• The Art of Pitching: Is it Overrated - or Essential?

    Pitching… that thing we force notoriously introverted geeks to do for funding. The main idea is that an entrepreneur — unless his name is Elon Musk or Tony Stark — has limited resources and needs the financial support of pockets that are substantially deeper than his own.

  • What to Expect: New Changes Coming to Lease Accounting Standards

    The upcoming revision to lease accounting standards was one of the topics discussed by the HFTP Hotel Advisory Council in their February 2018 meeting. The surprising conclusion from the council: The hotel industry in general is not prepared for the changes, and there is no viable off-the-shelf software that any of the members were aware of that would assist with the accounting for the new standard.

  • HFTP GDPR Guidelines: Hospitality Organization Flow Charts

    This document is a set of flow charts illustrating data flow scenarios, involved parties providing hospitality services, steps of the guest journey and more. Four scenarios are presented: independent hotel, independent hotel with third party agreement, branded hotel and branded hotel with independent control.

  • Job Description Template: Club Accounting Positions

    The HFTP Americas Research Center has developed example job descriptions for club accounting positions. The process involved reviewing sample job descriptions, and compiling the information into standardized job descriptions.


Hotel EMS - Conserve Energy Without Sacrificing Guest Comfort!

Hotels University·18 April 2018
In my last newsletter, I discussed Energy Management Systems (EMS) as an option to reduce energy waste in your hotel. One of the most common concerns about an EMS is that they shut off while hotel guests are sleeping due to lack of motion in the guestroom. After all, no hotel owner wants guests’ complaints in the middle of the night about their AC unit not working due to a faulty occupancy sensor reading. While this was a concern with earlier occupancy sensors, sensor technology has become infinitely more accurate in the past few years. A good sensor setup with supplemental sensors can result in a very accurate room reading.

Hotel Energy Management Systems - Saving Hoteliers On Operating Costs

Hotels University· 3 April 2018
A typical hotel room can be unoccupied nearly 70% of the time! In addition, hotel guests are much less concerned about saving energy in your hotel than at their home. Therefore, many hoteliers pay to heat, cool, light, and power TVs for a guestroom with no one in it. How can hoteliers avoid this? One great solution is an Energy Management Systems (EMS).

Select the Right Elevator for your Next Hotel!

Hotels University· 7 March 2018
Passenger elevators play a vital role in hotel guest circulation. In this article, I discuss some basics of elevator design and selection to ensure you make the right decision for your next hotel. We often receive questions from hotel developers about proper elevator selection. Here I address some of the most common questions we receive. For now, I focus this discussion on low-rise hotels (three to seven stories).

Should You Consider ICF Construction for Your Next Hotel?

Hotels University·22 February 2018
Insulating Concrete Form Construction, also called ICF, has proven itself as a high-performance wall system, offering economic and environmental benefits. With rising building costs across the US, many hotel owners are exploring the use of ICF for upcoming projects. As Base4 is currently designing several ICF hotels, I take this opportunity to explore potential ICF possibilities.

What is a Hotel Photometric Study?

Hotels University· 6 February 2018
In out last newsletter, we discussed LED lighting as a popular energy saving component for hoteliers. Today I expand on how lighting design impacts the overall look and feel of a hotel. City officials often require hoteliers to show proposed exterior project lighting in order to analyze how new lighting will affect surrounding areas. The placement of light fixtures, the fixture selected, and the corresponding fixture intensity all can be adjusted to meet the overall project design goals. Lighting designers, including our in-house lighting team, use photometric studies to investigate different lighting options.

LED Lighting: Cost-Savings Every Month

Hotels University·31 January 2018
As we discussed in our last newsletter, we strive to bring energy efficient designs to our clients. We want designs that are not only environmentally friendly, but also beneficial to the bottom line of a project. A popular energy-saving component is LED lighting.

Hoteliers Benefit from No-Cost Cooling!

