I’m pleased to share some information and renderings on ELEMENT, Starwood Hotels & Resorts new extended-stay hotel brand set to open in 2008. The idea behind ELEMENT is to make smart choices intuitive and support the lifestyles of guests while they are away from home. ELEMENT Hotels performed research on guest behavior, which revealed that socially conscious hotel guests are more likely to leave their good habits at home when traveling. That’s because, depending on the hotel, it may be difficult to recycle, conserve water, or maintain a lower impact lifestyle. ELEMENT Hotels aims to change that. Key smart design features of this green hotel include the following:
- Shampoo/conditioner dispensers will eliminate multiple mini-bottles;
- Low-flow sink faucets and dual flush toilets will lead to an estimated conservation of 4,358.6 gallons of water per room each year;
- Eco-friendly materials will be used throughout, including recycled content carpets;
- Low-VOC paints for improved indoor air quality for guests and staff;
- CFL light bulbs will be used throughout the building to reduce energy consumption; and
- Biophilic design that maximizes natural light and sightlines to the outdoors will help connect occupants to their natural surroundings.
Feel free to click on over to this PDF brochure to read more about the ELEMENT Hotel and what it will look like. The hotel design is pretty incredible, as you will see from the images below the fold.
Previously, I wrote about Greenbridge Developments, which is a mixed-use development in North Carolina expected to receive LEED Gold certification. This development is an incredible example of the business case for green building. They haven’t even broken ground on the development yet, but it’s 2/3 sold out. Here’s the math. There are about 99 units planned at an average price of $650,000 each (not averaging in revenues from the retail space). Wait, is that right? 66 units x $650,000 = $42.9 million? Wow. I’d like to see the estimated cost of construction because these numbers are incredible (again, without even factoring in retail revenues).
Business 2.0 and Erick Schonfeld have produced a video on Greenbridge Developments talking about low-carbon building materials, solar power, C2C, etc. The video is part of the New Disruptors video series available on iTunes. You can also view this episode online here.
Telus Tower is going to be one of the first new towers constructed in Toronto in a long time. It could also be one of the most technologically advanced towers in Canada. Using the LEED certification system as a guideline for design, the Telus Tower will pursue Silver level certification. It’s expected to cost about $250 M to build, with about 30 stories comprising 780,000 sf of office space. Telus will occupy about 60% of the building when it is completed by the beginning of 2009.
In addition to the LEED elements, Telus Tower is going to be a showcase of "Future Friendly™" Technology in both building automation systems and tenant environments. This will include floor-to-ceiling windows, raised floors for underfloor distribution of hot/cool air, and state-of-the-art communications cabling and electrical power.
UPDATE: 4/27/08 – the market has changed substantially since writing this article and some of the green funds I was in touch with are no longer looking for deals.
Hey green developers, I’m not sure what stage of planning you’re in and whether you’ve completely figured out your capital stack, but I have some information that may be of assistance in finding a good equity partner. Feel free to shoot me an email at jetsongreen at yahoo.com, and I can get back to you. In your email, let me know the company you’re with and some quick details about the green project you are planning. I may be able to help developers with the following general characteristics:
- Experienced developer of LEED or other third-party green certified real estate assets;
- A reputation for quality and excellence in development;
- Track record of handling projects averaging $50-$75M or more;
- Looking for equity financing for a green development in any real estate product type.
I’m not promising anything, I’m just saying, depending on your situation, I may have information on a good source for equity capital from people that know green development.
Not only is Michelle Kaufmann Designs (MKD) taking the green prefab world by storm, but it looks like MKD is working with Communities by Design to build a 26-unit, green townhouse development. Nice. The two- and three-bedroom, two-story units will have covered parking, private and shared outdoor gardens, high quality finishes and fixtures, sustainable materials and systems, high-performance insulation, and solar panel systems. The townhouse development will be located somewhere in San Leandro, CA, and should be opening in late 2007.