You’d expect the largest hotel in Australia to employ the latest integration opportunities. So it’s no surprise that upgraded control of facilities management, workflow, energy management, security, and building efficiency is up and running for the Four Points by Sheraton Darling Harbour in Sydney.

Overlooking colorful Darling Harbour and on the edge of Sydney’s bustling central business district, Four Points by Sheraton is just a short walk away from an array of entertainment venues and shopping areas. As Australia’s largest hotel, Four Points by Sheraton offers an extensive range of facilities with 630 rooms including 45 suites.

The hotel caters to both business and leisure travelers and offers several amenities including meeting facilities, casual brasserie/restaurant, lobby bar and lounge, an historic English pub, business center, and fitness center. A short walk over the historical Pyrmont Bridge takes you to the edge of Darling Harbour and the entrance to the Maritime Museum, Sydney Exhibition & Convention Centre, and China Town.

The hotel staff’s exceptional service has been recognized by winning “Best Superior Hotel” at the 2005 Australian Hotel Association’s Awards for Excellence (Australia) and “2005 Hotel of the Year” (Four Points Brand) in the 2005 Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Awards. In previous years, the hotel has won the “Ultimate Service Awards” (CNN, American Express, Taylor Nelson Sofres Hospitality and Leisure) for the Australia, New Zealand, and Pacific Isles division in 2001 and 2002.

Yet, one of the biggest keys to the hotel’s success lies in staying ahead of the curve and its competitors when implementing leading-edge technology. In 2003, the hotel completed a refurbishment shortly after a major upgrade of the hotel’s back-of-house systems began. Nigel Wright, the hotel’s chief engineer listed reduction of utility consumption as his primary goal of the upgrade. Specifically, he sought to replace the legacy control system and the inefficient chiller plant.

Four Points by Sheraton Darling Harbour originally opened in 1991. As such, the initial controls system consisted of a combination of DCC with very limited points coverage and antiquated analogue controls, which were used extensively throughout the site for temperature control. The old automation system provided scheduling and monitoring capabilities only. When it came to upgrading the building’s BAS and EMS, it also had some strict requirements, such as:
  • An open platform with real enterprise connectivity and a Web portal: IT-based, thin-client, browser-based (with no special software required by operators and users to connect to and use the software applications).
  • Seamless customized interfaces to the property management system, lighting systems, paging systems, and LON-based intelligent guest room controllers.
  • Support for Oracle and XML reporting.
  • A maintenance asset management system which would operate with barcode readers, hot WiFi database synchronization, and a comprehensive inspection module, seamlessly integrated with the BMS and help desk and enterprise connectivity for asset depreciation calculation for the corporate accounting system.

All works had to be carried out via a systematic approach providing an overnight completion of the installation within a group of rooms or public areas, thus minimizing the impact on occupancy and guest experience. For a hotel that has consistently high occupancy rates, the availability of guest rooms was paramount.