WAKEFIELD, QUEBEC—Less than three months remain before the July 1 opening of the new 10,000-square-foot addition to the Wakefield Inn Mill & Spa. The 13-room addition, named the Eco River Lodge, is being built to achieve Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification. “It is conceivable we might make [LEED] Silver,” says innkeeper Robert Milling, adding that his goal is the first tier of certification. What will help the inn qualify for LEED is its passive solar design, use of local materials, and highly efficient geothermal heating and cooling system.
Set within Gatineau Park, within a 25-minute drive of Ottawa, the 27-room Wakefield Inn Mill & Spa has been eco-friendly for a decade. During its 2001 initial transformation into a country inn, every effort was made to preserve the building’s heritage and reuse many of its components. Much of the original stone masonry was retained and the sections that were removed to make way for doors and windows were recycled into building the foundation. Some of the Mill’s original mechanical components today serve as landscaping ornaments, and even the original leather belts that used to turn the mills were fashioned into guestroom door numbers.
Milling says business demand has created the need for the Eco River Lodge addition. A lot of thought was put into its design and positioning in relationship with the sun. The Lodge will feature an all-glass south facing two-story façade, helping to keep the inside warm during the winter and cool in the summer. Five wells, each 500 feet deep, were drilled for the geothermal system. Approximately 5,000 feet of pipe was installed. Milling says it cost $55,000, about $6,000 to $8,000 of which will be covered by a rebate through Hydro-Quebec.
The flooring throughout the lodge is maple. In fact, most of the design features throughout the inn are maple-oriented. The wood was taken from maple trees harvested locally. Low-flow fixtures will minimize the amount of water used. There are plans to install an electric vehicle charging station. Bee hives on the organic green roof will sit above the ultra-insulated Lodge’s conference facilities. “The bears can’t get up there,” kidded Milling.
When the Wakefield Inn Mill & Spa obtains its LEED certification, it will be the first hotel in the National Capital Region of Canada to do so.
Go to the Wakefield Inn Mill & Spa.
Glenn Hasek can be reached at email@example.com.