CASE STUDY: Waldorf Astoria Las Vegas

ASI Controls

CASE STUDY: Waldorf Astoria Las Vegas

Systems Associates Inc. uncouples a high-end hotel from a massive central BAS System 

Each year more than 50 million people visit Las Vegas to gamble, relax, and enjoy the city’s entertainment. In this desert oasis, daily temperatures can fluctuate between the 60s to over 100 degrees in a matter of hours. These constantly shifting conditions are why Las Vegas is home to some of the world’s largest conditioned spaces.

waldforf astoria las vegasThe Waldorf Astoria Las Vegas is one of these spaces— with more than 51,000 square feet of lobbies, entertainment, conference facilities, hotel rooms, and private condos. The building is one of six structures in City Center, now called Aria, a mixed-use complex spanning an entire city block. In its original design, a single massive central plant provided utilities to this behemoth of structures while a central BAS system provided control of the entire complex.

Early in 2020, Hilton Hotels, owner of the Waldorf Astoria, received notification from Aria they would be uncoupled from the complex’s central building automation system in March. From now on, they would purchase utility water from Aria but otherwise would have to manage the building on their own. Hilton needed a fast, reliable solution, or the Waldorf Astoria’s critical HVAC systems would shut down.

They turned to Systems Associates Inc. of Bowling Green, Ohio.

Systems Associates had just three months to design, plan, and implement a new BAS system. With several options at their disposal, they chose ASI Controls.

Fast, Straightforward Implementation was critical

Aria had a date set in stone where they would pull the plug. After that, the hotel would be dead in the water. To add complexity, the Waldorf Astoria closed for the COVID-19 outbreak early in the project. This provided a limited window to complete the installation without hotel guests on the property. At the same time, it left a sense of uncertainty around finishing the work before the reopening.

Systems Associates leveraged ASI Controls’ ASIC/3 line of programmable BACnet controllers to provide an expedient solution. ASI Controls designed its ASIC/3s to integrate seamlessly with a wide range of non-ASI controllers and sensors. This allowed Systems Associates to integrate a range of third-party components. The result is a truly customized solution.

“The ASIC/3 line gave us the flexibility to integrate third party sensors, frequency drives, and BTU meters. Their Ballrooms had a sprinkling of building pressure transducers and CO2 sensors that were also necessary to integrate into the VAV controls,” David Clover, vice president of Systems Associates’ controls division said.

Flexibility to meet the building’s unique needs

asic/3 6115 vav
The ASIC/3-6115 BACnet programmable controller combines the proven functionality of an ASI terminal controller with the full power of the ASIC/3 object based system controllers.

Hilton tasked Systems Associates with designing a controls solution for the lobby spaces, spas, ballrooms, back of house, eight flat-plate exchanger systems, as well as six pool heating exchangers. Systems Associates utilized twenty-five ASIC/3-9540 programmable system controllers to provide top-level management of core building systems and nearly two hundred ASIC/3-6115 programmable VAV controllers to provide terminal control in individual spaces.

ASI’s ASIC/3-6115 VAV controllers allowed Systems Associates to program nuanced custom sequences for each VAV box. Control was then routed via BACnet MS/TP to the ASIC/3-9540 controllers and managed through Systems Associates CONTROLIQ front-end.

“All of the top-level ASI Controllers are running BACnet protocol MS/TP routing,” Clover said. “We utilized third party BACnet routers to isolate strings of VAV boxes in order to allow more frequent polling and logging of data.”

Lower hardware costs and a lower cost of ownership

waldorf astoria panel remodel
A remodeled panel at the Waldorf Astoria with an ASIC/3-9540 controller installed.

As with any project, material costs can weigh heavily on profits. Systems Associates offers multiple controls line to its customers. After comparing the levels of functionality, reliability, and hardware costs, ASI was the clear winner.

“The [lower] expense of ASI versus some of the others was tantamount,” Clover said.

ASI Controls have the lowest total cost of ownership because it engineers products to be reliable and higher quality. It uses superior components and assembles the majority of its controls products domestically. It also sources accessories, such as Belimo actuators and ACI Sensors, from respected manufacturers. Plus, ASI offers an industry-leading five-year warranty on its controllers.

Everything’s under control

Through working with ASI, Systems Associates completed the massive project in just three months. They removed the previous BAS system, installed new controllers, remodeled enclosure, and installed a new front-end without any major issues.

“This ranks up there as one of the bigger projects in our thirty-plus year history—and in record time too,” Clover said. “At this point, there’s not a mechanical system in the building that’s not under our control.”