HARFM_006 Dusk Exterior Entrance - 117511

HARFM_028 Standard QQ Guest Room - 117514

“We don’t build and sell our properties; we’re in it for the duration. When it comes to building systems, the cheaper alternatives can really hurt long-term profitability.  That’s why we chose REHAU windows and plumbing systems for this property.”

--Bill Hoy, vice president of design and construction at Shaner Hotels

Fairfield Inn & Suites Harrisburg International Airport | PA

In it for the Long Haul with REHAU Windows and PEXa Plumbing Systems

Fairfield Inn & Suites at Harrisburg International Airport (HIA) is a 123-room, Marriott-branded property located directly adjacent to Pennsylvania’s third largest airport. With gate areas only a short walk away, the hotel is a welcome addition to the airport, which serves more than 1.2 million travelers each year.

“When we were first approached with this project, we knew it was a great opportunity to offer convenience and value to air travelers in need of overnight accommodations,” said Bill Hoy, vice president of design and construction at owner/operator Shaner Hotels. “But with the hotel being built in close proximity to the runway, noise infiltration was one of our biggest concerns. We had to be absolutely certain the rooms would be quiet enough for guests to get a good night’s sleep.”

In addition, because Shaner Hotels employs a long-term investment approach with each of its 51+ properties, the company doesn’t compromise on quality. Hoy needed to ensure the building systems he specified would last long past the sparkle and excitement of the hotel’s grand opening.

“We don’t build and sell our properties; we’re in it for the duration. When it comes to building systems, the cheaper alternatives can really hurt long-term profitability,” Hoy said. “That’s why we chose REHAU windows and plumbing systems for this property.”

A Robust Window With Seamless Fabrication

As an architect, Hoy was already familiar with the fact that 90 percent of environmental noise seeps through and around window frame openings in the building envelope. Having worked with REHAU earlier in his career, he drew on his experience with the System 4500 fixed window design, which he readily specified for the job. “First, I knew we’d be able to get the noise abatement properties we needed from the System 4500, but it’s also one of the most energy-efficient window designs on the market,” he said. “That’s a big bonus when utility bills are one of the most costly aspects of hotel operation.”

Each of the exterior rooms – those on the opposite side of the runway – have a through-the-wall packaged terminal air conditioner (PTAC) installed at the window opening.

“System 4500 was ideal as it accommodates the PTAC unit. In addition to excellent sound insulation and energy performance, there’s now only one opening for both the window and the PTAC unit. Where the building envelope is concerned, the fewer openings the better.”

--Bill Hoy, vice president of design and construction at Shaner Hotels

On the windows facing the runway, fixed 4500 windows without integrated PTACs were used instead. The hotel also installed a vertical VTAC unit inside a small corner interior closet to help mitigate the runway noise.

Carl Ballard, vice president of operations at window manufacturer Kohltech Windows, also commented on the System 4500’s advantages. “It’s one of the most robust systems we offer,” he said. “Not only is it a high-performance window, but because (PTAC) louvers can be incorporated in a number of different configurations, fabrication and customization of these window units is a fairly seamless process. Also, the louver colors are matched very well to coordinate with both the window and the building design, which is important for aesthetics.”

Getting Away From Copper Piping

According to Hoy, in addition to its strength and durability, a main reason for choosing the REHAU PEXa plumbing system is that Shaner Hotels is steering away from copper plumbing in their properties. “We really want to avoid the higher risk of leaks, corrosion and build-up inside copper pipe that can happen over time,” he said. “With RAUPEX plumbing pipe and EVERLOC+ fittings, we’re not worried about long-term performance issues, and the plumbing contractor was happy with the smooth installation process.”

Darrin Fahnestock, commercial plumbing manager at Brubaker, agreed. During his 23 years at Brubaker, he has had experience with many large commercial installations using various types of materials. “Even though this was our first time using the REHAU PEXa plumbing system, we were able to get started relatively quickly once we arrived on the job site,” he said.

"The EVERLOC+ system didn’t take much time to master; all of the components are designed to work together to create solid connections.”

--Darrin Fahnestock, commercial plumbing manager at Brubaker

Compared to a similar-size copper installation, Fahnestock says the REHAU PEXa installation went much faster. “It was easier to get the pipe routed, connections were made quickly and I felt very confident that the system was solid and secure once we were finished,” he said.

A Win for Travelers, the Airport and Shaner Hotels

With the completion and opening of the Fairfield Inn & Suites at Harrisburg Airport in August 2018, quiet and comfortable accommodations are now available just steps from the gates, making HIA a more attractive option for air travelers.

Shaner Hotels is also pleased. “There’s a peace of mind knowing that we don’t need to be concerned with the expense or hassle of having to replace the windows or plumbing in 15, 20, even 30 years or more,” Hoy said. “That fits right in with our long-term strategies.”

As far as noise from plane traffic, hotel guests confirm they’re resting peacefully. As one guest commented in the online reviews, “Although the hotel is right at the airport, I rarely noticed any noises or planes coming/going.”

It’s a win all the way around.


Fairfield Inn & Suites Harrisburg International Airport, Harrisburg, PA

Type of construction:

Hotel, constructed in 2018

Scope of project:

134 windows, 59 of which have PTAC louvers; 6,100 ft (1,859 m) of RAUPEX plumbing pipe

Developer:Shaner Hotels
General contractor:Level Design Build
Mechanical Engineer:

Design/Build Baskervill base with E. E. BISS Heating & Cooling Inc.

Mechanical Contractor: Brubaker Inc.
Window Manufacturer:Kohltech Windows & Entrance Systems
REHAU systems used:System 4500 fixed window; PEXa plumbing system (RAUPEX® pipe, EVERLOC+® compression-sleeve fitting)

Engineering progress

Enhancing lives

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