W New York

The Players


Located on Broadway in the heart of New York’s theater district, the W New York - Times Square plays a starring role for the brand. More than a decade on the job, however, its building automation system (BAS) was turning in a consistently lackluster performance.

Online since the 58-story hotel’s opening in December 2001, the legacy BAS was communicating with, but not controlling, the building’s pneumatic-heavy HVAC infrastructure. Much of the equipment was manually operated; still other components were either overridden, bypassed or programmed to run continuously at 100% speed. In addition, whatever graphics the system featured were both clumsy and dated.

To comply with parent company Starwood’s Global Citizenship 30/20 by 20 initiative - 30% reduction in energy consumption and carbon emissions, plus 20% reduction in water consumption across all owned, managed or franchised properties globally by 2020 - the hotel’s BAS required a dramatic makeover, coupled with the adoption of effective optimization and control strategies.

The Solution


“We first looked at updating the legacy system, but Automated Logic’s system was less costly and more cost-effective to replace in whole,” remarked Gus Newbury, Starwood’s Regional Director of Engineering - East. Following a systems qualification review by consultants Burton Energy Group and a competitive bidding process, Automated Logic’s New York / New Jersey branch was awarded the fast-track contract. Phased installation of the WebCTRL building automation system began in March 2015; an August deadline was set for substantial completion.

During that period, “two parallel systems in operation added a dimension of complexity with commissioning and decommissioning,” Newbury continued. “Per mandate, nothing was shut down.” (With good reason: anchored at the “Crossroads of the World,” the W New York - Times Square enjoys a 95% occupancy rate throughout the year.)

Hardware upgrades to the HVAC system were implemented, and remote access capabilities were added to supplement the primary WebCTRL interface in the hotel’s engineering shop. A series of control and optimization strategies were programmed in the WebCTRL system to manage the facility’s energy consumption. With a demand management program in place, the hotel was poised to qualify for performance-based incentive funds.

Results were both immediate and extraordinary: by October 2015, the property was achieving up to 18.9% reduction in energy use over the same period in 2014.

“I’m Getting Great Feedback from My Guys!”


“To date, I’ve gotten great feedback. We’re utilizing the system to its full potential,” remarked Miguel Ruperto, the hotel’s Director of Engineering, reflecting on the response from his team of facility managers trained on-site by Automated Logic staff. Ruperto had worked with Automated Logic branch personnel at another W Hotel property and was eager to work with them at the Times Square location.

“We like Automated Logic’s design. Its software is intuitive, it’s easy to operate and update parameters as needed. We like the local team and knew about its experience with hotels,” added Starwood’s Newbury.

The project included optimizing the hotel’s separate energy management system for its 507 guest rooms and 41 suites. Following the success of the WebCTRL® installation, the W New York - Times Square took its show on the road: in August 2015, the BAS upgrade, along with its impressive results, was featured at the Starwood RISE Conference, an annual symposium focused on operational innovations, in New Orleans.

Client: W New York - Times Square

Location: New York, New York

Controls Contractor: Automated Logic - New York / New Jersey

Project Type: Retrofit

Building Size: 58 Floors

Objectives

  • Reduce energy consumption
  • Upgrade building automation system
  • Optimizing control functions

Design Considerations: Operate original and newly installed systems during decommissioning / commissioning process

Major Decision Drivers

  • Cost
  • Control features
  • Operability of WebCTRL system
  • ALC branch’s experience with hotel installations

HVAC Controls: Automated Logic's WebCTRL

Installation Date: March 2015

The Challenge

  • Upgrade key hardware and software components of property’s HVAC system.
  • Increase energy efficiency of each major component plus the system as a whole.
  • Implement demand management / demand response energy strategies.
  • Improve comfort control in public spaces.
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