Hotel Projects

Q&A Session: Adam & Daniel

We spoke with Adam Cross, a Plumbing Design Controller, and Daniel Payne, an Electrical Design Controller, here at VP Engineering about hotel projects and how they keep up with the most modern design. Keep reading to hear their answers and learn how VP approaches boutique and national brand hotel designs.

What different hotels have you worked on during your career at VP?

Adam: I’ve worked on quite a few during my time at VP. I have designed for the Landmark Hotel in Gainesville, Florida, multiple Springhill Suites, and the boutique Chancellor’s House in Oxford, Mississippi. I have also completed quality control for Hampton Inn.

Daniel: Similar to Adam, I designed for Landmark in Florida and completed quality control for the Hampton Inn in Kansas City.

What makes hotel projects different from multi-family building or senior living projects that we design?

Daniel: Usually they are very prototypical. Each hotel has their own standards like particular lights and fixtures that we have to design with. Whenever we design we always have to design to code minimum – but with hotels, because they are building so many and operating them, a lot of time their requirements are above the normal code.

Adam: A lot of times there is a lot more amenities than standard multifamily buildings including kitchens, commercial laundries, indoor/outdoor pools, spas, and fitness centers.

What are we at VP doing to make sure that we stay up-to- date with the latest technology available to hospitality design?

Daniel: We have lots of reps that come in frequently and show us all of the new products and give valuable presentations during lunch-and- learns. With hotel designing sometimes it’s as simple as staying up to date on their design standards. If their design standard is to put a nice, extravagant lighting control system in, we design to that. You can only be as up-to-date as the brand allows you to be. They are continuously vetting different ideas because they end up using it over multiple properties so if they have issues there will be multiple issues.

How is designing for a boutique hotel different from designing for a brand?

Adam: The Chancellor’s House was unique as far as overall design. It was a very compact building and was uniquely laid out. It was also very upscale.

Daniel: It was a lot more free-willing. The owner made the decisions rather than the brand. AS a designer you have a little more leeway and the owner is given the chance to do what he/she wants to do rather than being restricted to brand standards.

Do you notice the design of hotels when you visit them?

Adam: Yes. Being a plumbing designer I definitely notice how long it takes for the hotel water to arrive. I’ll notice the type of showerhead used and if the water is just dribbling out or if there is good pressure.

Daniel: I’ll usually notice if it’s hot or cold in the room or if I’m walking down the hallway and it’s awfully dark I’ll think ‘maybe it’s not a good idea to design lighting this way.’

What are some of the greatest take-aways that you’ve gained while designing for hotels?

Adam: The biggest challenge when designing for hotels is absorbing all of their design standards and making sure that you pay attention to the details that they expect. They (the hotel brand) see these things on a daily basis and we have to make sure we’re meeting their expectations.

What do you see for the future of hospitality design?

Daniel: You might see an increase in boutique hotels but I assume that the majority of hotels that are going to be built are going to be prototypical in nature. One thing that you might see, especially in larger markets where land is at a premium, hotels may start going up rather than out.

Adam: With building codes being ever-evolving, we are seeing that ASHRAE is ramping up their minimum efficiencies to make the buildings much more sustainable. I see all lighting eventually becoming LED and fluorescent lighting becoming obsolete.

Zach Joyce Project Manager MEP

Q&A Session: Zach Joyce

We are proud to highlight another member of our management at VP Engineering. Zach Joyce has been with the company for 8 years and has experienced great growth within VP, moving up the ranks of designer levels to currently hold the position of Project Manager.

Formerly in the Air Force, Zach brings a strong work ethic while always being able to put a positive spin on even the most stressful situations. We are lucky to have him as a part of our team!

VP: Before working at VP, what was the most unusual or interesting job you’ve ever had?
Zach: “I was in the Air Force. I was a part of the military police force that guarded nuclear missile silo sites in three different states out west.”

VP: How has VP helped in your career development?
Zach: “I came to VP as an electrical designer. Over the course of 8 years, I have continued to grow as a designer and also have stepped up into a manager position. They have continued to help with my training and understanding of the code as a designer and then with the role of project manager.”

VP: What advice do you have for future VP employees?
Zach: “Work hard and ask a ton of questions.”

VP: What are 3 words to describe VP?
Zach: “Diverse, fun, and family.”

VP: What have you gained from working at VP?
Zach:  “Experience in my field and friends for life.”

VP: How has the company changed since you first arrived at VP?
Zach: “We were a lot smaller then and have now tripled in size. The overall way we do projects has definitely evolved for the better.”

VP: What is your favorite part about working for VP?
Zach: “Working with all of the different cultures within the office.”

VP: What are three traits that define you?
Zach: “I strive to be honest, have good communication, and exhibit a positive attitude.”

VP: Where is the best place you’ve traveled to and why?
Zach: “Ireland. My wife and I went there 10 years ago to see my motherland since my family is from there.”

VP: What would you most like to tell yourself at age 13?
Zach: “Work hard and finish the job you started.”