Zero Rate Adriatic Bank Loans All Loans

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The Adriatic Bank will grant house loans of up to 80,000 euros to repair unusable buildings and up to 150,000 euros for the purchase of a new home if the building has been completely destroyed, without any expense or charges for beneficiaries.

The Intesa Sanpaolo Group Bank signed the agreement with the Cassa Depositi e Prestiti on the € 2 billion limit guaranteed by the State.

The loans will be used to repair the main house rendered unusable and for the reconstruction or purchase of the main house destroyed.

For the acceptance of the request it is essential to present the suitability certificate issued by the Municipality of reference. The application form can be found on the Cassa Depositi e Prestiti website. For buildings with a B and C result, the principle of silent consent applies (the Municipality has 30 days), for those with an outcome and an explicit notification (60 days) is required.

Obtained the Mortgage Bank of the Adriatic will make the funds available on an escrow account in the name of the beneficiary, which is non-interest bearing and free of expenses and taxes. From this account, by bank transfer, suppliers of repair and reconstruction works duly documented as well as any purchase of a new dwelling will be paid.

The beneficiaries of the loans will not have to repay the loan: the Bank will deal with it through the tax credit instrument.

What are the most popular hotel brands?

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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:

  • New York – 181 Projects/30,225 Rooms
  • Houston – 148 Projects/16,398 Rooms
  • Dallas – 143 Projects/17,580 Rooms
  • Nashville – 124 Projects/16,699 Rooms
  • Los Angeles – 112 Projects/16,780 Rooms

The below graph shows the most popular US franchises as defined by rooms in pipeline as of November 1. (Pipeline includes projects in planning and construction.) As you can see, these top 6 brands make up over 36% of the overall pipeline. This is significant considering there are well over 100 different brands currently being built in the US.

Brands are organized by chain scales based on the previous year’s Average Daily Rate (ADR) of the brand globally. Currently, two chain scales lead the pack for most projects under construction. These are Upper Midscale (2,066 projects) and Upscale (1,274 projects). Here are the top 4 brands by pipeline for both these chain scales.

Our team currently has all of the brands above in various stages of design as well as many projects in the cities noted above, including over 10 projects in greater Nashville alone. We look forward to leveraging this experience to bring added value to your next project!

Structural Value Engineering For Your Hotel

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As architects and engineers, it is very easy to believe that there is only one correct solution to a design problem. It is also easy to err on the side of a conservative design because ultimately the primary priority of licensed professionals is to produce a safe and economically-designed structure. In the past, we have received feedback from owners and GCs for overdesigning and being too conservative, especially in structural engineering design.  We want your input on these matters!

The values we live for are Humility, Honesty, Respect & Fun. These values are the foundation of our company (and also are the basis of the “4” in Base4).  The first of these values is Humility, which means we challenge ourselves and all our team members to listen to the input of others.

In response to the feedback we received regarding overdesign, we made a new commitment to Value Engineering (VE) with a special focus on our structural department. The question we asked ourselves was the following: How can we provide a design approach that provides higher value to our clients in the form of improved function and reduced construction costs that is specific to each unique project conditions?

There are always multiple solutions that can be applied to any specific design scenario. We are challenged to find an ideal intersection of both improved function and reduced costs.  Significant labor and material price fluctuations in recent years do not make this easy. However, it is our commitment at Base4 to ensure that we ask the right questions, listen to the owners and GCs, and arrive at a design that yields the most value for our client.

We are in the process of creating a series on structural value engineering where we dive into the structural VE items identified as major contributors to increasing value in hotel design.  Our team has been engineering structures for the past 20 years, and now we are asking for your input as well.  What major areas in hotel construction area you seeing potential for VE?  What topics would you like us to discuss?

Hotel Rooftop Pools: Design Considerations

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Because of rising land costs, rooftop swimming pools are becoming a popular space-saving design option.  Setting up an elevated pool, especially one over habitable rooms, involves many design considerations.  Here are a few:

