Home Energy Management New Inn Looks to be Green Beacon on Oregon’s Pacific Coast

New Inn Looks to be Green Beacon on Oregon’s Pacific Coast


NEWPORT, ORE.—One of Oregon’s greenest inns—The Viking’s Greenstone Inn—is just days away from its May 21 opening. Located in Newport within steps of the Pacific Ocean, the 20-room inn features solar panels positioned on a recyclable metal roof, a waste water heat recovery system, a series of seven on-demand water heaters, a key card-based guestroom energy management system, and carpeting made from recycled materials. According to Brendan Carmody, who owns the inn along with Bonnie, his wife, there are plans to add a charging station for electric vehicles toward the end of this year. The owners also intend to add two wind turbines by sometime in 2012.

Due to various challenges, it has taken the Carmodys a number of years longer than expected to pull their Greenstone Inn project together. Finding the right architect took time and financing was also an issue.

“It all took time to find the right people to design the way we wanted it to be done,” Brendan Carmody says.

The Carmodys previously owned and operated the Viking’s Motel at the new inn’s location. They purchased that property in 1983. Those 1920s cottages eventually could no longer be held together by patch and paint so they were closed in 2007.

In putting together the Greenstone Inn, the intention was to make the project as eco-friendly as possible. That started with the deconstructed Viking’s Motel. As many parts of it as possible were given away to be reused—whether TVs, appliances, wood beams or plumbing fixtures. Some of the wood was disposed of through chipping.

Powered Partially by the Sun

The solar arrays on the roof of the inn will generate 18,978 kilowatt hours of electricity per year—enough to run almost two households. The solar system, on average, will meet about 25 to 30 percent of the inn’s electricity needs. On bright sunny days, the percentage will be much higher. The solar system cost $112,800. A U.S. Department of Agriculture grant will pay for $20,000 of the project and the inn’s owners will benefit from state and federal tax credits beginning in 2011.

Water coming into the property will be warmed from 50 degrees to 75 degrees thanks to a waste water heat recovery system. The water coming in will flow through copper tubing wrapped around hot water drain pipes. Brendan Carmody says about 60 percent of the heat from the drain pipe will be transferred to the incoming water. Seven highly efficient on-demand water heating systems will further add to the inn’s savings.

To keep power consumption down in the inn’s guestrooms, a key card-based energy management system has been installed. When a guest enters the room, the key card is placed in a docking station in the entry area. This sends a signal to a controller which activates the power for the room (for lighting, TV, HVAC system, etc.). The system is not connected to the mini-fridge. As a guest leaves the room, the key card is taken and a signal is sent to the controller to power down the room.

Other Green Features at the Inn

• Dual-flush toilets and other water-saving fixtures;
• Energy Star rated appliances;
• Carpet made from recycled material;
• Energy-efficient lighting such as compact fluorescents;
• Wood-clad doors and window frames;
• Certified renewable-forest wood used throughout;
• Drapery and upholstery fabric made primarily from recycled water bottles;
• Low volatile organic compound (VOC) paint;
• Local contractors and labor were employed in every phase of construction; and
• Sustainable furniture manufactured locally.

“I hope this is an example for others looking to build in the future,” Brendan Carmody says.

Go to The Viking’s Greenstone Inn.

Glenn Hasek can be reached at editor@greenlodgingnews.com.