SILVER SPRING, MD.—With 13 years of building to LEED standards under its belt, it is no surprise that The Duffie Companies’ first hotel project would be a LEED one. With the Home2 Suites by Hilton Silver Spring (Md.), however, The Duffie Companies has gone far beyond basic LEED certification; the hotel is on the way to becoming one of just seven LEED Platinum hotels or resorts in North America.
Unique to the hotel is its location, says Shane Pollin, Director of Development for The Duffie Companies. “This community has no other hotels nearby,” he says. The property is located on land that was the former headquarters for The Duffie Companies in the Hillandale area of Silver Spring, Md. A study showed the site is an ideal location for a hotel. Easily accessible from the Capital Beltway, the Home2 Suites by Hilton Silver Spring is conveniently located to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the University of Maryland, the National Archives at College Park, and White Oak Medical Center. Downtown Silver Spring is a five-mile drive and Washington, D.C. is about thirty minutes away via Metro at Greenbelt or Silver Spring.
“Over 200,000 cars a day pass our hotel,” Pollin says. To accommodate the electric vehicles that pass by and for guests and staff, six electric vehicle charging stations have been installed. Infrastructure has been pre-installed to allow for the rapid deployment of four more stations.
A Highly Efficient Building
Compared to a standard hotel its size, the 100-room Home2 Suites by Hilton Silver Spring offers a water savings of 42.6 percent and energy savings of 40 percent. As with other LEED Platinum hotels, the Home2 Suites by Hilton Silver Spring will generate some of its own energy. A 124.8-kilowatt solar system, consisting of three arrays, located on the ground level of the hotel property, will provide 14 percent of the hotel’s electricity needs.
Pollin says the solar panels will be positioned purposely at ground level so they can be seen by hotel visitors. The hotel project qualified for a $400 per kW grant through the state of Maryland and a high-performance building credit at the county level.
Also making the hotel energy efficient is LED lighting throughout the property, a guestroom energy management system, a quiet, centralized variable refrigerant flow HVAC system, a lighting control system for back-of-house lighting, extra-insulated windows, and robust air sealing. Continuously insulated sheathing was used to get a high level of insulation throughout the building’s shell. Sound absorbing mineral wool insulation was used in wall cavities and on the side of the hotel closest to traffic windows were laminated for additional sound attenuation.
Rainwater Stored for Reuse
Low-flow water fixtures such as Niagara Stealth toilets (.8 gpf) and an 8,000-gallon tank for rainwater storage—located below the patio—ensure a high level of water efficiency. The rainwater is used to water decorative plants. Organic cleaning products are used, and the pool water is salt-water.
Through its brand-wide community outreach program called Your2 Hands, the hotel will select a local charity to support and help make a difference in ways that reach far outside hotel walls and into the community.
Regarding their approach to sustainable building, Pollin says, “It is our niche to build high-quality sustainable buildings. We believe that all of the decisions we made will effectively pay for themselves and that this is a smarter way to build a hotel.”
The Duffie Companies has no plans to sell its Platinum building anytime soon. “We are long-term holders of real estate,” Pollin says. “We own our assets for a very long time.”
PM Hotel Group is managing the Home2 Suites by Hilton Silver Spring.
Glenn Hasek can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.