Hotels University·23 January 2018
After receiving some great questions from our last newsletter, I wanted to dive into another energy-efficient hotel design solution, one that is often overlooked. This solution involves utilizing your hotel’s dedicated outdoor air system (DOAS) for no-cost cooling. A DOAS is a unit typically mounted on a hotel roof that is used to condition (heat, cool, humidify, dehumidify) all of the outdoor air brought into a hotel for ventilation and then deliver it to each occupied space at neutral (70°F) temperature. A separate local HVAC unit (such as a fan coil, water-source heat pumps, or PTAC) in each space then provides cooling or heating to maintain the desired space temperature.

Cool Roofs - Saving Hoteliers Energy Costs!

Hotels University·17 January 2018
Hoteliers in warm and sunny climate zones often face the challenge of high monthly cooling expenses. After publishing a series on energy efficient hotel solutions, I received some questions about how a cool roof could be used in a hotel application. Cool roofs are a roofing that reflects sunlight and heat away from a building to reduce roof temperatures and the corresponding heat entering a building.

Efficient Hotel Design Tips - Save Monthly Utility Costs

Hotels University·10 January 2018
With construction costs on the rise, most developers are looking for ways to cut both upfront and operational costs. One way to drive down operational costs is to design a hotel as energy efficient as possible. While we see very few developers pursuing “formal” sustainable certifications like LEED, we do encourage all of our clients to at least evaluate “selfish sustainability” measures – design aspects that benefit both the environment AND the bottom line.

Hotel Shadow Studies Bring Added Value In Design

Hotels University·26 December 2017
Hotel developers do not want to enter their first summer season and realize their hotel pool sits in the shadow 90% of the day! Architectural shadow studies early in the design process will help you avoid this, as well as other costly design mistakes. See below for a shadow time-lapse video of a Hyatt Place recently designed by the Base4 visualization team. You can see the added value this feature brings by visualizing how light and shadows impact your project.

Extended Stay Hotels On The Rise!

Hotels University·13 December 2017
In last week’s post, we discussed the popular U.S. hotel brands according to pipeline quantity. The most popular brand in the U.S. is an extended stay hotel, Home2 Suites by Hilton. With more people staying in extended stay hotels than ever before, we wanted to explore this sector of the industry.

What are the most popular hotel brands?

Hotels University·13 December 2017
According to a recent Lodging Econometrics report, the world hotel construction market is growing 8% year over year. The U.S market has played a big role in this growth. Here are the top 5 cities in the U.S. with the highest hotel construction:

Hotel Block & Plank Costs On The Rise

Hotels University·21 November 2017
Evaluate Your Construction Options To Reduce Project Costs I received some great feedback from our readers on our recent Rising Lumber Costs newsletter. We had lots of intriguing questions and wanted to continue this dialogue by sharing some similar information about pricing trends for CMU (Block) and Hollow Core Plank construction. I’d like to start by sharing some relevant data to help clarify overall picture. Our team designed three Holiday Inn Express hotel projects in the same geographical region for the same developer and GC using the same construction type (Block & Plank). The owners were kind enough to share the construction cost data on these projects, so we could better communicate the market trends we are seeing in numbers.

What Construction Type is Right for your Hotel?

Hotels University·16 November 2017
Hardly a day goes by where we don’t find ourselves talking to hotel developers about construction types. Whether it be wood, concrete, steel, block & plank, or ICF, construction costs continue to be on the rise and evaluating all your options for construction early on will help ensure you select the one that is right for your project goals and budget. HU works on hotel projects across the US. We thought it would be valuable to share some of the data we’ve collected on the construction types our clients are choosing for their new-build hotel projects. Below is a chart highlighting the last 100 limited & select service hotel projects our team has designed and the associated distribution by construction type. As the chart shows, wood framed and block and plank make up nearly 90% of the projects we’ve designed.

Hotel HVAC Systems - What Are My Options? Part 2

Hotels University· 7 August 2017
This week, I expand upon our previous newsletter and continue the discussion about HVAC systems (PTAC, VTAC, and VRF). In this newsletter, I will discuss the basics of each HVAC system including their installation and basic operations.

