Case Studies

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CASE STUDIES

Learn how Evolve Controls delivers meaningful and
measurable results for our customers.
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“With Evolve, we’re able to reduce energy consumption by as much as 30% annually…We let our guests know that staying at Inn at Penn is better for the environment. Our guest feedback has been enthusiastically positive about this new system.”

Greg Stafford
Greg StaffordGeneral Manager, Inn at Penn, A Hilton Hotel

“When hotels invest in Microsoft technology, it is really about building and preparing for the next generation. As Evolve’s ROC platform is built on Microsoft Azure, they are able to leverage ongoing innovation that Microsoft develops, positioning them as an expansive, future proof solutions provider.”

Hong Choing
Hong ChoingDirector ISV Partner Business at Microsoft

“I was impressed by how Evolve’s team handled the installation, support and provisioning…I knew Evolve was the reliable choice.”

Jose Alday
Jose AldayMEP Manager, Turner Construction

The Hotel at the University of Maryland

Located in the heart of College Park, is a brand new four-star hotel, The Hotel at the University of Maryland. The long-awaited on-campus hotel opened in 2017, offering guests the convenience of attending University of Maryland meetings, sporting events, conferences, and visiting Washington D.C., within close proximity.

The new $180M luxury hotel and conference center is privately owned and operated by Southern Management Corporation. Its developers constructed the hotel with sustainability in mind, targeting LEED Gold, with an emphasis on environmentally sustainable site design, energy and water efficiency, and indoor environmental quality.

The lavish hotel seeks to attract eco-friendly millennials and tech-savvy travelers searching for a unique experience. Guests can choose among 297 spacious, modern rooms and suites with gorgeous views of University of Maryland campus. Amenities include 43,000 square feet of meeting space, a ballroom to seat 750 people, three outdoor terraces – including a 5,000 square foot rooftop terrace, four restaurants, a lobby bar, a fitness studio, an indoor and outdoor pool, 24-hour business center, and a wellness garden.

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The Story

CHALLENGE

With already several initiatives taken to design an environmentally sustainable hotel, Southern Management Corporation searched for additional opportunities to reduce The Hotel UMD’s environmental impact. Becoming energy efficient was imperative due to the many environmental and economic benefits affiliated with energy conservation.

Installing LED and fluorescent lighting alone, was insufficient. The Hotel UMD’s MEP&F Superintendent Development Engineer, Christopher Thrift, searched for an energy-efficient lighting, climate and shading room controls provider to take energy conservation to the highest level. Thrift was aware of room controls’ ability to sense unoccupied rooms, to send lighting, climate and shading into setback mode – thereby conserving energy.

However, the physical appearance of the room control devices was equally important for the luxe hotel. Thrift looked at room controls providers and found Evolve Controls. According to Thrift, “Compared to other room controls providers, Evolve was a lot sleeker looking, a lot simpler – and more versatile – since it didn’t need wiring.”

SOLUTION

Thrift chose Evolve Controls’ room controls devices to install lighting, climate and shading controls in all 297 rooms and suites inside The Hotel UMD. Instead of using Evolve’s installers, Thrift and his Southern Management Corporation team handled the installation themselves. When asked about the installation process, Thrift said, “It went smoothly. Everything came labeled in boxes and ready to go when we needed it. We never had any issues.”

RESULTS

Since its opening in September 2017, Southern Management Corporation has been exceptionally pleased with Evolve. With lighting, climate and shading controls installed, in combination with other sustainability efforts, the hotel is projected to be “approximately 20% more efficient than the ASHRAE 90.1 energy baseline.”

According to Thrift, “After the installation, it was an easy choice for us to have Evolve also installed in our Cambria hotel that we’re building right now. We’ve been so pleased with Evolve, we would definitely recommend Evolve to other hotels.”

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Click here to download a PDF copy of The Hotel at the University of Maryland case study.

