“Compared to other integration firms, we’re seriously focused on hospitality. This is our specialty, and we understand how this technology needs to interact for a hotel to function properly.”
– Bill Lally, Mode:Green
The Baccarat hotel in Manhattan has a reputation for providing an unmatched luxurious experience. With 15,000 handmade crystal pieces incorporated into the décor throughout, everything in it is top quality, the Baccarat has an opulent atmosphere that’s about more than the sparkle. Guests benefit from a personalized and immersive experience enhanced by the automation system that’s integrated throughout the building, as well as in guest rooms, where they have control over their desired lighting, temperature and entertainment.
The Baccarat was built from the ground up, and automation design experts from Mode:Green were involved from the starting point to oversee the design and integration of all of the technology in the hotel. Mode:Green was chosen as the integrator because of the complexity of the project, and their experience in the luxury hotel market. They coordinated the technology for the beginning of the design process and through to the end of construction. Mode:Green President Bill Lally explained, “Compared to other integration firms, we’re seriously focused on hospitality. This is our specialty, and we understand how this technology needs to interact for a hotel to function properly.”
The Baccarat was a unique challenge for a number of reasons including the sheer amount of technology that they wanted to connect, the clientele’s expectations and the intertwined elements of the project. “A single king room has 23 lighting loads, where a room in a normal hotel would have four or five,” said Lally. “The Baccarat has 17,000 devices in each room, making it tremendously different than other hotels. First, because of the amount of technology in the room and the expectation of the guests.” From the beginning of the design process and throughout the construction phase, Mode:Green Project Manager Tyler Glass was on-site daily to serve as a liaison between the architect, designer, electrician, general contractor and lighting designer. “We played a little bit of a consulting role there always attending project management meetings since the whole install involved a lot of coordination between the different trades: electricians, carpenters, designers, etc. We were there to make sure it all went together,” said Glass.
When it came to planning the technology for the hotel, Mode:Green focused on providing an exemplary experience that was simple to operate for both the guests and hotel management. They supported the ownership’s perspective in looking towards the big picture of how all of the aspects of design and technology would work together.
They designed the systems for the main parts of the building, and the massive amount of technology in each room, where they also had to problem-solve and redesign aspects on-the-spot as building conditions affected the original design during construction. Glass noted: “They give us free range to do what’s best, we veered from the original design. We got involved with looking at different systems that were going into the building and were able to make suggestions for how it can tie together as one streamlined solution.”
A major component of Mode:Green’s expertise in hospitality in this project was providing ways to simplify the technology. Home or office automation systems are used by the same people regularly, who are able to have a learning curve to use it. In a hotel, specifically one with high-end clientele, Lally stressed this importance: “This was one of the final stages of construction, where the big picture came together. Each designer, architect, electrician and contractor had a vision of a piece of the hotel, and Mode:Green combined them all to create a high-end, easy-to-use system that can match the Baccarat’s luxurious reputation.”
Aside from designing the system, Mode:Green also programmed and integrated the technology; “We’re not just consultants, we’re also installers who work with it in the field,” said Glass. Drawing on that industry knowledge and experience in other hotels, Mode:Green also introduced aspects that the Baccarat hadn’t initially planned, including control over the entire system and all 160 rooms from a single iPad with a custom interface. “A unique feature of the Baccarat, is that everything from the in-pool speakers, lighting, spa, lobby and 28 music zones can be controlled from a single iPad,” said Lally.
Because Mode:Green doesn’t represent a single manufacturer, they’re able to select the best product, and program and install it specifically for the project and guarantee that it works optimally for the hotel. Delays in construction are expected, and Mode:Green prevented them from the technology’s side by assembling and programming it before bringing it onsite. They also individually tested each room before approving it at the end of construction. “Technology is the last thing to go in. In a typical guest room we’ll add technology and test it,” explained Lally. “Mode:Green is on top of all of it, and we only sign off on the room when everything goes right, the design and technology combined.”
“For us, having Mode:Green on board was a no-brainer. Their experience led us to expand the automation offering throughout the hotel with the peace of mind that things would just work. Running the property and team efficiently is how we are able to continue maintaining our high standard for guest satisfaction. With Mode:Green we can be confident that we have the best of breed installed product and systems are working. We can’t afford to have a system go down, especially in a guest room,” said Darrin Hubbard, President and CEO of Deployed Tech.
Upon entering the hotel, guests are met with an audio and lighting experience that enhances the atmosphere without hindering the décor. As they make their way to their room, a hall light will automatically illuminate the doorway, and automatically deactivate a few seconds after the guest enters the room.
Each guest room can be controlled through a customized keypad that can be set to a “Do Not Disturb” mode which shows a red light outside the door when activated to notify hotel staff. Lighting scenes by world-renowned interior and lighting designers can also be activated by a smartphone that comes with the room. Guests can also order room service, control automated shades, the music and the TV that’s hidden behind a mirror with the device.
Mode:Green has created a seamless ecosystem for automation. The hotel staff can control every device in the hotel, but the system is smart on its own. Lally explained, “Lighting scenes run on timed events and can change color, and there’s a conference room with projection system. It’s an all-in-one single user interface, all of the devices are on one common network.”
The technology that was added in the final stages of construction is where the big picture came together. Each designer, architect, electrician and contractor had a vision for a piece of the hotel, and Mode:Green combined them all to create a high-end, easy-to-use system that can match the Baccarat’s luxurious reputation. And even after the installation was complete, Mode:Green continues to keep the system in top working order with on-call support and maintenance that includes regular check-ups and monitoring to keep every piece of the system working properly.