Home Energy Management Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite Expansion Earns Double Silver LEED Certification

Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite Expansion Earns Double Silver LEED Certification


FISH CAMP, CALIF.—Delaware North Companies Parks & Resorts has earned double Silver LEED certification at Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite, an all-season resort located just outside of Yosemite National Park in Fish Camp, Calif. Both certifications follow a yearlong project that expanded Tenaya’s banquet, event and meeting spaces and office area, plus added a destination spa.

Delaware North, which owns and operates Tenaya, followed a process laid out by its environmental program, GreenPath, to ensure environmental stewardship and measurable green practices. The company worked with Layton Construction Company and architect Peter Grove of Collaborative Design Studio.

The Silver LEED-certified expansion brings Tenaya Lodge’s total indoor meeting area to 15,000 square feet of flexible, full-service conference space. This includes a 10,000-square-foot ballroom, 4,500 square feet of pre-function space and 14 meeting rooms. Taking full advantage of its national forest setting, Tenaya’s outdoor function space features the new 3,000-square-foot Signature Grand Terrace and a 3,000-square-foot outdoor pavilion.

The new Ascent Spa at Tenaya Lodge also earned Silver LEED certification. The 10,000-square-foot destination spa features 12 treatment rooms, men’s and women’s dry saunas and steam rooms, three relaxation rooms, and a wellness center with exercise and fitness rooms. The Ascent Spa boutique features lines with indigenous, local and organic products.

Example of Dedication to Stewardship

“We are extremely proud that both of our construction projects earned Silver LEED environmental certification,” said Tom McCann, general manager for Tenaya Lodge. “Our banquet, event and meeting spaces are first-rate, and we couldn’t be happier with the outcome of the spa. Traditionally, spas are incredibly wasteful of water. So this is a significant achievement and speaks a lot about GreenPath and Delaware North’s dedication to environmental stewardship.”

Developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) in 2000, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification provides independent, third-party verification that a building was designed and built using strategies aimed at achieving high performance. LEED focuses on key areas of human and environmental health: sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality.

LEED certification is based on a series of points earned through each action completed to LEED standards. One of the ways Delaware North earned points was using several LEED-accredited professionals on the design and construction teams for the spa and conference center, such as senior project manager Mike Gilbert.

“It wasn’t possible to meet every point,” Gilbert said. “So when we couldn’t achieve a point, we lived up to the spirit of the point.”

Key Elements of the Project

•    Water Efficiency: Based on similar buildings, the Tenaya Lodge spa and conference expansion reduced its water consumption by 40 percent. This was accomplished by using low-flow water closets, low-flow urinals and ultra-low-flow sink faucets.
•    Energy and atmosphere: The Tenaya Lodge spa reduced its air-conditioning energy consumption 15 percent compared to a typical space. The Tenaya Lodge conference center addition is designed to reduce its total energy consumption 14 percent below the national standard. These facilities also use Energy Star equipment to minimize electricity consumption.
•    Indoor Environmental Quality: Among the construction highlights are the use of non-VOC (volatile organic compounds) paints, and low-VOC carpet glue, sealants and caulking. None of the adhesives, sealants and paints used in the expansion emit harmful fumes. Extra effort was made to keep ducts closed while installing the heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) system. This strategy kept the ducts clean and stopped the filter from recycling dirt and dust.
•    Materials and Resources: Many of the materials used to construct the Tenaya Lodge spa and conference center contain recycled content. More than 20 percent of the materials in the building (based on material value) are recycled, reducing the environmental impacts of processing and manufacturing efforts. This includes the original office furniture. The majority of the wood used for the Tenaya Lodge spa and conference center was certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and is formaldehyde-free. Wool carpet was used to provide a natural material. Locally-sourced materials were used as often as possible.

“One area where I think we made an outstanding effort was garbage,” Gilbert said. “We had an incredibly high diversion rate from the landfill.”

All of the construction waste and demolition debris was moved into a series of dumpsters in the hotel’s parking lot. All of the debris was sorted on site. About 89 percent of the debris was diverted from a landfill by recycling numerous dumpster loads of steel, concrete and carpet pad.

Delaware North’s GreenPath program contributed significantly to the silver LEED certifications by earning substantial points for innovation.

“The U.S. Green Building Council found GreenPath unique enough and innovative enough to satisfy its highest requirements,” said Roy Olson, vice president of facilities project management for Delaware North Companies. “GreenPath’s environmental standards, attainable goals and quantifiable results prove that Delaware North takes the time to follow LEED standards not only during the construction phase, but long after certification is granted.”

Go to the Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite.