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InterContinental San Francisco Awarded LEED Gold Certification from USGBC

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SAN FRANCISCO—InterContinental San Francisco announced that it has been awarded LEED Gold certification under the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance (LEED EBOM) program. LEED is USGBC’s rating system for designing, constructing and maintaining the world’s greenest, most energy efficient and high performing buildings. InterContinental San Francisco is the first property in the InterContinental Hotels & Resorts portfolio to achieve LEED certification for an existing building.

To achieve LEED EBOM, InterContinental San Francisco was evaluated on operational efficiency and minimization of environmental impact. To date, it is the largest hotel property to receive LEED EBOM certification in California. The hotel joins only 13 other hotels in the nation and is the third largest to receive this distinction.

“InterContinental San Francisco is honored to receive LEED certification,” says Peter Koehler, general manager. “As part of the InterContinental brand family, we support ongoing efforts to be responsible and sustainable in every area of our business and through this achievement, we have demonstrated our commitment and dedication to environmental stewardship.”

Committed to Sustainable Hotel Solutions

“As the first InterContinental property to achieve LEED EBOM certification, we are extremely proud of the extensive work and effort undertaken by the InterContinental San Francisco team to create an energy efficient and socially responsible hotel,” said Simon Scoot, vice president, Brand Management, InterContinental Hotels & Resorts, IHG. “We recognize the importance of becoming more energy efficient and environmentally sustainable and are committed to working with the hotel community to deliver sustainable hotel solutions.”

Prior to opening in February 2008, Harry Hobbs, the InterContinental San Francisco’s chief engineer, asked all hotel employees to pledge to incorporate sustainable practices into their day-to-day activities. Shortly after opening, the hotel formed a green team with Hobbs at the helm, making the pledge a reality and beginning the certification process. Over the next two years, the team worked closely with LEED consultant Jubilee Daniels, CB Engineers, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E), “Lodging Savers” and the San Francisco Department of the Environment, ultimately leading to qualification for LEED EBOM Gold. The InterContinental San Francisco also partnered with hospitality management students at San Francisco State University, committing to educating the next generation of hospitality leaders and giving students an opportunity to be part of the certification process. The team took on a number of successful projects evaluating and improving energy use, lighting, water and materials use.

“The green building movement offers an unprecedented opportunity to respond to the most important challenges of our time, including global climate change, dependence on non-sustainable and expensive sources of energy and threats to human health,” says Rick Fedrizzi, president, CEO and founding chair, U.S. Green Building Council. “The work of innovative projects like the InterContinental San Francisco is a fundamental driving force in the green building movement.”

Many Green Features, Practices

The 550-room InterContinental San Francisco is set in the city’s bustling South of Market district, adjacent to the Moscone Convention Center. Since its debut, the hotel has committed itself to integrating many sustainable features and practices into daily operations including:

• Floor to ceiling windows throughout the entire property that offer an abundance of natural light, enhancing the “daylight and views” aspect of the LEED certified experience. The staff maximizes the use of natural light whenever possible.
• Public transportation is used by more than 95 percent of the hotel’s staff, reducing the carbon dioxide emitted by commuting. Its concierge team is pleased to show guests through the “green transportation” recommendations for travel about town as well.
• Energy efficient Energy Star labeled appliances, including in-room televisions, are always preferred and used throughout the property.
• Retro-commissioning of its energy systems by bringing in a third party to evaluate and upgrade its current systems, making them more efficient. Generous rebates from PG&E made these efforts cost-effective and profitable.
• Motion sensors in guestrooms, meeting spaces and other areas to reduce power and conserve energy.
• Implementation of a comprehensive recycling and composting program, diverting 80 percent of the hotel’s generated waste away from landfills and utilizing solar powered compactors.
• Guestroom eco-features include linen and towel reuse program (nearly half of its guests choose to conserve), reusable laundry, shoe and newspaper bags and recycling bins in addition to sustainable bathroom amenities. The traditional guest directory is on TV rather than in a paper-based book format.
• Green cleaning methods are used throughout all hotel operations which include hepa filtered vacuums, “Green Seal Certified” chemicals and micro-fiber cleaning cloths.

In the process of achieving LEED EBOM certification, InterContinental San Francisco also earned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s prestigious Energy Star. In addition, by partnering with Renewable Choice Energy, the hotel reduced its environmental impact by purchasing renewable energy credits to offset 100 percent of its electricity and natural gas use, making the hotel’s energy use 100 percent carbon neutral.

The InterContinental San Francisco is owned by Continental Development Corporation of El Segundo, Calif., and was developed along with Hampshire Properties Inc. of Mill Valley, Calif. The property is managed by IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group), the world’s largest hotel group by number of rooms. It is the fourth InterContinental property to receive LEED EBOM certification.

Go to the InterContinental San Francisco.

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