Hotel HVAC Systems - What Are My Options? Part 1

Hotels University·18 July 2017
Hotel owners estimate that hotel guestroom energy consumption accounts for approximately 40% to 80% of total building energy use. This is a very high percentage of a hotel’s operating budget so guestroom HVAC systems are not something that should be taken lightly. We often field questions about what HVAC system is right for a hotel so we thought it would be valuable to prepare a newsletter series to explore and discuss these options with you.

Should You Go Modular With Your Next Hotel - Part 4

Hotels University·10 July 2017
I received some great feedback from our readers on our recent Hotel Bathroom Pods and Full Modular Guestrooms newsletters, which sparked a lot of new dialogue and questions. I thought it would be helpful to our readers to collect these questions and formulate a hotel modular construction FAQ list. Below is a collection of these questions and our responses:

Should You Go Modular With Your Next Hotel - Part 3

Hotels University·27 June 2017
As I discussed in previous newsletters Modular Construction & Hotel Bathroom Pods, modular is gaining new attention in the United States especially in the hotel sector. Fabricated bathroom pods are just a part of modular construction that minimizes a project punch list – fabricating entire hotel bays is another beneficiary option for modular. In this newsletter, I share the processes involved in utilizing full modular guestroom units and bays.

Should You Go Modular With Your Next Hotel - Part 2

Hotels University·15 June 2017
In the previous newsletter, I introduced the modular construction method. Last month, I attended the first East Coast Modular Stacking Event, which was dedicated to upcoming developments of Modular Construction in the US market. Please follow the link Should you go modular with your next hotel? As I continue this topic, I would like to share helpful information about modular bathroom pods.

Should You Go Modular With Your Next Hotel - Part 1

Hotels University·30 May 2017
I was honored to join Marriott International, OTO Development, Champion Commercial Structures and Le Chase Construction for the first East Coast Modular Stacking Event at the Marriott AC in Chapel Hill, North Carolina last week. I would like to thank Marriott International and especially Jennifer Lund, Senior Director of Global Design Strategies for Marriott, for this distinct invitation, which gave me an opportunity to share my experience and vision on upcoming developments of Modular Construction in the US market. While attending the event I had the opportunity to meet with many leaders and pioneers in the modular hotel industry to discuss both the benefits and challenges they have experienced with modular construction in the hotel sector. Hearing their personal experiences firsthand was very insightful.

How to build a five story wood framed hotel - Part 3

Hotels University·21 February 2017
In case you missed it… in part 2, we explored potential ways to increase wood buildings to five stories using Type IIIA construction. (Link to Part 2). Another option for building a 5-story wood hotel is the use of a podium design.

How to build a five story wood framed hotel - Part 2

Hotels University·21 January 2017
In Part 1, we explored code restrictions pertaining to wood structures and potential ways to increase building height and number of stories. As discussed in Part 1 (Link to part 1), the International Building Code (IBC) classifies traditional wood framed construction as Type V and allows a maximum of four stories when utilizing an approved sprinkler system.

How to build a five story wood framed hotel - Part 1

Hotels University·15 December 2016
Today marks the beginning of a new three-part series about 5-story wood framed hotel construction. We often get asked about 5-story wood framed hotel construction due to confusion regarding what is allowed by the code. In this series, we attempt to address your concerns and questions.Before we can dive directly into 5-story wood construction, we need to briefly understand how the International Building Code (IBC) classifies wood construction and corresponding restrictions, as follows:

How to keep your hotel guestrooms quiet! Part 5b: Flanking Noise Sources

Hotels University·15 November 2016
In last week’s module, we discussed two of the most common sources of flanking noise. (Link to Part 5a) This week we focus on two additional sources and how to reduce and eliminate them in your hotel. As a brief reminder, flanking noise is simply noise that transfers from one space to another via an indirect pathway. Below are the most common sources of flanking noise and the related design ideas to reduce such noise in your hotel guestrooms:


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