  • Reliable Building Structure – Water is heavy! To put this in perspective, the amount of water in a standard pool (i.e., 24’ x 12’ x 4’ deep pool) weighs over 70,000 pounds. Therefore, rooftop pool design requires a robust structural system. Owners of buildings in seismic zones or with pools located on higher floors (e.g., with pronounced movement) have additional structural design considerations.
  • Shape of Pool –Rooftop pools require careful planning to ensure the shape of the pool can transfer both the weight of the pool and water. The walls and columns underneath must transfer the load down to the building’s foundation.
  • Pool Deck Level – If you design for guestrooms directly below the rooftop pool level, you must plan for a raised pool deck. It is typical to start with a pool vault in which to place the pool structure and supporting equipment.
  • Pool Material – For elevated pools, preventing water leakage is vital. The most popular material for leakage prevention is an enhanced reinforced concrete mixture.
  • Water Treatment System – To reduce the amount of chlorine being moved through occupied areas of a hotel, many owners consider saline pools in place of chlorine.
  • Cooling Provisions – On sunny days, overheating can be a risk for smaller rooftop pools. Provisions for cooling the water may be required in some areas.
  • FF&E Selections – Rooftop applications require FF&E selections that can withstand severe weather events and decrease the potential for blowing chairs, loungers, tables, and umbrellas.  Careful selection, placement, and protection of these items is critical for limiting potential damage and injury.
  • Pool Lighting – Hoteliers who plan to allow guests in the pool area at night need to consider pool lighting, especially overhead lighting. Lighting designers must create the ambience for the space while providing adequate lighting for guest safety.

Benefits of Podium Design for Your Hotel

Today I’ll explain how developers utilize wood in podium construction to increase both the area and density for new-build projects.

What is Podium Design?  

  • Podium design consists of a 1- or 2-story concrete (reinforced or post tension) podium that allows several stories of light-frame wood framing above it. This design is increasingly becoming a common practice among architects and developers.
  • Podium construction works best for 5- to 7-story hotels where it is typically more economical and faster to build than block and plank construction. This height typically allows the project to avoid high-rise construction as well. (How to tell if your project is high rise?)
  • The technical reference to a podium building can be made as 4-over-1 (i.e., 4 stories over a 1-story podium), 5-over-2 (i.e., 5 stories over a 2-story podium), and so on.

What are the Benefits?

  • The International Building Code allows the podium level to serve as a separation between two different building types. This rule means a construction type, such as wood, can be built higher than typically allowed by code.
  • A podium model can be very efficient for hotels as the ground floor of a hotel is where the large, open, common space typically is located. To achieve necessary span lengths, these areas require heavier non-wood framing, such as steel or concrete, and makes the design one step closer to a podium anyway.
    • To read more on how to build wood-framed hotel, read our Part 1; Part 2 and Part 3 series.
  • In addition, a podium is required when a building has different occupancy types between floors.
    • For example, if a project has parking on the ground floor beneath guestrooms, a Type I podium will be required to provide the necessary fire separation between floors.
  • Podiums can be utilized on sites with heavy grade changes as the below-grade portion can act as a retaining wall.

Hotel Modular Elevators – Benefits and Drawbacks

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Today, I list the benefits and drawbacks of a modular elevator below.

Benefits

  • Shorter Lead Time: It takes manufacturers about eight weeks to prepare the whole assembled elevator once project drawings are finalized.
  • Better Quality: Every part of a modular elevator is prepared and assembled in a factory setting under strict quality measures.
  • Quicker Install: The time saved by opting for the modular elevator versus a traditional one is significant. Typically, it takes about a week to install and get it ready for use; whereas a stick-built elevator takes several months to be fully functional.
  • Reduced Human Capital Costs: Labor costs reduce due to a shorter timeframe.
  • Faster ADA Compliance: Easier and cost-effective way for existing and older constructions to accommodate elevators for ADA compliance.
  • Increased Safety: Horizontally-built units reduce work hazards and injuries, providing a safer alternative to the vertical build of traditional elevators.
  • Flexibility: Gives more freedom to design and customize.

Drawbacks

  • Transportation Constraints: Limitations in the transport, such as truck size and shipping distance, may pose challenges.
  • Limited Stories: Not the best fit for high-rise buildings due to its height limitations.
  • Car Dimensions: Elevator cab cannot be more than eight feet deep.
  • Structural Limitations: Modular elevators are not designed for shear loads, so the elevator shaft cannot be part of the lateral resisting system. The modular assembly can only handle limited gravity loads.

If you are considering modular elevators for your next hotel project or have any questions, feel free to initiate a discussion with us.

Should You Consider ICF Construction for Your Next Hotel?

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.

The ICF system employs hollow foam blocks made of rigid thermal insulation. These blocks are stacked to make the exterior walls of a hotel. The hollow insulated cavities are filled with rebar and concrete, which then become part of the permanent walls of the building. See below images.

Cost

Generally, ICF is more expensive than traditional methods, at about $7/sf – $10/sf more than wood frame walls; however, this number varies greatly per geographical location and current labor prices.

