MIAMI—Up on the roof of the 16-story Hampton Inn & Suites, a 221-room hotel in the Brickell Financial District of downtown Miami, building developer Hospitality Operations, Inc. originally planned to install solar thermal panels for the purpose of heating hot water. A local hurricane ordinance will prohibit them from adding the system to their property that is scheduled to open September 15. Even without the panels, the hotel is set to achieve Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver certification, according to Howard Wolfson, vice president operations for Nashville-based Hospitality America, Inc., the company that will manage the hotel. The Hampton Inn & Suites is the 12th Hampton to be managed by Hospitality America. “[Hampton] is a great product with a great following, and profitable,” Wolfson says.
When the Hampton Inn & Suites receives its LEED certification, it will at least be the third Hampton to earn LEED certification. The other two include a Hampton Inn in Folsom, Calif., and a Hampton Inn & Suites in Sarasota, Fla. The downtown Miami hotel is the first LEED project for Hospitality America. The new construction hotel, which cost approximately $36 million, was built on a bare piece of land originally slated for phase two of a condo development.
Rainwater to be Used in Public Restrooms
The 100 percent nonsmoking Hampton Inn & Suites will have many green features. One of the most interesting ones is a 33,000-gallon cistern for rainwater collection. The cistern will be located below the ramp leading into the parking garage. Water from the cistern will be used for the urinals and toilets in the public restrooms and for irrigation and washing down exterior surfaces (pool deck, driveways, etc.).
The four-story parking garage is located under the hotel tower. This will reduce the heat island effect. Louvers and windows will provide natural light and ventilation, reducing the need for electric lighting and eliminating the need for mechanical ventilation. An in-room energy management system will power down PTACs and lighting when guests are not in their rooms. A master switch in the entryway to each guestroom will also allow guests and staff to turn off all lights in the room at one time. An ozone laundry system will reduce the number of wash cycles, reducing the need for water, natural gas and chemicals. An opt-in linen and towel reuse program will further add to laundry-related savings.
Additional Green Initiatives
• Building is oriented east/west to minimize direct-sun penetration.
• All guest showerheads and faucets will be installed with low-flow valves to reduce water flow.
• The guestroom toilets will be dual flush and lavatory faucets will be motion activated.
• No incandescent bulbs will be used; only Energy Star qualified compact fluorescent lights (CFLs), T-8 and T-5 fluorescent lamps and, where appropriate, LED lighting.
• Where appropriate, occupancy sensors will be installed to control lights in public places and in work areas.
• TVs and other appliances will be Energy Star rated.
Biodegradable plates, cups and tableware will be used during breakfast.
• A recycling program will be instituted in the public areas (breakfast, meeting spaces and pool area) and in guestrooms.
• When linens, towels and other reusables are no longer satisfactory for guest use, they will be donated to local charities.
• A compactor/bailer will be installed to reduce waste and to recycle cardboard and paper products.
• Most operational and accounting reports will be stored electronically rather than printed, saving as much as one ton of paper annually.
• Key cards will be biodegradable and/or composed of recycled plastic.
• Paint with low volatile organic compounds (VOCs) will be utilized.
• Housekeeping staff will use environmentally safe, non-toxic cleaning agents.
• Preferred garage parking spaces (those close to the elevator) will be designated for hybrid and electric automobiles. Some spaces will have electric outlets so electrical vehicles can recharge during low peak electric consumption hours.
• For those employees who choose to bike to work, a bike rack will be located near the employee entrance, and showers will be available in the employee locker area.
Wolfson says the hotel is located very close to the Miami-Dade Transit’s AirportLink, a 2.4-mile elevated Metrorail extension that will open next April. The hotel project will also include 10,000 square feet of retail space, and 3,500 square feet of meeting space.
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Glenn Hasek can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.