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Hotels, Office Buildings Seek LEED Certification

leggatmccallDevelopers of hotels and office buildings are targeting the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification for many of their latest projects. In addition to the prestige of earning LEED certification, these green buildings can cut their energy consumption in the high double digits. Hotels are also adding LEED certification to their list of sustainability measures.

As one example, the “15 Days” green office building project in Boston, under the direction of  Leggat McCall Properties, Commodore Builders and Audrey O’Hagan Architects, LLC, has been certified LEED-platinum by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). It’s said to be the first and only commercial interior work in Boston to earn that distinction, according to the partners.

The project, a build-out of Leggat McCall Properties’ new 10,000-square-foot office space at 10 Post Office Square in Boston, typically would have taken 10 to 12 weeks to complete, but was finished in 15 work days. A key benefit: The project’s energy consumption was reduced by 35 percent (compared to a conventional project), with future reconfiguration of the space expected to cost 50 percent less than traditional construction, take 25 percent of the time and reuse 100 percent of the materials. Key highlights of the project are documented at http://www.15days.tv.

In the hotel industry, LQ Management LLC, one of the largest operators of limited-service hotels in the United States, is aiming for LEED certification for its planned La Quinta Inn in Memphis, soon after opening its 241-room, energy-efficient La Quinta Inn & Suites in downtown Chicago, reports Green Lodging News.

Angelo Lombardi, chief operating officer for LQ Management LLC told Green Lodging News that the Chicago hotel includes a 3,000-square-foot green roof to conserve energy, reduce the urban heat island effect, and to help clean and retain rain water. To save on energy, digital thermostats were installed throughout the property and an energy management system powers down the heating and cooling system when guests are not present, while sensors turn off lighting in public restrooms and store rooms, according to the article.

At the Memphis hotel, developers are aiming for the LEED Silver certification. CBH Hospitality LLC, co-owned by Bhavesh Patel and Hitu Bhakta, is currently constructing the new 67-room La Quinta Inn & Suites in Memphis, reports Green Lodging News. The property will be the first La Quinta property to earn the LEED designation.

The hotel will include a $200,000, minimum 20-kilowatt solar system to help generate electricity and a 1.5- to 2.0-kilowatt vertical access wind turbine, and rainwater will be captured for later use and a reflective white roof will help to keep the building cool.

After completing its Memphis property, CBH Hospitality intends to build a LEED Platinum hotel.

Washington D.C.’s Willard InterContinental Hotel has released its second Sustainability Report that details its 2008 achievements including an 82 percent increase in recycling, a 47 percent decrease in total net carbon footprint, and a 27 percent reduction in landfill waste.

As of part of its Project GREEN program, the hotel’s environmental initiatives includes SO 14001, LEED EB and 22000 certifications; 100 percent wind power through the purchase of Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs), waste reduction, sustainable food and beverage offerings, reduction of paper consumption along with 30 percent recycled content, and increased use of green cleaning products.

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