easyHotel (London, UK)

John Hearn, Head of Property Development for the easyHotel on Old Street in Barbican, had a problem: “The existing conventional ducted air systems were not able to accurately control temperature and we started getting complaints from our guests.” Quite a problem, indeed, when your motto is ‘’simple comfort, great value.”


easyHotel Group positions its properties as “super budget hotels,” maintaining inexpensive room rates by asking guests to sacrifice a little luxury space by offering smaller-sized rooms. easyHotels offer no frills – no on-site restaurants, bars, gyms, business centers or the like – allowing management and staff to focus on the maintenance and cleanliness of their utilitarian-yet-elegant accommodations.


Indoor climate control is a key factor to guest comfort. Two of easyHotel’s London locations, the flagship hotel in South Kensington and the Old Street site, use the Unico System to supply heating and cooling to their guests. The Unico System’s small duct attributes are especially suited to the budget hotel chain’s needs.

Strategy

Smaller rooms means smaller areas in which to house mechanical systems. In contrast to the bulky, rigid ducting required by conventional indoor systems, the Unico System’s main trunk line takes up one-third the space of traditional systems and its flexible 2-inch inner diameter supply tubing snakes through wall cavities, allowing conditioned air to be delivered specifically where it’s needed. Additionally, round Unico System outlets are smaller, more aesthetically pleasing and less noticeable than conventional grilles. They deliver quiet, draft-free indoor comfort – the guests don’t even know that they are there.


After a thorough evaluation of the Barbican site, installing contractor KBS Services removed the existing air handling, condensing units and controls and replaced them with eight Unico Systems with zone control to deliver indoor comfort to the hotel’s three floors and 95 rooms.


Similarly, the Unico System’s low profile made it the optimal choice for the concern’s first London venture in Kensington. The hotel in Lexham Gardens features 34 rooms within 5 floors of a converted row house, and installer HVAC Group of London recommended the Unico System specifically due to its smaller size and ability to provide superior comfort.

Results

easyHotel South Kensington’s Roger Powell states, “We needed the best for our customers within very tight budgets. The Unico System has given us just that – the best comfort solution and real cost savings over conventional systems.” The use of heat pump technology coupled with the Unico Systems’ long life expectancy also provides significant life-cost savings. Adds Mr. Powell, “The system also gave us the ability to ventilate effectively without employing a separate system” further reducing costs.


At the Old Street location, Mr. Hearn notes that the complete reconfiguration of control strategy through new thermostats and multiple temperature sensors “allows zone temperatures to be controlled by hotel management and [we] typically maintain a constant temperature of 72°F in each room” completely eliminating guest complaints.


“Simple comfort, great value” might easily extend itself to the Unico System as well.