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MSE Audio helps move historic hotel into the future with PoE renovation

LENEXA, Kansas – When Sinclair Holdings began the extensive building renovation of the 1929 iconic art deco Sinclair office building in Fort Worth, Texas, their vision was to build an efficient luxury hotel while creating an upscale and unique experience for their guests.

The Sinclair, Autograph Collection in Fort Worth, Texas opened in early 2020.  And, the one thing makes it different from any other luxury hotel is that virtually every system is based on PoE devices including lighting, motorized shades and curtains, door locks, fiber GPON connectivity, mini fridges, USB-C charging outlets, HVAC, smart bathroom mirrors, loudspeakers and more. There are over 7,000 ports installed into the 165-room hotel.

To fulfill their energy efficiency goals, Sinclair Holdings worked with their vendor partners to use devices that could be powered over ethernet (PoE) and allowed communication and power to be distributed on a single cable. This eliminated typical energy inefficiencies when low voltage DC devices, like lights and window shades, are powered with high voltage AC power. While powering all systems with PoE creates greater energy efficiency, it also places all the endpoints on a network where management and intelligent communication can take place. Through their efforts using PoE technology, the Sinclair Hotel saves about 35% energy consumption compared to a hotel designed with traditional AC power.

Sinclair Hotel Rooftop bar
MSE Audio SoundTube IPD-SM52-EZ-WH speaker were chosen for their robust outdoor capabilities

Using an LG VRF air conditioning system allowed for heat-rejection equipment typically mounted to the building’s rooftop to be moved to the space between buildings. This allowed the Sinclair Marriott to create a rooftop bar overlooking Sundance Square in downtown Fort Worth.

The 17th floor rooftop terrace offers panoramic views of the Fort Worth cityscape while offering artfully crafted small plates, fresh-shucked oysters, cocktails, and desserts. “We knew that we wanted an upscale audio visual experience on the rooftop that matched the other spaces within the hotel like the Wicked Butcher Steakhouse in the basement,“ said Hannah Walker, technology designer for Sinclair Holdings. “It was very important that our vision of energy efficiency did not disrupt or give the guest a lesser experience in any of our spaces.”

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“When we were working on the rooftop bar, we looked for PoE speakers because of our energy initiatives. Our low voltage contractor, Terra Bridge, recommended MSE Audio SoundTube’s IPD-SM52-EZ-WH speakers because of their quality and robust outdoor capabilities. We evaluated the speaker’s aesthetics along with their sonic performance as we needed to ensure the sound quality could withstand wind interference. This was our first installation of the MSE Audio speakers, and we’ve been thrilled with their audio quality and that the PoE features work seamlessly with our systems. The performance and value are outstanding.”

The technology foundations of this smart hotel include innovative guest amenities like wireless chargers built into the bar countertop for automatic charging when phone is place on the bar. Other notable technology used include:

  • Somfy PoE motorized shades and drapes.
  • Cisco’s Meraki smart Wi-Fi cloud networking solution for personalized guest messaging.
  • LG commercial AC along with commercial video displays throughout the property with OLED displays in guest room.
  • Voltserver’s Digital Electricity to power Cisco Digital Building switches.
  • Electric Mirror PoE-powered LED bathroom mirrors which guests can use as their info-tainment system.
  • Lithium battery-powered UPS systems that eliminated the need for diesel emergency generators.
  • Intel Unite® wireless display and collaboration technology to power the hotel’s meeting spaces.
  • SinkTech IoT sinks in the hotel restaurant regulate water temperature, soap, and sanitizer levels.
  • Intel PoE NUCs support many of the IoT technologies (gateways, controllers, data aggregation, edge computing and an Intel Unite hub).
  • End-to-end Intel-based technologies enable the hotel from the smart features above to the reservation systems, point of sale, networking infrastructure, back office and guest services, such as mobile key and wireless charging.

While Sinclair Holding’s goal was to create an energy efficient hotel, the result has become a sustainable model for reduced energy consumption.  “It was never our [original] end goal to be sustainable,” said Walker. “We just wanted everything we were doing to be way more efficient”.  With a 40% reduction in power usage and the elimination of most electrical installation labor during construction, the PoE system created may become the new direction of how electrical systems are built worldwide.


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