Benefits of ICF:

  • Extended Build Periods – ICF walls can be built in the winter at lower temperatures without the need for insulating blankets or a heating source.
  • Shortened Construction Schedules – ICF blocks are lightweight and require less labor. Compared to CMU, ICF walls can reduce construction schedules by 4-6 weeks.
  • Reduced Energy Costs – Due to its insulating properties, ICF can significantly reduce heating and cooling costs.
  • Increased Trade Flexibility – Inserting new utilities is as easy as cutting channels or grooves directly into the foam using an electric hot knife. Openings can also be cut into the wall to accommodate any required rough-ins.
  • Improved Sound Control – ICF maintains a high STC rating without the need for additional soundproofing drywall layers.

If you have any questions about ICF or would like to discuss if it might be right for your next hotel project, please don’t hesitate to reach out.

How To Keep Your Hotel Guestrooms Quiet!

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What is an STC Rating

Your hotel guests appreciate quiet accommodations.  Unfortunately for hotel owners, dealing with the myriad of potential disturbances from noisy PTACS, snoring guest neighbors, and late-night corridor parties can hinder guest experience.  In this new series on controlling noise pollution in hotels, we explore how to control guestroom noise, satisfy franchise-specific soundproofing requirements, and limit the sound transfer in your hotel.

An STC is the most common measurement used for sound reduction.  An STC is a rating of how well a wall, floor, door or window assembly diminishes airborne sound and prevents it from passing from one side to the other.  In short, an STC roughly measures how much a barrier reduces sound.  Higher values show that more sound is effectively isolated. An STC rating of 25 is roughly equivalent to normal speech not being heard through the assembly, whereas an STC rating of 50 is equivalent to loud speech not being heard.  The STC scale is nonlinear and an increase of 10 on an STC rating scale translates to an approximate reduction of apparent loudness to half measure. This concept remains vital when multiple guests of different lifestyles occupy a tight footprint.

For most applications, the International Building Code (IBC) requires a minimum STC of 50 for floors and walls in commercial buildings.  However, most hotel franchises require ratings above and beyond this to ensure guest comfort.  For your immediate reference, the STC rating for a basic 2×4 walls with a single layer of ½” drywall on each side is typically around 33.

How To Build A Five Story Wood Framed Hotel

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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:

  • IBC classifies traditional wood framed construction as Type V construction, under “Protected Wood Frame.”  As such, the number of stories and height of building depend on the type of construction and group type, as shown in Table 503 below.  Because hotels belong to the R-1 group, the IBC table indicates a maximum of three stories for Type V- A.
  • In addition to this, Section 504.2 of the 2012 IBC allows you to take advantage of an automatic sprinkler system increase. This section permits an increase in the number of stories by one story- if we utilize an approved sprinkler system under NFPA. Since nearly all hotels have this type of sprinkler system, we can take advantage of this section and increase our maximum allowable stories to four. As a result, you never see wood framed hotels higher than four stories under Type V construction.
  • Finally and of key importance for developers and franchise owners, the code allows for ways to overcome these height restrictions, including the following code compliant options:
    • 5-story wood framed hotel when utilizing Type III construction
    • 5- or 6-story wood framed hotels utilizing podium construction

Both options are shown in a schematic graphic below.  Be looking for upcoming newsletters where we explore each of these options in more detail and explain the challenges and benefits of each.  Stay tuned!

Hoteliers Benefit from No-Cost Cooling!

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.

Though the mechanics of a DOAS remain complex, a few simple points offer valuable insights:

  • A DOAS cools outdoor air to approximately 55°F to dehumidify the air first. In other words, even if you’d like for your DOAS to deliver 70°F to guestrooms it first cools air to 55°F to remove moisture.
  • A DOAS then reheats this air from 55°F to approximately 70°F before delivering air to the hotel. Heating of this air is done using heat recovered from the hot refrigerant gas cycle, making it quite efficient.
  • If designed with modulating control of the hot gas reheat, a DOAS allows the building owner to set the dry-bulb temperature delivered by the DOAS based on their preference. In other words, if an owner wants to deliver 65°F rather than 70°F to the space, they can.
  • Since the outdoor air is cooled to 55°F for dehumidification already (regardless of the DOAS set point), it is delivered at a lower temperature than 70°F — requiring less cooling load from the local units.

Benefits:

  • This method reduces the load of local HVAC units in your hotel, which would otherwise be providing this cooling in the guestroom and public spaces. The reduction not only lowers electrical costs but also extends equipment life.
  • There are several energy-efficient options that can be implemented with DOAS. Examples include Modulating Hot Gas Reheat, Energy Recovery Wheels, and Variable Speed Supply and Exhaust Fans. Depending on the application, these options can drastically reduce a building’s energy use.