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Nesuto Docklands locks in energy savings

Hotels are turning to locks that are part of a fully integrated online system for room controls, connected to PMS & BMS

With major hotel chains around the world committed to climate action plans, energy management systems are now seen as one of the keys to net zero carbon emissions.

More and more hotels are turning to locks that are part of a fully integrated online system for room controls, and connected to both Property Management Systems and Building Management Systems.

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The state-of-the-art Nesuto Docklands Apartment Hotel in Melbourne chose to implement an energy management system from ASSA ABLOY in its construction which began in 2021.

Michael Benikos, Managing Director at ASSA ABLOY, said his company’s energy management systems can engineer massive savings at a property.

“Installing one of our energy management systems reduces the runtime of a property’s air conditioning anywhere from 20 percent to 40 percent,” Mr Benikos said, “and that results in huge savings in cost to a property and much less waste for the environment. The savings are largely based on energy not being wasted on rooms that are unoccupied.

“With our system, when a guest arrives at a hotel they check in and get their room card at the front desk. As soon as that happens a message goes through the Property Management System to start the air-conditioning in the guest’s room.

“If it’s set, at let’s say 22 degrees, by the time the guest gets to the room, the temperature might not be 22 yet but it’s getting there and hours of energy have been saved.

“As soon as the guest opens the door a motion sensor in the room tells the air-conditioning unit to stay at the temperature until the guest leaves when it will revert to a slightly more efficient temperature until they come back. The system will also switch off any lights that have been left on when the guests have left the room. While the property makes big energy savings, the guest comes back to a room that is still very comfortable even though it may have been unoccupied for hours.”

Mr Benikos said the biggest site using the ASSA ABLOY system in Australia was an 800-room student accommodation building in Sydney.

All 211 apartments at the Nesuto Docklands in Melbourne have the energy management system installed, as well as new ASSA ABLOY safes.

Nesuto Docklands Apartment Hotel in Melbourne

Damon Lunardello, General Manager Nesuto Docklands, said: “Hotel construction began in 2021 and was completed on time in February 2023. The system was rolled out successfully on completion.

“We are always looking at ways to maximise operating efficiencies and energy savings, and having integrated systems helps us do that. Also, this system helps to enhance the guest experience and we can be more proactive to their individual needs.

“The property includes solar, rainwater to fill all toilet cisterns, and the energy management system to control heating, cooling and lighting to rooms.”

Mr Lunardello said the entire Nesuto team was excited to be working with this state of art hotel and its environmentally friendly operation.

“Nesuto Docklands is the first new-build product for the brand in Victoria,” he said.

“One of the main conveniences is that as soon as a guest arrives the energy management system works to provide a premium guest experience in heating, cooling, and all that is energy related.”

Mr Benikos said the use of technology that pairs room locks with energy management systems had been available in Australia for about 10 to 15 years, and in the US for at least 20 years.

“When you build a hotel now you have to fulfil Section J of the (Australian) Building Code, which covers energy compliance,” he said.

“You have to put energy-saving devices into the rooms. It doesn’t have to be as sophisticated as what we’ve done; it can be the old way where you put the card in the slot as you come into the room. People, of course, can manipulate that system by having two keys cut and they keep one in the Card energy control unit so the air conditioning and lights run all day and night whether they are in the room or not.

“Our system eliminates all that waste and the savings for the property and the environment can be huge.”

Nesuto Docklands Apartment Hotel in Melbourne

Mr Benikos said the race to reach net zero by 2050 would redefine the accommodation industry, and that eventually all buildings will have to be upgraded to meet climate goals.

In Europe 75 percent of all buildings are considered inefficient, and the EU has asked member states to prepare plans to upgrade all by 2030.

Mr Benikos said Australia was showing the way to the world with its advancements in energy management systems.

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