Monthly Archives: June 2014

Cost Effective Air Balancing Resort & Hotel Renovation

Another trend Digney York has noticed in hotel renovations has been the air balancing of building exhaust systems.  Although mostly unseen, this invisible element of the hotel’s construction is crucial to removing excess moisture from within the building.  A well balanced system is very important for preventing mildew and mold problems in these highly susceptible areas. Balanced exhaust systems can also lead to saving money on your properties energy costs.  In our experience the air balancing is commonly required by the local municipality and/or included in the property management companies brand standard.  We feel that being informed on your options will help you make the best decision for your renovation.

Although this part of the renovation is not nearly as visible as the other changes, it is still a very important aspect of the construction that is often overlooked.  Traditionally the balancing is done by a certified contractor and a report is provided once complete which is submitted for approval to the Hotel Management Company and/or local governing authority.  Many requirements we have reviewed include “The Balancing Contractor shall be a certified member of the Associated Air Balance Council or the National Environmental Balancing Bureau and shall issue, upon receipt of contract, an A.A.B.C. National Project “Certification Performance Guarantee”.  Although this is the most common route, many times it is not possible to do a full-out balance due to budget constraints, timing, or simply limitations of the existing equipment/devices.

DYA encountered one such situation in a recent hotel renovation project.  In this instance, exhaust units on the roof were drawing too much air from the building. To balance the system, a certified contractor would have been hired to adjust all of the exhaust fan units on the roof and each and every one of the grill dampers throughout the building.  This meant lengthening the schedule and adding cost to the project, thusly, an alternative cost-effective solution was needed to resolve the problem.  After a good deal of research, the best solution was to install “Constant Airflow Regulators (CAR)” within the existing duct inlet.  These devices have an internal flap which controls the flow of air by opening and closing based upon draw across the flap and the calibration of the unit.  This means that all of the devices can be set to a predetermined air flow rate (CFM) and eliminate the need for a balancing contractor.  Since almost all renovations require the installation or re-installation of the exhaust grills there is no need to extend the schedule and the only added cost is for the devices themselves.  Since hotel companies’ brand standards and local municipality requirements are different, it is recommended that you check with both first to make sure this option will be accepted.

In addition to providing a cost effective option to balancing a hotel’s exhaust system, this solution can also save money by not only preventing mold, mildew, and moisture damage, but also increasing the overall efficiency of the building.  In a recent one year study done by an independent firm, “Steven Winter Associates” found roughly a 6 month return on investment and a decrease of energy consumption of more than 25%.  The savings shown in this example were achieved by eliminating a majority of the conditioned air that was wasted due to excessive air flow.  By installing these devices, not only do you save money within the renovation by eliminating the need for expensive air balancing, you can also reduce operating costs of your building well into the future.

Carolyn Brady – Hotel & Resort Renovation Project Manager

Carolyn Brady – Hotel & Resort Renovation Project Manager

Carolyn Brady, Project Manager

Carolyn Brady, Project Manager

Knowledge is one of the keywords that describes Carolyn Brady’s prolific career in construction over the past twenty-six years. That, and a knack for bringing out the best in a team.

As Project Manager, Carolyn has managed the construction of projects across a wide spectrum of scope and budgets. Hotel renovation is the niche that fits her best. “I thrive on the challenge of creating a flexible and invisible construction site. It’s fascinating to be working on a major construction project with the stealth and creativity that hotel renovation requires,” she said.

With professional development a continuing passion, Carolyn has completed coursework in everything from software programs for professional construction scheduling and estimating to Blueprint Reading to CPR. “I love to learn and I’m not afraid to ask questions,” said Carolyn, “When I first started as a laborer, I asked questions that others wouldn’t ask for fear they should already know the answer. I learned everything about buildings, construction and how things work from knowledgeable professionals.”

