The luxury Fairmont Empress hotel, situated in the Victoria, BC’s Inner Harbour, has previously been honoured with the Travel + Leisure distinction as a top Canadian hotel. It offers 464 beautifully appointed guest rooms and suites and expansive meeting and wedding space adjacent to the conference centre. Built in 1908, the hotel owner decided to undertake a major restoration project.
Due to Houle’s wide service offerings, Houle was selected as one of the contractors for this renovation project. Houle’s scope of work consisted of electrical, controls automation, security, and audio visual.
The Houle networks infrastructure team installed the fibre backbone between various racks spread out throughout the hotel. The structured cabling consisted of 134 drop combination of data and telephone, and three new rack locations throughout the hotel. The security team added seven new video surveillance cameras including two multi-sensors and re-located several existing cameras, integrating them into the existing video monitoring software.
The audio visual team performed work on various rooms in the hotel. For the Rattenbury Meeting Room, Houle installed two drop-down projectors and screens to accommodate a very short throw distance due to lighting placement. A 65” television was also installed in the room. Wall plates and switching capability was installed so the room could be divided into two separate rooms with multiple plug-in sources. Houle installed a sound system to cover both rooms, with in-wall keypads and touch screens to operate the room.
For the Boardroom, Houle wired the presentation system which included in-ceiling speakers and the equipment rack. Houle also installed 19 data drops in the custom table and installed the LED lighting interface for the Boardroom. For the Gold Lounge, Houle supplied and installed two 65” televisions with in-ceiling speakers and equipment in a centralized rack. The camera at reception is viewable on an iPad with tabletop and wall mount docking stations. Houle supplied a public address system for the Bengal Lounge to play background music and provide bands the ability to plug in. For the Q Bar Lounge, Houle supplied and installed two 75” mirrored television with video matrix for sources.
Cable runs were difficult to access for this century-old building. As an operational hotel, Houle had to ensure that there were minimal disruptions to the staff and guests throughout the entire project.
The project was finished on time and on budget despite working with a tight time frame.