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Hilton Universal City Saves $30k per Month with Intelligent Windows

Hotels often look to new technologies to wow guests, however, sometimes new technology is needed to improve the guest experience without guests even realizing it's happening. This type of technology often runs "behind the scenes" in an unobtrusive manner.  

Major hotel chains, including Doubletree, Hilton, AC Hotel, and W Hotel have found this to be the case and are implementing intelligent window glass technology that uses sophisticated algorithms to automatically darken or lighten window tints. The technology – from View Dynamic Glass – allows the glass windows to respond intuitively to outside conditions ensuring that the benefits of natural sunlight can enter lobby and guestroom spaces, while unwanted solar radiation and glare stays out. It has predictive weather feeds and real-time sensors that anticipate and react to the sun’s movement and cloud cover to allow maximum daylight into a building even on overcast days.

Manual adjustments can also be made through a mobile phone application or in-room controller; however, the company says that due to the highly intelligent software, this is rarely necessary unless a hotel guest, for example, wants a darker room in the middle of the day to take a nap. In addition to making lobby and conference room spaces more comfortable, the windows' use of smart technology provides hotels with large energy savings.

The Hilton Universal City, based in Los Angeles, is one such hotel that has implemented such technology.

Thousands of tourists and international visitors descend on The Hilton Universal City every year to visit Universal Studios Hollywood, located just a block from the hotel, and explore all that has Los Angeles has to offer.

With temperatures regularly exceeding 100 degrees in the summertime, hotel management was experiencing a first impression problem — as guests entered the hotel, they were hit with uncomfortable heat and glare coming through the main lobby windows.

To alleviate this tremendous thermal load, View Dynamic Glass was included as part of the hotel’s $7 million energy retrofit project. Thanks to the eliminations of the thermal load in the lobby and other building improvements, the hotel reports it has reduced energy operating costs by a remarkable $27,000–$30,000 each month.

The hotel now not only enjoys a vastly improved guest experience, but also a better experience for staff as well. Mark Davis, the hotel general manager, noted, “We used to dread working during hot weekends with the A/C not working…outside at the entrance is over 100 degrees but our lobby area is nice and cool with no glare.

About the Author


Michal Christine Escobar

Michal Christine Escobar is Hospitality Technology’s Senior Editor, with a concentration on the hotel industry.  She has a decade of experience as a B2B journalist. She is responsible for the hotel beat at the magazine and often writes about AI, VR, IoT and other emerging technologies affecting hospitality.

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