Parkside Victoria Resort & Spa in Pursuit of LEED Platinum

11/4/2010 By Glenn Hasek

VICTORIA, B.C.—When the Parkside Victoria Resort & Spa is awarded Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum certification—its application is in the final stages—it will be one of just three lodging facilities in North America to earn the Platinum honor. The other ones include the Proximity Hotel in Greensboro, N.C., and the Bardessono in Yountville, Calif. The 126-suite, two-tower property in Victoria, British Columbia was built to be approximately 50 to 60 percent more energy efficient than the Model National Energy Code for Buildings. According to Jim Pearson, CEO of Aviawest Resort Group, the developer and manager of the resort, the property is close to meeting its energy efficiency target.

The Parkside Victoria Resort & Spa had its soft opening in October 2009 but its official opening was in June of this year. “Business has been good,” Pearson says. We had a great summer. We have a competitive advantage being built to LEED standards.”

The resort is located in one of Victoria’s most desirable downtown neighborhoods and just one block from the Victoria Conference Centre and two blocks from the Inner Harbour. The Hulbert Group International Inc. provided the architect for the project and the interior designer was from The Interior Design Group Inc. The site of the resort was formerly a parking lot.

Atrium Connects Two Towers

The Parkside Victoria Resort & Spa complex includes not only a spa but also a three-story atrium that houses plants that were once located at the Crystal Gardens in Victoria. The atrium is located between the resort’s two towers and is connected to them. Building and construction materials used in the atrium and the rest of the resort include recycled content and have been extracted and manufactured regionally. During construction, waste and materials was diverted from landfills at a rate of 92 percent.

Because Victoria is in an area with a temperate climate, no air-conditioning was needed for the guestrooms. It is, however, offered in the restaurant, lobby and spa. Efficient hot water radiant heat for the resort works off of a centralized boiler. Green roofs provide insulation for the resort’s buildings. Outdoor gardens on the first floor are home to edible fruit plants such as grapes, strawberries, blueberries and apple trees and an herb garden including lavender and parsley. Storm water collected in a cistern is used for landscaping. Paved surfaces are porous and runoff is directed to the cistern.

All of Parkside’s suites feature luxury furnishings, fabrics and décor made from low-emitting, non-toxic and recycled materials to maximize guests’ comfort and well-being. Flooring and counters are also made from natural materials such as limestone, slate and granite. All suites feature Energy Star rated appliances such as dishwashers, laundry systems and refrigerators, as well as energy efficient LCD TVs. The resort is currently working toward using at least 50 percent green power.

Recycling bins are located in all guest suites. Low-flow water fixtures such as waterless urinals, showerheads and dual flush toilets help minimize water consumption. An ozone system for the pool and hot tub reduces chlorine use by 90 percent. Only EcoLogo certified cleaning products and green cleaning methods are used in Parkside’s operations.

Charging Stations Provided

Parking spaces with electrical charging stations have been designated for alternative fuel vehicles. Bicycle racks and adjacent change rooms have been provided for Parkside’s staff, retail visitors and residents. All of the property’s parking is underground, reducing the urban heat island effect. There are 19 bus routes and 13 bus stops within a 150-meter radius of Parkside.

In developing the resort, Pearson says one of the challenges for his company was finding trade workers experienced with LEED projects. He is very pleased, however, with the outcome. “It has really come off quite well,” he says.

The marketing team is using the resort’s uniqueness to its advantage. Twitter and Facebook are used to help tell the resort’s green story, educational Green Building Tours are offered, and last April an Earth Day celebration attracted between 200 and 300 people.

Go to the Parkside Victoria Resort & Spa.

Glenn Hasek can be reached at editor@greenlodgingnews.com.


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