The Inn at Penn, A Hilton Hotel

In the heart of University of Pennsylvania’s campus, lies The Inn at Penn, A Hilton Hotel.

The AAA Four Diamond hotel features luxurious guest accommodations, including 245 guest rooms, suites and accessible rooms, 16 meeting and banquet spaces, two restaurants, and a lounge. Guests enjoy countless views of Penn campus, cutting-edge technology, and farm-to-table breakfast in its University Club.

Since opening its doors in 1999, the lavish hotel has received numerous awards, including TripAdvisor’s ‘Certificate of Excellence’ (2017), Hotels.com’s ‘Loved by Guests’ (2017), AAA Four Diamond Award (every year since 2002), Hilton Hotels and Resorts’ Award of Excellence (2013, 2014) and #1 in Customer Service (2014, of all Hilton Hotels in the Americas), and US News & Report’s ‘Top 10 Hotels in Philadelphia.’

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The Story

CHALLENGE

Soon after opening in 1999, Inn at Penn became an instant success, earning the coveted AAA Four Diamond Award. With its luxury accommodations and on-campus location being critical success factors, management strove to keep the momentum with modern improvements to exceed guest expectations.

General Manager of The Inn at Penn, Greg Stafford, launched a multi-million-dollar renovation of guest rooms and suites. This time around, Stafford re-strategized his plan to appeal to nearby on-campus millennials. The new plan was to build a smart, energy efficient and environmentally friendly hotel.

He desired to create an unforgettable guest experience, blending modern comfort with state-of-the-art technology. To complete this vision, he turned to an automated room controls solution. Stafford recalled, “We wanted a high-quality climate and lighting control system – at a reasonable cost – which could be installed with minimal disruption to our recently renovated rooms.” After researching several providers, he found the perfect match – Evolve Controls.

SOLUTION

With climate and lighting controls, Stafford could reduce energy consumption and support sustainability goals, while enabling guests control over their experience. Inn at Penn became the first hotel in Philadelphia, and the first Hilton to install iPads in every guest room, and offer the Evolve Controls solution. “It’s been terrific working with the Evolve Controls team on the installation of the Evolve in-room energy management system. We wanted a serious signature element to our sustainability and energy conservation efforts. But we also wanted that system to be simple for our guests to understand and use, and of course, we wanted it to work!”

RESULTS

With Evolve’s lighting and climate controls installed into The Inn at Penn’s renovated rooms and suites, energy conservation is now a priority. The Inn at Penn has reduced operating costs, supporting environmental sustainability, while empowering guests with one-touch lighting and climate control. “With Evolve, we’re able to reduce energy consumption by as much as 30% annually,” said Stafford. “We strengthened our commitment to sustainability. Now we let our guests know that staying at Inn at Penn is better for the environment. And, our guest feedback has been enthusiastically positive about this new system.

Post-installation, Evolve’s customer service continues, creating efficiency and saving costs for the hotel. “Evolve recently removed visible switches and dimmers from our rooms, saving us the cost of running wire from scene controllers to lighting points. I can’t say enough about Evolve’s team. They go above and beyond to support us. It’s my pleasure to endorse and recommend Evolve Controls.”

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Click here to download a PDF copy of the Evolve Controls Inn at Penn Case Study.

Wilshire Grand Center

The tallest building west of Chicago, stands a new landmark: the 73-story, reconstructed Wilshire Grand Center.

The Wilshire Grand was always built to be an icon. The massive skyscraper is a revitalization of the nearly 60-year-old original Wilshire Grand Hotel, a historical downtown Los Angeles landmark. First constructed in 1950, the Wilshire Grand Hotel once held the largest single building permit in Los Angeles, costing over $15 million. Decades later, in 1989, the hotel was acquired by Korean Air. Cho Yang-ho, Chairman and CEO, of Korean Air, envisioned a reinvigorated Wilshire Grand on a monumental scale – as the tallest building in Los Angeles.