Attending college on a track scholarship, Carolyn learned early on that teamwork was the key to success. That background has served her well as she progressed from a laborer, on her first job site, to Site Foreman to Field Superintendent to Project Manager with responsibility for everything on the job from building a team of experts to developing construction plans and specifications that meet the customers’ goals and needs. Knowledge and team leadership: the skills Ms. Brady delivers to Digney York’s customers.

John Osborne – Hotel & Resort Renovation Project Manager

John Osborne – Hotel & Resort Renovation Project Manager

John Osborne, Project Manager

John Osborne, Project Manager

John Osborne returns to Digney York as a Project Manager after spending a few years owning and managing his own general contracting firm.

With 20 years of construction under his belt, John has the experience and knowledge to conduct the fast pace renovations that are the reality of hospitality renovations. He is an expert estimator, planner and contract negotiator – his experience stems from an extensive background in the US Navy, Construction and Safety operations in the Military – where he spent over 8 years overseas managing projects for the US Government.

John came on board to to join the on-site team for the interior renovation of the prestigious Ritz Carlton in Naples, Florida. His experience with intense, fast-paced schedules was invaluable on this 3 month project.

Dana DiGiovanni Hotel Resort Renovation Project Manager

Dana DiGiovanni Hotel Resort Renovation Project Manager

Dana DiGiovanni, Project Manager

Dana DiGiovanni, Project Manager

Dana DiGiovanni joined Digney York in January 2014 as a Project Manager.

With over 12 years of project management experience in the commercial construction market, Dana is responsible for complete project coordination from mobilization through close-out.

She brings a hands on approach to her work and has been recognized for her skill with large, high end, fast paced projects, quality control and adherence to budget and schedule constraints.

She firmly believes that the key to a successful project is open communication, sensitivity to the needs of the client, and creating a true sense of partnership among all team members.

Dana graduated from Florida State University, with a Bachelor of Science degree in Multinational Business Operations.

Gary Munroe – Hotel & Resort Renovation Senior Project Manager

Gary Munroe – Hotel & Resort Renovation Senior Project Manager

Gary Munroe, Project Manager

Gary Munroe, Project Manager

Gary Munroe joined Digney York in 2010 as a Project Manager, bringing with him more than 23 years of experience in the construction industry.

As a seasoned team leader Gary is highly effective in the coordination of subcontractors and suppliers and is able to meet the most ambitious schedule deadlines.  Gary has a proven record for completion of the most complex and challenging hotel renovation projects.

Gary’s skills at coordinating trades, developing partnerships and building positive rapport with owners, architects and engineers is based on a solid foundation of the knowledge and language of estimating, building code and regulations, owner and subcontract negotiations, project estimating, bidding, tracking and demanding quality, in addition to maintaining cost controls through the effective development of scope and budget on Owner’s PIP.

Before joining Digney York, Gary owned and operated a successful commercial renovation company that specialized in hospitality renovations.

Kevin King – Hotel & Resort Renovation Senior Project Manager

Kevin King – Hotel & Resort Renovation Senior Project Manager

Kevin King, Project Manager

Kevin King, Project Manager

Kevin King joins Digney York with an extensive 17 years of construction management experience with expertise in all facets of the construction industry including new builds, retail and hospitality.

Kevin brings his hands-on approach to all aspects of the projects he manages. He is a firm believer of building long lasting professional relationships by working closely with Owners, Architects and Contractors alike.

With a Bachelor of Arts in Business Management, and CDT and CPE certifications in Construction Management along with his past work experience and connections he has made in hospitality industry will no doubt give Digney York a dedicated project management professional and a great addition to our PM Team.

David Steinberg Hotel Resort Renovation Senior Project Manager

David Steinberg Hotel Resort Renovation Senior Project Manager

David Steinberg, Sr. Project Manager

David Steinberg, Sr. Project Manager

In the hotel renovation business, David Steinberg is the consummate professional. His thirty-five years of experience includes public area and room renovation work for some of the most prestigious and well respected names in the industry, including Marriott, Ritz Carlton, Wyndham and Renaissance.

