I may be going out on a limb, but of all the real property types – whether multifamily, commercial, retail, etc – hotels probably have the most consistent focus on green operations. They’re always trying to find ways to save energy or water, and they know their footprint. When you add LEED certification, which in this case means (anticipated) LEED Gold certification for the new Hotel Indigo in Athens, there’s an interesting combination of the already existing concern for operations and the LEED emphasis on design and construction.
A little over a year ago, we took a look at the green roof planned for Olive 8. It's massive — one of the largest in the city of Seattle. Now, the hotel/condo tower in downtown Seattle has been open for several months and officially received LEED Silver certification. It's one of only twenty other green hotels in the country to receive certification from the USGBC.
In the California city of Walnut Creek, this stunning green project is nearing completion with occupancy planned for October 2009. 555YVR gets its name from its location — 555 Ygnacio Valley Road, which is conveniently located within walking distance of BART and a number of downtown restaurants and nightclubs. Thompson | Dorfman Partners developed 55YVR with the architectural help of Kwan Henmi and KTGY Group, and the project was built to LEED standards. Some of the green aspects include the following:
The new science and library building at Crossroads College Preparatory School, located in the city of St. Louis, is seeking LEED Platinum certification. If obtained, it will be the first K-12 school in St. Louis to earn certification. Head of School Billy Handmaker* was committed to achieving the highest level of certification possible, while still spending within the budget and ending up with a good looking building. He said, "from the beginning, we said 'we want Platinum, but won't compromise."
About a month and a half ago, Marken Projects, founded by developer Alexander Maurer and based in Vancouver, BC, announced plans to build this 2,400 square foot home. It’s going to be Passive House certified, LEED Platinum certified in Canada, and built using a German modular wood building system. Needless to say, it has all the components of the kind of projects we like.
We all know there's money in energy efficiency, but sometimes, it's hard to justify the upfront costs to receive the benefits over time. When crunching the numbers, it helps to recall the Energy Pie Chart that Steven Chu posted to his Facebook recently — lighting accounts for 26% of energy use in commercial buildings! Which is why Holiday Inn will save ~$4.4 million annually as they swap out their neon and fluorescent signage for super efficient LED signage.