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STAMFORD, CONN.—Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. announced it will significantly expand its Element Hotels portfolio in North America due to growing demand for the eco-focused brand. On track to more than double its North America footprint over the next three years, Element will open another 22 hotels across the United States and Canada by 2018 including debuts in Philadelphia, Charleston and Nashville. “Element Hotels is experiencing unprecedented growth momentum throughout North America, as well as in a number of key global markets, due to the widespread appeal of the brand’s distinct lifestyle positioning,” said Brian McGuinness, Global Brand Leader, Specialty Select Brands for Starwood. “Sustainability is no longer optional; it’s become a requirement among a growing number of travelers worldwide, and Element is the perfect choice with its clean, modern design and eco-conscious programming.” Over the past 12 months, Element has opened new hotels in Boston, Miami, Fargo, Bozeman, Basalt, and Vancouver. The brand will pick up even more momentum in North America by entering numerous new markets by the end of 2018.
PORTLAND, ORE.—Viridian Reclaimed Wood announced the introduction of Colorburst, a new line of color-infused reclaimed wood paneling, according to Viridian co-owner Pierce Henley. A new design twist on two of Viridian’s most popular paneling offerings, Granary Plank (mix of fir and pine reclaimed from granary beams) and Route 66 truck deck (oak reclaimed from tractor-trailer truck decking), the Colorburst line adds a pop of color in the rustic nooks, crannies and holes in the boards, providing a unique spin on reclaimed wood with deep layers of color juxtaposed with vintage patina and wood grain.
NATIONAL REPORT—Hospitality designers from around the world are invited to submit their best work in this year’s Gold Key Award for Excellence in Hospitality Design competition. Now in its 36th year, HX: The Hotel Experience’s Gold Key Awards competition, sponsored by Boutique Design, recognizes the most influential and innovative design work in every sector of the hospitality industry.
In today’s marketplace, there is a plethora of product certifications, labels and declarations that manufacturers and builders use to communicate a product’s value to clients. However, owners, product specifiers and building occupants all have different interests and motivations. Just as each person’s background and experience varies, so do their beliefs when it comes to sustainability. The good news? Studies show we are all becoming more aware of and concerned with issues surrounding social and environmental health and sustainability. Making use of product labels, including declarations and certifications, is one way to make more informed choices; however, deciphering the claims behind the label can be challenging. So where to start? Everyone is interested in obtaining the most healthy and environmentally friendly products, but the criteria used to achieve these lofty goals must be defined and measured before any manufacturer or specific product can truthfully make these proclamations. Should a product be climate neutral or contain no volatile organic compounds (VOCs)?
POMONA, CALIF.—The Collins College of Hospitality Management at Cal Poly Pomona announced that its newly opened building, which houses the program’s nationally ranked graduate program, was awarded a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification from the United States Green Building Council. Building 80 at The Collins College is the first academic building to receive LEED Gold certification at Cal Poly Pomona. “Being able to achieve LEED Gold certification is an indication of how serious The Collins College is dedicated to its social commitment to the environment,” said Project Manager Andrew Naranjo. “At the same time, we are contributing to Cal Poly Pomona’s climate commitment and sustainability practices.” The facility features shaded areas producing cooler environments, LED lighting to reduce energy consumption, restoration of 50 percent of the project site, maximized open space, incorporated use of natural day lighting, and reduction of water consumption. Projects pursuing LEED certification earn points in all areas that address sustainability issues at all phases of development.
OBERLIN, OHIO—One of the world’s most innovative green hotels—The Hotel at Oberlin—is just one month away from its soft opening in Oberlin, Ohio. The hotel is owned by Oberlin College and eventually will qualify for the rare LEED Platinum certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. The 70-room Hotel at Oberlin is the first LEED Platinum hotel owned by a college and anchors the Peter B. Lewis Gateway Center, the cornerstone of Oberlin’s Green Arts District, an ongoing development conceived by the city and college to transform Oberlin into a model for environmentally aware economic development based on education and the arts. The Peter B. Lewis Gateway Center also includes a conference center, commercial and office space, jazz club, and restaurant that features locally grown and sourced fare. The name of the restaurant, 1833, honors the year the college and town of Oberlin were founded. “Our path to LEED Platinum is based on energy efficiency more than anything else,” says Christopher Noble, Project Developer, SMART Hotels LLC.
NEW YORK—Humanscale, a company long dedicated to incorporating sustainable practices in their manufacturing processes, will be committing to the International Living Future Institute’s Living Product Challenge with their Float sit/stand desk and Diffrient Smart task chair in 2016. The only contract furniture brand to participate in the challenge, this represents a significant undertaking on behalf of the manufacturer and signals a message to the industry that a net positive impact is not only an important and achievable aim for the brand, but something the industry as a whole should be working towards. While taking on only a part of the Challenge is an option, Humanscale is demonstrating their commitment to the cause by pledging to complete the Challenge in its entirety.
NEW YORK—Sina Pearson, designer/manufacturer of New York City-based Sina Pearson Textiles, premieres Fast Track, a new high performance upholstery fabric collection. Five complementary patterns in a total of 30 colorways reference iconic athletic motifs and colors from the world of competitive sports. The collection consists of a knit mesh, a textured chenille, a PVC-free polyurethane, a bleach cleanable polyester/acrylic, and an indoor/outdoor Sunbrella Contract jacquard weave.
LAS VEGAS—The NEWH Sustainable Hospitality Committee has organized four GreenVoice Conversations Sustainability Seminars for HD Expo. HD Expo will take place May 4 to 6 at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. The seminars will take place in the lobby entrance of the show in NEWH Booth L5, and are free to attend.
CROSSVILLE, TENN.—Officials with domestic tile manufacturer Crossville Inc. announced the company recycled 16,939,634 pounds of fired porcelain in 2015, bringing the company’s cumulative recycling total to just over 70 million pounds since the 2009 launch of the Tile Take-Back program and subsequent TOTO USA recycling partnership.
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