Green Design

With the goal of reducing energy costs and minimizing environmental impact, architects and designers are getting serious about green design. Visit Green Lodging News for the latest news and best practices. Got news or a story idea to share? Contact Glenn Hasek, editor, at (813) 510-3868, or by e-mail at:

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Virgin Hotels Breaks Ground with Lam Group on Virgin Hotels New York City


NEW YORK—Since the iconic Virgin Megastore left Times Square in 2009, New York City has been vacant of a Virgin hub. That will soon change as Virgin Hotels has broken ground with the Lam Group on Virgin Hotels New York City. Located in the NOMAD neighborhood at 1227 Broadway between 29th and 30th, the property will serve as the brand’s flagship hotel. Virgin Hotels is aiming to achieve LEED certification. “New York City isn’t just a destination for the Virgin airlines, but a place where some of the most successful Virgin brands have been incubated, where we’ve stunned crowds with stunts and where some of our most devoted fans live,” said Sir Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Group. “It’s a very special city to the Virgin brand and I’m elated that Virgin Hotels will soon call it home.” To commemorate the groundbreaking and the history Virgin has in the Big Apple, Branson joined Raul Leal, CEO of Virgin Hotels to bury a Virgin time capsule, a chest of mementos from Virgin company moments in New York.

Smith & Fong Expands Operations in Canadian Market


SAN FRANCISCO—Smith & Fong Co., manufacturer of Plyboo bamboo architectural plywood and flooring products, announced it is stepping up its operations and taking an active role in the Canadian marketplace, according to Smith & Fong President Angus Stocks.

Starwood Announces Opening of Element Bozeman


STAMFORD, CONN.—Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide announced the debut of its eco-wise Element brand in Bozeman with the opening of Element Bozeman, marking the first Starwood hotel in the state of Montana. Owned by a group of Bozeman investors, the newly constructed Element Hotel offers a stylish and sustainable new option for travelers with 104 light-filled rooms and an atmosphere designed to fuel a life in balance while on the road. “Our eco-wise Element brand is a terrific fit for Bozeman, a thriving hub for business and entertainment and a leading destination for outdoor recreation within the Rocky Mountain region,” said Brian McGuinness, Senior Vice President, Specialty Select Brands for Starwood. “On track to triple its global portfolio in the next three years, Element offers travelers a bright, energizing environment, great design and everything they need for smart, sustainable living.” Element Bozeman is ideally positioned at the center of the city’s entertainment district, one block from Historic Main Street and a 10-minute walk to the campus of Montana State University.

Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort Awarded LEED Silver


EAGLE BEACH, ARUBA—Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort continues to expand its green initiatives with its new LEED Silver certification. Known as the Caribbean property with the most sustainability certifications, Bucuti’s new LEED designation is from the Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) rating system, developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), the world’s foremost program for buildings, homes and communities that are designed, constructed, maintained and operated for improved environmental and human health performance. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), January through July 2015 was the warmest seven months in recordkeeping history and 2015 is on track to be the hottest year ever recorded. Even a fraction of a degree average temperature change creates warmer oceans and rising sea levels that can be devastating for sea-level Caribbean islands like Aruba. While Bucuti is proud to be the only Caribbean hotel awarded LEED Silver certification, its goal is far greater: to inspire others to join them and invest in green initiatives now to ensure a safer future for generations to come.

J+J Flooring Group Introduces Structure & Mineral


DALTON, GA.—Design versatility is easily achieved through J+J Flooring Group’s newest Invision carpet products: Structure and Mineral. Structure is a simple and elegant broadloom inspired by the unique details of various architectural elements. Tweedy, rugged textures combine with uneven weights and coloring evoking the charm of aging brick, hand-woven textiles and weathered woods.

Caesars Entertainment Introduces Energy Efficiency Upgrades


CARSON CITY, NEV.—The Governor’s Office of Energy (GOE) awarded property tax incentives to 11 Caesars Entertainment affiliated casino resorts for introducing significant energy and water savings measures in tens of millions of square feet of commercial space. The resorts received the GOE incentive after meeting State regulations and receiving a prestigious Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver or Gold equivalency from the U.S. Green Building Council. LEED is a rating system for the design, construction, operation and maintenance of green buildings. “Working with Caesars Casinos to make such an enormous quantity of square feet in Nevada more energy efficient was historic,” said Paul Thomsen, GOE Director. “Project successes like this confirm Nevada’s status as a national leader in efficient construction and design.” In 2015, GOE awarded tax incentives to the owners of 22 buildings in Nevada that achieved LEED certification or equivalency, for a total of more than 46 million square feet. The largest contributor to this robust figure was the Caesars Entertainment properties at 28.5 million square feet.

Gold Key Award Finalists Announced in Eco Category


CINCINNATI—The finalists for the 35th Gold Key Award for Excellence in Hospitality Design have been announced by HX: The Hotel Experience (formerly IHMRS). A panel of eight prominent judges considered more than 350 entries for these awards, which recognize outstanding design worldwide for hospitality projects that were completed or renovated from April 1, 2014 through May 30, 2015.

Sustainable Furnishings Council Honors Lee Industries


EDENTON, N.C.— LEE Industries, a manufacturer of upholstered furniture in North Carolina, has been awarded Gold Exemplary Recognition by the Sustainable Furnishings Council (SFC) for its deep environmental commitment and exemplary implementation of a range of best practices for sustainability. The company completed the rigorous process of demonstrating compliance with SFC’s Exemplary Manufacturer Requirements, submitting audited evidence of achievements in operations, in production, and in outreach to attain recognition at the Gold level.

Carnegie Expands Acoustic Textiles Offerings


NEW YORK—With open-plan layouts dominating projects of all types, Carnegie has expanded its Acoustic Textile Solutions with two new acoustically absorbent sheers by Creation Baumann and one new silk-inspired acoustically transparent panel fabric.

MGM Resorts International Issues Annual Corporate Social Responsibility Report


LAS VEGAS—MGM Resorts International employee volunteers build a house from the ground up, and hand over the keys to an elated single mother and her children. Tens of millions of dollars are spent conducting business with minority- and women-owned enterprises, supporting the company's strategic objectives and commitment to diversity. MGM Resorts and NRG Renew partner to install one of the nation’s largest rooftop solar arrays at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, stretching a massive 20 acres. These are just a few of the powerful displays of corporate citizenship chronicled in MGM Resorts’ 2014 Annual Corporate Social Responsibility Report. Themed “Inspiration Begins With Us!”, the report features the company’s accomplishments in corporate social responsibility (CSR), which includes Diversity and Inclusion, Philanthropy and Community Engagement, and Environmental Sustainability initiatives. “MGM Resorts continues to integrate CSR best practices at all levels of our company’s operations and throughout our culture,” said Jim Murren, Chairman & CEO of MGM Resorts International. “We firmly believe that our CSR efforts make us both a better company and a better corporate citizen.”

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