Case Study

Sinclair Hotel: Texas’ First Intelligent Building Powered by Digital Electricity™


Farukh Aslam, a real estate developer in Fort Worth, embarked on a significant project to remodel multiple historic buildings in downtown Fort Worth. In late 2013 he bought the Sinclair Building, an art deco masterpiece built in 1929 and on the National Register of Historic Buildings, to redevelop it as a luxury Marriott Autograph Hotel.

He decided to relocate some of the office tenants at Sinclair into the Sanger building and move some of the hotel “back of the house services” into the neighboring building as well. However, the Sanger Building posed challenges in modernizing its infrastructure while preserving its heritage. Early in the project, Aslam joined hands with VoltServer to deploy their patented Digital Electricity solution to power the Cisco switches.

Industry Fault Managed Power Intelligent Buildings
Solution Digital Electricity

Project Overview

The Facility

The Sanger Building, constructed in 1923, underwent various transformations over the years. Aslam acquired it in 1998, converting some floors into a data center while maintaining its historical significance. Subsequently, he initiated its comprehensive renovation in the fall of 2016, aiming to incorporate cutting-edge technology, including low-voltage LED lighting.


The Challenge

Integrating modern amenities while preserving the building’s historical integrity was a significant challenge during the renovation. Additionally, ensuring efficient and sustainable power distribution without compromising safety and reliability requires innovative solutions.


The Solution

Aslam explored Power over Ethernet (PoE) technology in collaboration with Cisco Systems, leveraging low-voltage infrastructure for lighting. To enable flexible power distribution using Ethernet cables, Aslam partnered with Voltserver to deploy our patented Digital Electricity solution. This revolutionary approach empowered Aslam to seamlessly implement PoE lighting throughout the building.

“This is revolutionary,” stated Aslam. “We can install our VoltServer Transmitter in the basement next to the electrical switchgear and run power to anywhere in our ten-story building using an 18/2 speaker cable. We’re currently powering 2000 watts of power supplies in our 24 port Cisco UPoE switches using 200 ft CAT 5e cable. This is all classified as Class II power, and we don’t even need an electrician,” said Aslam.


Implementation Details

Distance Considerations

Addressing distance constraints, Aslam strategically positioned Voltserver Transmitters near the electrical switchgear in the basement. This centralized location facilitated efficient power delivery across the ten-story building using 18/2 speaker cables, eliminating the need for extensive wiring.


Installation and Training

The installation process involved deploying Cisco switches powered by VoltServer’s solution, which facilitated easy integration of PoE lighting. Aslam’s team collaborated closely with VoltServer experts to ensure smooth implementation with minimal disruption to ongoing renovations. Training sessions familiarized stakeholders with the new technology, ensuring effective use.


Results and Future Expansion

The successful implementation of PoE lighting at the Sanger Building showcased its transformative potential. Aslam plans to expand this technology to his upcoming Marriott Autograph hotel, positioning Sinclair Hotel as the world’s first hotel powered entirely by PoE. Collaborations with industry leaders like Somfy and Electric Mirror further enhance the building’s capabilities, with potential expansions into powering guestroom amenities and integrating wireless mesh networks for enhanced functionality.


Farukh Aslam’s visionary approach to building infrastructure revitalizes historic landmarks and sets a new standard for sustainability and efficiency. By embracing innovative solutions like PoE technology and Digital Electricity, Aslam demonstrates how modern amenities can seamlessly integrate with traditional architecture, paving the way for future advancements in commercial building design.

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