Congratulations to the City of Vancouver, Wash., Hilton Hotels Corp. and Fletcher Farr Ayotte (FFA) Architects for successfully obtaining Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification for the Hilton Vancouver Washington hotel. The 226-room property, owned by the City of Vancouver, was designed by FFA and is managed by Hilton Hotels Corp. Only a few other properties in the United States have reached LEED certification status. The Hilton Vancouver Washington earned a LEED-NC rating because it adhered to guidelines established for new construction.
I recently spoke with Gerry Link, general manager of the hotel, and he was excited and proud for having achieved the LEED goal. He said it could not have happened without the support of FFA. It handled the paperwork, the appeals and the communication with the U.S. Green Building Council, which manages the LEED program. He also cited the support of his company, Hilton Hotels Corp., and the City of Vancouver, for making the effort possible. Any hotel developer thinking about pursuing LEED certification should chat with Gerry. Don’t forget to ask him about the more than $2.5 million in publicity that has been generated for his hotel because of its LEED pursuit. No kidding—$2.5 million.
After issuing a press release announcing that it would pursue LEED certification, the hotel was featured on CNN, MSNBC, and in many different publications. From a marketing and publicity standpoint, LEED has been a huge success. Link says it has resulted in speaking opportunities and companies increasingly are seeking out the Hilton Vancouver Washington for meetings because of its environmental programs.
From a cost standpoint, the City of Vancouver did have to spend an additional $200,000 on energy management systems but Link says that will be recovered in just a few years. What else is green about the hotel? Many things. The hotel earned LEED points for its use of low emission paints, carpeting and furniture. Carbon dioxide sensors ensure that fresh air is always present in meeting rooms. Where possible, construction materials were purchased from local vendors. Storm water from the building is funneled to underground dry wells instead of into the public sewer system. (Click here and here for more details.)
Link says several other buildings in the Vancouver area—a courthouse, community center and local newspaper—are also pursuing LEED certification. Every few weeks I read about new LEED projects. It is exciting that so many companies and government agencies are committing to this new way of building.
For those skeptics—possibly investors and owners—who still are not sold on LEED, Link offered the following comment.
“You can be environmentally friendly and still produce a luxurious product,” he says. “And yes, you can still run a profitable hotel.”
Odds and Ends
Green Lodging News welcomes two companies as Green Product Directory Partners: Dispenser Amenities Inc. and Milliken Hospitality. Dispenser Amenities’ mission is to provide environmentally smart dispensing of bath and shower liquids in hotel rooms, clubs and spas. Instead of individual-use bottles that become waste, the company dispenses natural liquids through attractive, cost-effective dispensers that are available in various designs, sizes and finishes.
Since 1990, Milliken has reduced its environmental footprint by more than 85 percent while setting new benchmarks in green manufacturing. All Milliken Hospitality modular carpet collections are PVC-free, chlorine free, 100 percent renewable, 100 percent recyclable, meet stringent green certifications and reduce packing waste. Bio-based TractionBack adhesive-free installation improves indoor air quality by eliminating off-gassing and installs 30 percent faster than broadloom to decrease downtime and costs. Go to Dispenser Amenities Inc. and Milliken Hospitality for more information.
As always, I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by calling (440) 243-2055. I look forward to hearing from you.