MIAMI—VP Plaza España Design, a luxurious 214-room hotel located on Madrid’s famous Gran Vía, has earned the prestigous LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) Gold certification, solidifying its position in the city as an example for environmentally conscious design and operation. The five-star hotel, which opened March 2018, scored well in several areas including its sustainable setting, innovative design, water and energy use efficiency, and use of quality materials and resources, all efforts which meet the priorities outlined by LEED for Spain.
“We are honored to be one of the only hotels in Spain to achieve this important designation,” said Francisco Garcia de Oro, General Manager of VP Plaza España Design. “Our goal for this building is to serve as an architectural landmark that not only revitalizes one of the most emblematic and visited places in Madrid, but also as an example of sustainability in the country. For us, being environmentally responsible is not an option but an obligation. We hope to continue to raise the bar in sustainable tourism and will continue to seek ways to improve our operation every day.”
LEED is an internationally recognized mark of excellence from the U.S. Green Building Council. It provides a framework for identifying and implementing practical and measurable green building design, construction, operation and maintenance solutions, and involves independent third-party verification that a building was designed and built using environmentally responsible strategies.
Where the Hotel Excelled
Among the categories where VP Plaza España Design achieved recognition include:
• Setting in a sustainable site: the hotel was built in a high-density area that is well connected to public transportation and in walking distance to main attractions like Plaza de España, Grand Via, the Royal Palace, Almudena Catehdral and Temple of Debod. The hotel also offers spaces for shared and low emission vehicles, as well as recharging stations for electric cars.
• Energy efficiency: measures to reduce energy consumption include use of thermal enclosures and installations, dedicating 1 percent of the cost of energy toward renewable energy produced onsite, and protocols to measure consumption. The hotel uses an innovative lighting and energy system with motion detectors to turn lights on or off depending on if a space is in use, daylight sensors to measure ambient light and adjust levels to reduce electric lighting, and radio window sensors to open and close motorized window shades depending on available daylight.
• Water efficiency: measures to address water efficiency include selecting plants for outdoor landscaping that require minimal irrigation, incorporating systems to monitor water consumption throughout the building, and use of high-efficiency fixtures and fittings like dual flush toilets and low-flow showers in guest bathrooms, which reduce water consumption by about 33 percent.
• Indoor environmental quality: measures include the use of appropriate outdoor air ventilation levels, intellegent controls for lighting and thermal systems, and daylight strategies to provide the optimal indoor environment. Other factors such as use of low VOC content paint and not allowing smoking inside also contribute to the high indoor air quality at the hotel.
• Quality resources and materials: the hotel sourced building materials, furniture and 185 pieces of art work in the region, supporting local economic growth and minimizes the environmental impact by reducing transport times. Wood used is FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified, which means it was sourced from responsibly managed forests.
Other programs in place that support VP Plaza España Design’s mission of sustainability include a robust recycling and solid waste management program, continuous education on sustainable operation practices for the staff, environmentally preferred purchasing that reduces environmental impact, and more.