The Gran Meliá WTC São Paulo Hotel is one of the most sophisticated hotels in São Paulo, Brazil. It is connected to the World Trade Center (WTC) complex and located near the headquarters of many of the city's national and international businesses, just minutes from the Congonhas Airport, and 45 minutes from the Guarulhos International Airport.

The 16-floor, 300,949-sq-ft hotel features 300 guest rooms including nine suites, three restaurants, a state-of-the-art business center, 30 meeting/banquet halls, a jogging track, a pool, a fitness center with sauna, and a gym. The complex is comprised of the hotel, convention center, an office tower, and a shopping mall. The Gran Meliá, operated by Sol Meliá, the hotel's multinational management company, is one of more than 350 hotels that are strategically placed in major business and tourist areas throughout 30 countries.

Flexibility In Facilities Management

Due to the competitive nature of the hotel market, the hotel's management wanted to take steps to ensure that the hotel was continuously improving to accommodate the needs of its guests and establish facility strategies to account for fluctuating occupancy rates. With occupancy rates varying from 20% to 100%, energy saving strategies that would reduce operational costs, were a prime objective.

Management also wanted to be able to monitor and control mixed-use areas to ensure guest comfort and satisfaction. Finally it also wanted to be able to respond quickly to maintenance issues and identify preventive maintenance measures.

Gran Meliá management partnered with Johnson Controls in order to develop and implement these strategies. "Our partnership with Johnson Controls has been instrumental in enhancing guest comfort and improving the quality of the building environment in our hotel," says Rui Manuel Oliveira, vice president, Sol Meliá-South America.

Having been involved in the project prior to construction (which was completed in 1994), Johnson Controls installed a Metasys(r) system to integrate and control the hotel's property management, hvac, electrical, lighting, and fire alarm systems for the guest rooms and convention facilities. In addition to the hotel, the Metasys system monitors and controls building systems encompassing more than 10,000 points in the WTC convention center, office tower, and common areas of the adjoining shopping mall.

The system enabled Gran Meliá to streamline energy costs and be more proactive in maintenance strategies. While it has served the facility well, last year the Metasys system was markedly enhanced with the addition of Johnson Controls' data visualization technology.

24-Hour Call Center Boosts Efficiency

From the building's inception, Gran Meliá and Johnson Controls worked together to develop a service strategy to accommodate the many needs of the complex. Under the contract, Johnson Controls staffs an on-site, 24-hr call center responsible for the operation and maintenance of the automation system for hvac, electrical and mechanical, and lighting systems in the hotel and convention center, office tower, and the common areas of the shopping mall.

New Data Visualization Technology enables technicians to monitor all systems using graphics in real-time as well as historic data, and to easily identify any problem areas. It also allows users to view weeks or months of data on a single screen. In conjunction with Metasys building automation systems, the historical data visualization offerings include, the River of Time, Color Spectrum, System Analysis Tool, and the Data VCR which allows the user to see historical data processes, devices, and complex systems.

Using the Metasys system in conjunction with the data visualization technology, event schedules are preprogrammed into the system to ensure that meeting and banquet rooms are ready upon guest arrival. Four Johnson Controls technicians respond to service calls and fulfill maintenance work orders, which are driven automatically by M-Alarm technology through an integrated computerized maintenance management system (CMMS). The CMMS responds to equipment operation alarms, enabling the staff to address necessary maintenance before costly repairs are needed.

"The technology and superior service Johnson Controls provides is helping Gran Meliá WTC São Paulo and the WTC to deal proactively with Brazil's current energy crisis," says Oliveira. By integrating the hotel property management system with the Metasys system, the hotel is able to save significant energy costs related to unoccupied rooms.

Five different modes of operation exist, based on hotel guest occupancy. Occupancy is monitored through the registration system and guest room access cards, so each room's hvac and electrical systems are automatically adjusted or shut off in response to room occupancy. The precise control of temperature and humidity levels ensures guests are always comfortable and helps to alleviate lost profits due to mildew damage from extreme humidity levels. ES