly transcends in to our hotel experience, especially when our own income is involved. When a guest books a hotel they expect control of the room temperature as it forms part of their journey. As the guest enters the room, fatigued from their travels, they drop the a/c down to 16 degrees and then throw it up to 28 degrees as they step out of the shower. For guests, simply controlling the conditioning of the air forms part of the superfluity of staying in a hotel especially considering the frustrations of office/home temperatures.
To this end, the effectiveness of the air conditioning directly translate to the quality of the hotel and the guests’ expectations. A plug in 2kW wall mounted heater or a standalone air-conditioning unit is associated with low end environments but guests may suffer this if they have not paid a premium to let the room. However, to achieve accurate air control and thus a luxury experience for guests, a centralised Fan Coil Unit (FCU) system via Chillers or a Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) system is required. Pareto FM deliver mechanical and electrical services to one of the most prestigious and expensive hotels in London. The single most important piece of major equipment is the Chillers which produce the cold water for the FCUs in each room. Customers rightly demand temperatures as low as 15 degrees in their demise and are willing to pay a premium to achieve it.
In summary, accurate temperature control directly relates to the quality of the hotel experience. As guests expectations grow in their workplace, their expectations will grow in the hotel sector making air conditioning a strategically important consideration in hotel design, maintenance and building strategy.
Andrew Hulbert MSc is Managing Director of Pareto FM a specialist in mechanical, electrical and facility management maintenance and strategy.