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BOSTON—Major weather events and climate changes are leading architects and developers to create interesting new responses to an evolving environment. Innovative ways of thinking about buildings and urban design will be necessary in some waterfront redevelopment projects—especially those integrated within existing urban infrastructure—contends Michael Liu, Principal at Boston-based architecture and master planning firm, The Architectural Team (TAT). Driven by building codes hoping to address rising sea levels and the reality of increasingly flood-prone neighborhoods, architects working in coastal areas or flood plains are often required to raise habitable space above street level. Recent TAT projects in Lynn, Salem, and East Boston, for example, were designed with their first floors seven to eight feet above the surrounding streets, even though many of the structures are several blocks from the water. As Liu points out, “Behind any new waterfront project must be the understanding that as sea levels rise, the conditions under which waterfronts and nearby areas presently exist will not be the same as the conditions we’ll see long-term, and periodically in the near future.”
CHICAGO—NeoCon, the premier, global platform for connecting, learning and conducting business in commercial interiors, will ring in its 48th year this June 13 to 15 at the Merchandise Mart in Chicago. The three-day tradeshow and conference highlights hundreds of leading exhibitors across key vertical markets including Workplace, Healthcare, Hospitality, Retail, Education, Public Spaces, and Government. The 2016 edition will feature a first-hand look at the latest prototypes and product launches for commercial interiors.
LOS ANGELES—Cachet Hotel Group (CHG) announced the debut of its first resort development in Asia. Located in Guizhou Province, China, the dual-branded resort development Cachet Resort Wanfeng Valley is set to open with both URBN and Cachet Resort concepts in October 2016.
OAKLAND, CALIF.—A dynamic fusion of color and texture, Patina is the newest offering in the Móz Designs Blendz Collection of architectural wall coverings. Móz Patina integrates the depth of color and variegated tones of copper, but in a lightweight, easy-to-install Móz metal. Patina’s organic, natural finish creates visual interest in any interior installation, including hotels, restaurants, spas, retail centers, cruise ships and other signature applications.
SAN FRANCISCO—Host Hotels & Resorts, Inc. announces the opening of the new Axiom Hotel in San Francisco. Opening at the famed Cable Car turnaround at the nexus of historic Union Square and innovative Mid-Market, the boutique hotel offers 152 rooms and tech-forward amenities. Axiom Hotel is managed by Kokua Hospitality with design from New York City-based Stonehill & Taylor. As a LEED certified boutique hotel, Axiom has sustainability efforts that coincide with the green city of San Francisco. Convenient filtered ice and water stations on every guest floor are not only eco-friendly, but also allow guests unlimited and complimentary fresh water in lieu of purchasing bottled water. To limit paper waste, in-room dining can be ordered through the television, and every room features a recycling bin. The hotel’s guestrooms also feature a whisper quiet, high efficiency HVAC system.
LONDON—Smith & Fong Co., manufacturer of Plyboo bamboo architectural plywood and textured wall systems, announced it has significantly expanded its presence in the United Kingdom and Europe, with a London office and centralized warehousing in the Midlands for its full line of bamboo and palm plywood and paneling products, according to company president Angus Stocks.
NEWPORT BEACH, CALIF.—As Director of NEWH’s Sustainable Hospitality Committee, Lorraine Francis leads monthly committee meetings in preparation for educational discussions at key industry events. She works with various subcommittees within the Sustainable Hospitality Committee and has been instrumental in pushing the discussion around sustainability to a higher level. Francis has been on the Sustainable Hospitality Committee for several years and took over as Director in June 2015. One of the Committee’s challenges is “how you make sustainability fun,” Francis says. “Additionally, how can we create more events around sustainability at the local chapter level? Recruiting new people into our committees is also a goal.” The Committee is also responsible for contributing one article each quarter to the NEWH magazine. At this May’s HD Design Expo, the NEWH Sustainable Hospitality Committee will be organizing four educational sessions as part of its Green Voice series. The sessions will take place on May 4 and 5. The NEWH Student Green Scholarship Awards will be presented on May 4.
PORTLAND, ORE.—Viridian Reclaimed Wood announced the introduction of Zigzag, a new line of affordable reclaimed wood paneling derived from shipping crates, according to Viridian co-owner Joe Mitchoff. “Zigzag paneling is named after a winding river canyon on the slopes of Mt. Hood for a reason,” Mitchoff said. “It’s rugged, variable and looks amazing in wide-open spaces.”
CHICAGO—Virgin Hotels announced that Virgin Hotels Chicago, the brand’s first property, has achieved LEED Gold certification, a nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings. The hotel and the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) celebrated the achievement with a hosted panel discussion surrounding reducing carbon, reaching net zero and greening supply chains in the hospitality industry. “Our goal as a company is to have all our properties achieve LEED Silver, so we are ecstatic to have exceeded that benchmark in Chicago,” said Raul Leal, CEO of Virgin Hotels. “As we continue to open additional properties, we have aspirational goals of moving towards a net zero carbon footprint across the board.”
SAN FRANCISCO—W San Francisco announced that it has become one of only five hotels in North America to be awarded LEED Platinum certification, the highest ranking by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). As the world’s most widely used and recognized green building rating system, the LEED certification program highlights spaces that use less energy and water resources, save money for families, businesses and taxpayers, reduce carbon emissions and create a healthier environment for residents, workers and the larger community. “We are proud to be the most eco-friendly hotel in San Francisco,” said Roger Huldi, General Manager of W San Francisco. “Since our green efforts take place behind the scenes, our guests can still indulge in all of the luxury the hotel has to offer while feeling good about making a positive impact on the environment.” LEED is the foremost program for the design, construction and operation of green buildings. Thousands of commercial projects are currently participating in LEED, comprising more than 13.8 billion square feet of commercial space in all 50 states and more than 150 countries.
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