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Hotel projects need to be marriage of aesthetics, usability and safety

It is oftentimes erroneously assumed that hotel projects do not warrant special civil engineering design considerations. Developers should, however, endeavor to use civil engineers who understand that although hotel projects may seem like any other project, there are nuances and unique conditions needing to be addressed during the design phase.

It would be easy to make grading and drainage improvements to a future hotel site without considering aesthetics and how the design will affect hotel guests. It is important that a hotel's design allows guests the ability to easily pull up to the entryway and to transfer their baggage cleanly and safely into the building. If guests have an unpleasant arrival experience, then this can negatively impact their attitude about the hotel. And to a hotel, nothing is more important than positive brand recognition and repeat clientele. Hotel entryways therefore need to be inviting and without obstacles such as improperly placed curbs or steep crossfalls causing issues for arriving guests.

"As a guest, you want to feel that the hotel entrance, access and parking have been designed specifically for your comfort and convenience." said Pat O'Day, president of O'Day Consultants Inc. "A good design ensures for this."

O'Day engineered the West Inn & Suites, a luxurious boutique hotel located in Carlsbad.

The design of fire safety facilities is also unique to a hotel site. The experience of arriving guests is enhanced by the careful placement of these facilities. O'Day engineers create designs that maximize fire safety benefits yet keep costs reasonable to the developer. This includes placement of fire hydrants, ensuring accessibility to fire ladder trucks and workability of the fire safety system.

Drainage is another important design issue that can be very complicated. To properly drain a site consisting of a large building and parking area all on one level is challenging. At O'Day Consultants, we understand that these large, flat areas will have drainage issues. We avoid uninviting design solutions and also incorporate new storm water treatment regulations in our plans. With the new regulations, runoff water can no longer be routed directly into storm drains. Water draining from the site must go through water treatment facilities prior to being directed into the storm drains. These complex design issues must all be considered in order to complete the ideal marriage of aesthetics, usability, safety and clean run-off for the project.

With over 27 years of civil engineering and surveying experience, O'Day Consultants has engineered a variety of large and small-scale hotel and timeshare projects. Among them are the Grand Pacific Palisades Resort and Hotel near the Carlsbad Flower Fields and West Inn & Suites, a luxurious boutique hotel also located in Carlsbad. Currently, O'Day Consultants is engineering the following hotel properties: Residence Inn & Suites by Marriott in San Marcos, Hyatt Place in Vista, and Best Western in Otay Mesa.

For more information about this topic or about the various civil engineering and surveying services offered by O'Day Consultants, contact Karina Tettero at karinat@odayconsultants.com or at (760) 931-7700.

Submitted by O'Day Consultants Inc.

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