European-style Windows: The Next Big Thing in Eco-friendly Hotel Upgrades

By Helmut Grohschaedl Vice President Window Solutions Americas, REHAU | April 29, 2018

It's no secret that America is enamored with European design – from cars to fashion to architecture. We covet the BMW i8 Roadster while the practical Honda Civic tops U.S. passenger car sales. We window-shop this season's Hermès of Paris collection at Saks Fifth Avenue while wearing our well-worn Levis. And we admire the latest super-matte frameless cabinets while worrying that installing our dream modern kitchen could lower our home's resale value. While European design captures our hearts, we sometimes hesitate to adopt it. Maybe the bold styling takes us outside of our comfort zone or maybe it's the premium price European design often commands. Nevertheless, many hotel brands look to Europe for the latest design trends.

Why is European design so appealing? What exactly is it? And how can European design inform our choices of construction materials such as windows and doors?

With regard to architecture, European design has become synonymous with modern design, which traces its roots back to the Bauhaus School of Design, founded in Germany in 1919 with a vision of uniting art and industrial design. Derived from the basic tenet of "form follows function," this design system places a strong emphasis on basic design, especially composition, color theory and craftsmanship. A reaction to the heavy ornamentation of the early 1900s, hallmarks of this design include clean lines, geometrical forms, functional elements and a mass-produced, hand-crafted feel. But let's not get the impression that Europeans have had the last word on modern design. America's own Frank Lloyd Wright left his mark on this design school by causing it to adopt the principle that design and nature should be in harmony.

The term "European design" is also commonly used to denote high quality, even luxury. When you strip materials down to their essence, taking away unnecessary decoration, these materials need to stand their ground with precision in form and function. With designers skilled in combining craft and art as well as a priority of advancing machine technology, European design often leads the world in durability, reliability and resource efficiency.

European Eco-consciousness is Deeply Rooted

Despite many Americans' sincere interest in "greener" options from the grocery store to transportation to household appliances, this country has a long way to go to catch up with the "green" lifestyles of Europe.

REACH Community Development, Orchards at Orenco, is the largest multifamily Passive House building in the United States
Hilton DoubleTree San Diego created a more energy-efficient and noise-resistant building envelope with uPVC windows.
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Coming up in June 2019...

Sales & Marketing: Selling Experiences

There are innumerable strategies that Hotel Sales and Marketing Directors employ to find, engage and entice guests to their property, and those strategies are constantly evolving. A breakthrough technology, pioneering platform, or even a simple algorithm update can cause new trends to emerge and upend the best laid plans. Sales and marketing departments must remain agile so they can adapt to the ever changing digital landscape. As an example, the popularity of virtual reality is on the rise, as 360 interactive technologies become more mainstream. Chatbots and artificial intelligence are also poised to become the next big things, as they take guest personalization to a whole new level. But one sales and marketing trend that is currently resulting in major benefits for hotels is experiential marketing - the effort to deliver an experience to potential guests. Mainly this is accomplished through the creative use of video and images, and by utilizing what has become known as User Generated Content. By sharing actual personal content (videos and pictures) from satisfied guests who have experienced the delights of a property, prospective guests can more easily imagine themselves having the same experience. Similarly, Hotel Generated Content is equally important. Hotels are more than beds and effective video presentations can tell a compelling story - a story about what makes the hotel appealing and unique. A video walk-through of rooms is essential, as are video tours in different areas of a hotel. The goal is to highlight what makes the property exceptional, but also to show real people having real fun - an experience that prospective guests can have too. The June Hotel Business Review will report on some of these issues and strategies, and examine how some sales and marketing professionals are integrating them into their operations.