The Hotel UMD

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The Hotel UMD Reduces Energy,

Supports Environmental Sustainability

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“Evolve was a lot sleeker looking, a lot simpler – and more versatile – since it didn’t need wiring.”

Christopher Thrift
Christopher Thrift MEP&F Superintendent Development Engineer, The Hotel at the University of Maryland

“(Installation)…went smoothly. Everything came labeled in boxes and ready to go when we needed it.”

Christopher Thrift
Christopher ThriftMEP&F Superintendent Development Engineer, The Hotel at the University of Maryland


humdLocated 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 1,500 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.


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

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.”


eetreThrift 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.”


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.”