Mr. Steinberg has delivered time and again for clients seeking professional management, frank communications, and a no-nonsense roll-up-the-sleeves, get-it-done early kind of project manager.

Career Highlights include the $106mm transformation of Chicago’s old 40-story Carbide and Carbon Building on Michigan Avenue into the swanky Hard Rock Hotel Chicago. Mr. Steinberg’s expertise includes comprehensive knowledge of OSHA regulations, IT and Audio/Visual technology as well as FF & E and telecommunications.

Ann Versteeg – Chief Financial Officer

Ann Versteeg – Chief Financial Officer

Ann Versteeg, Chief Financial Officer

Ann Versteeg, Chief Financial Officer

Ann Versteeg has dedicated the majority of her professional career to the finance and accounting systems of Digney York Associates. Graduating Summa Cum Laude with an accounting degree from the University of Maryland, College Park, MD, this Certified Public Accountant (CPA) has experience with organizations ranging from the Friendship Savings & Loan in Bethesda, MD, to NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center where she was a financial and budget analyst as a college student.

Since 1992, Ann has devoted her intellect to Digney York, first as Controller for eight years, then as Secretary for the Board of Directors, and since 2001, as Chief Financial Officer. In her role as CFO, Ann is responsible for Digney York’s accounting, internal audit and controls, facilities, tax, and treasury.

Prior to Digney York, Ann worked as an auditor and senior accountant for Aronson & Company, the Mid-Atlantic’s premier public accounting firm and one of the nation’s top 50.

Kevin Cronin – Chief Operating Officer

Kevin Cronin – Chief Operating Officer

Kevin Cronin, Chief Operating Officer

Kevin Cronin, Chief Operating Officer

Kevin’s experience in the hotel renovation business is rivaled by few in the industry. His core value to the industry is based on a unique “hands on” approach to each project.

Starting in 1978 as a tradesmen and working up to superintendent, project manager and ultimately general manager of a hotel renovation company, Kevin has positively evolved with an ever changing and challenging business climate. For the past 15 years he has further solidified his great reputation in the industry as Vice President, and Senior Project Manager and now as COO of Digney York. With thirty years of industry experience, Kevin’s expertise and consultative approach is invaluable to resort and hotel clients nationwide.

Kevin’s track record of meeting deadlines is unsurpassed and reflects his acute knowledge of process, materials, scheduling, and effectively managing sub contractors. Throughout his career Kevin has performed work for the majority of hotel brands that represent the upscale through luxury segments of the industry. Clients know that when Kevin is on the job, their project is in the hands of one of the most experienced and capable project manager professionals in the hotel renovation industry.

Kevin is a central figure within the organization and part of the foundation and history of Digney York Associates.

Jay Weiss – Chief Executive Officer

Jay Weiss – Chief Executive Officer

Jay Weiss, Chief Executive Officer

Jay Weiss, Chief Executive Officer

Digney York Associates was launched by Jay Weiss and a partner in 1985, as a company exclusively focused on meeting guest room renovation needs of hoteliers. From an early specialty in carpet, millwork, furniture and fixtures, Digney York has continued to grow and expand the installation and service offerings to achieve General Contractor licensing and certifications throughout the United States.

Under Jay’s leadership and guidance, Digney York Associates became one of the premier hotel guest room renovation contractors by the early 1990s.

Prior to Digney York, Jay was an executive with United Technologies Corporation, responsible for more than 300 employees and millions of dollars in revenue for the venerable conglomerate. Jay’s decision to leave the corporate world behind and start up a new venture in an unchartered business segment (hotel guest room renovation services) not only succeeded, but with dedication, vision, and leadership, Digney York redefined how hoteliers manage their room renovation strategies.

Today Digney York Associates is known as the category leader, among the world’s most recognized hoteliers, having completed hundreds of millions of dollars in efficient and high quality renovation projects during the course of the past 23 years.

Jay earned a degree in finance and marketing at Ohio State University and a MBA from Syracuse University.