In 2014, Turner Construction received the contract to demolish the old Wilshire Grand Hotel and reconstruct the new $1.2 billion Wilshire Grand Center structure. Construction began in 2014, recycling much of the old building, and completing construction in 2016. Four months following its opening, Wilshire Grand became the first building in Los Angeles to earn U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED Gold.

The new upscale multi-use building now features nearly 900 hotel rooms, along with retail shops, office space, observation decks, 95,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor event space, four restaurants, and a lobby lounge. The hotel, occupying the top half of the Wilshire Grand Center building, operates as the InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown.

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The Story

CHALLENGE

In reconstructing the new skyscraper, building designers planned for solutions that could maximize energy efficiency and support sustainability. When it came to the hotel, builders looked toward the game-changer for hotel energy efficiency: an automated in-room controls and management solution. Specifically, a solution that could streamline efficiencies for its nearly 900 rooms, by meeting the following criteria:

• Enhance the hotel guest experience with in-room climate, lighting and shading controls.
• Increase energy efficiency to support environmental sustainability efforts.
• Adapt to access multi-room data throughout the entire building.
• Integrate with the building management system.
SOLUTION

Turner Construction’s MEP Manager, Jose Alday, sought Evolve Controls. After speaking with the sales team, he confirmed that Evolve fit the criteria. However, with such a high stakes project, Alday needed additional assurance that Evolve was indeed the right choice. Evolve decided to invite Alday to witness for himself, one of Evolve’s largest installations. “I was impressed by how Evolve’s team handled the installation, support and provisioning. Evolve follows a quick, thorough and carefully planned installation process. When I saw how they quickly identify and solve problems, I knew Evolve was the reliable choice.”

RESULTS

The installation proved to be simple and quick. “We had everything we needed, provisioned and ready in a box. Evolve was easy to work with, and the devices were easy to install­,” said Alday.

With Evolve installed in nearly 900 hotel rooms, the building now has the ability to enhance the guest experience by empowering guests to control climate, lighting and shading. Wilshire Grand’s operators, InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), is now able to proactively manage room data insights by integrating it with their building management system and property management system.

Leveraging Evolve, is one of the many energy conservation solutions in which builders of the Wilshire Grand have used to demonstrate their commitment to supporting environmental sustainability. Doing so, has led the Wilshire Grand Center to become the first building in downtown Los Angeles to earn U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED Gold certification, the second-highest ranking for sustainability.

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Download a PDF copy of the Evolve Controls Wilshire Grand Center case study.

Hotel Figueroa

Since its inception in the 1920’s, the Hotel Figueroa has been linked to the cultural evolution of Downtown Los Angeles. Originally founded as a hotel for women – as part of the newly established YWCA – the Hotel Figueroa served as a beacon and a refuge for both travelling and working women. One of the key aspects of the hotel’s comprehensive redesign was to restore the Mediterranean-style property back to its original Spanish Colonial style and grandeur, from nearly a century ago. Hotel guests can expect style that pays homage to its rich history in accommodations which include 268 rooms and suites, 12,000 square feet of indoor/outdoor event space, an outdoor pool, large lobby area, two restaurants and three bars.

The Hotel Figueroa is poised for its next evolution as it goes through its own revitalization. The hotel will continue to honor its legacy as a cultural hub of the city and fixture of downtown Los Angeles history and life, while providing guests with a comfortable experience.

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The Story

CHALLENGE

Today’s traveler, whether for business or pleasure, is more discerning than ever. The challenge for many hotel operators is to find the right mix of comfort, technology, energy efficiency and sustainability. In the case of the Hotel Figueroa, this meant blending the needs of a modern hotel to create a unique, memorable guest experience while continuing to honor the property’s Spanish Colonial heritage. This required investment in modern amenities, a seamless and unobtrusive deployment of the latest technology and a firm commitment to sustainability and responsible development.

