Hospitality ON Event - Awards

Worldwide Hospitality Awards

Thursday 09 November 2023 à 18:00

Candidat - Best Initiative in Sustainable Development

Sofitel Amsterdam

Campaign - Sofitel Amsterdam - New HVAC system

A revolutionary & sustainable new heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system in a 500 year old monumental hotel building on Unesco world heritage grounds (seventeenth-century canal ring area of Amsterdam).

A Revolutionary & Sustainable New Heating, Ventilation & Airconditioning (HVAC) System in a 500 year old Monumental Hotel Building on Unesco World Heritage grounds (Seventeenth-Century Canal Ring Area of Amsterdam).

Due to a technical audit held in May 2012 and the setup of the Long Term Maintenance Plan, the conclusion was that continuation of upgrading and replacement of the installations was needed because actual life-times of the components. If not doing this, the investment would only bigger in future and energy consumption would be enormous. While creating this installation program, the municipality of Amsterdam was looking around for owners who want to participate in the ‘cold-hot storage’ program. Thus when the municipality was presenting the principles, procedures and of course the benefits, The Grand contracted a specialist designer to oversee the possibilities for such a system in this monumental building. It was possible but the performance of the installation would be much better when single layered glass would be replaced and old wooden roofs and dormers would be insulated. Combining the upgrade of installations, create the well for cold-hot storage, replace single layered glass and insulate roofs, created HVAC.


Once the upgrading, the replacement of the installations and its infrastructure are done, there will be huge impact on guest’s comfortIn the different seasons there were too many complaints about: cooling, heating and ventilation. To get more close to the Sofitel Standards, the change was needed, keeping in mind the Sofitel refurbishment program. The upgrade and replacement program will be made for the coming 25 years, for the main components and infrastructure and 15 years for the smaller equipment like fan-coil units, pumps etc.

To proceed with the HVAC program the infrastructure of installations had to be changed from a vertical structure to a horizontal structure also in order to achieve a controllable installation. After that, during future renovation you can work and control and shut off the installations per floor. Working per floor means with the coming renovations, first install new piping in the corridors, after that the old (vertical) infrastructure can be disconnect and removed.


In the hotel was too much cooling capacity (locations) main goal was to connect the different cooling systems, install the cold-hot storage and get rid of the overcapacity and use the existing cooling installations more efficient as back-up cooling. When changing and connecting cooling, main point of attention is the infrastructure of the cold water pipes and the capacity of the pumps. The pipes of the cooling system were at the end of there live span, due to corrosion and leakages that do occur.


Main goal was to have one boiler house for the whole hotel combined with the heat exchanger, instead of the different ones we now have, this also because of over capacity and efficiency. When engineering the new boiler house and heat pump it was important to design the new distribution of water temperatures. Besides one boiler house we investigated the possibility to get rid of the radiators near the windows, this because of less energy loss and the new double glass, which was installed. An in-depth study proofed that the removal of these radiators was possible to avoid new complaints from guest due to upgraded insulation of façade and the new double-glazed windows. The climate in the rooms will only be controled by air, which will supply more guest comfort.


In order to get a more efficient energy consumption we combined the different air handling units, were possible, and install Heat Recovery Wheels. When connecting try to keep the existing ducts, because they take most space in the shafts. After combining the installations all the ventilation must be controlled per room, together with a fixed (self processed) air reduction grid for the air extraction. The system was completely balanced and fixed air volume grills should were installed in the bathrooms for extraction.


Main goal was to control the temperature and the flow for the domestic cold and hot water. Basically for guest comfort and energy saving. But also in order to follow Dutch legionella regulation some adjustments ware made. For legionella prevention, flow regulators were be installed and temperature sensors in the hot and cold branches.

Building Management System (BMS)

Part of the whole intervention is the BMS, which controls all the systems connected to each other. The system, which was installed, did not have the opportunities to control all functions and details. Together with changing the installations, at the same time, the new components of the BMS were added into the new BMS. Therefore it was important, while getting the new installation set up, the engineering for the new BMS is done in a way new components can easily be installed and controlled. A new BMS improved the energy loss and give all the opportunities for controlling and maintaining the installations.

Double layered monumental glass

The hotel is monument with 4-6mm single layered glass in the windows. This single layered glass is a big efficiency leak in the building shell. Together with a specialised architect in monuments, we sampled different types of double layered insulated glass, which have the same old monumental character. This is a must for this monument, as you are not allowed to change the monumental look and feel into an industrial look and feel. This glass has a much bigger U-value, so the upgrading of the installations will perform better with this insulated windows. During the installation of the HVAC program, the glass has been renewed per zone in the same period.

Roof insulation

As the glass is part of the building shell, also roofs and dormers are part of the building shell, being an efficiency leak. Because roofs and dormers have a monumental structure it is difficult to insulate this in a conventional way, with foil-wool-open foil. If this technique is used there will be issues in future with condensation in the wooden structures. Therefore the architect advised to use sheep wool, this is self-regulating it’s condensation end plastic foils are not needed. All accessible roofs and dormers are insulated with sheep wool, so the efficiency leakage in the building shell is minimized and the HVAC installation will perform much better.

Achieved Planning

1. Engineering and technical design             à January 2013 till October 2013

2. Quotations and prepare orders                 à October 2013 till December 2013

3. First installation to change/ upgrade        à End 2013 /beginning 2014

4. Main upgrade installations/buiding shell   à 2014 till 2016

5. Hand over                                                  à 10 February 2016


By installing the HVAC system and improving the insulation of the building shell the overall energy consumption reduced in a significant way were Sofitel Legend The Grand contributes to a more sustainable environment.


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