The Hotel Figueroa’s renovation deployed the latest technology available in the market, while ensuring that this was seen as effortless and seamless by the guest. In addition, the property is targeting LEED Silver and Green Seal Gold certifications, which have a very clear economic benefit. Overall, the revitalized Hotel Figueroa is expected to be nearly 40% more energy efficient at a 100% occupancy rate than it would be at just 50% occupancy prior to the renovation.

SOLUTION

The hotel’s engineering team needed to deploy a proven solution that was flexible, reliable and scalable, and that felt like a natural fit for the hotel’s goal for a technology platform that delivered results, yet felt like a natural fit for the guests. The Hotel Figueroa turned to technology leader, Evolve Controls to deploy its wireless occupancy-based room control system that allows guests to manage their environment by controlling room temperature and lighting levels.

Cooper Barron, Director of Engineering of Hotel Figueroa was drawn immediately to Evolve’s cloud-based platform and wireless infrastructure, which is critical when dealing with existing infrastructure in a historic property. “Other solutions are outdated and leave you stuck. Evolve is forward-thinking, cloud-based and expandable. We can continue growing with it.” Barron had some very basic requirements: the product needed to be easy for the guest to use; had to be flexible to minimize any potential issues even for the most finicky guest, and had to provide a robust back-end solution for staff to centrally control the system, run diagnostics and analyze performance.

RESULTS

From the beginning, the vision for the revitalization of the Hotel Figueroa has been to restore the property back to its original Spanish Colonial style, while deploying the latest technology for a better guest experience. This required working with partners who understood this mission. Evolve Controls delivered on the promise for a modern technology platform to manage energy costs, provide staff with a reliable operational platform, and enhance the guest experience without being obtrusive. Evolve exceeded expectations from day one, by implementing an in-room control system, with full functionality to control climate and lighting, based on occupancy, allowing guests to manage temperature and lighting preferences via an integration.

This proven solution is designed with the guest experience in mind, while also delivering significant energy savings by managing temperature set-points and lighting when rooms are unoccupied. In addition to the deployment of the in-room control system, Evolve Controls is fully integrated into a guest service platform, which is being provided to all guests at the Hotel Figueroa. Beyond the benefits of an improved experience for guests, this solution allows the hotel staff to effectively manage energy costs through Evolve’s occupancy-based energy management platform, and strengthen their relationship with guests through the implementation of cutting-edge technology.

Evolve Controls remained deeply engaged with the hotel’s team throughout the entire process. According to Barron, “Our experience working with Evolve has been outstanding. They have been extremely hands-on working with our team, and the installation has been seamless. Evolve continues to demonstrate their commitment and has been a true partner to the Hotel Figueroa.”

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Download a PDF copy of the Hotel Figueroa case study.

Westin Georgetown

The Westin Georgetown is a unique, upscale, 248 room hotel dedicated to providing an exceptional guest experience.  It is a popular destination for both business and vacation travelers in the Washington, DC area.

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The Story

CHALLENGE

As part of Westin’s overall corporate sustainability goals, Westin Georgetown was challenged to reduce energy consumption and cost, while taking steps to improve the overall guest experience.  Actively engaging guests in the hotel’s sustainability efforts plays a critical role in helping achieve those goals.

SOLUTION

Evolve Controls deployed a 100% wireless occupancy-based energy management solution that controls the HVAC, televisions and lighting in each room via an “active” keycard reader based system that involves the guest in the energy savings process with minimal effort.  By installing informational plaques in each guest room and providing materials during check-in, guests are actively engaged to support the Westin’s eco-friendly practices, while delivering significant energy savings in the process.

RESULTS

Based on an analysis performed by an independent energy consultancy, the property has reduced its annual electricity usage by over 500,000 kWh through improved guest room HVAC, television and lighting control.  The installation of the Evolve Controls solution had a payback of just over 2 years, and saves the hotel nearly $60,000 in energy costs.

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Click here to download a PDF copy of the Evolve Westin Georgetown Case Study.

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