Home Publisher's Point of View A Tip of the Hat to Woodbine Group for Rare LEED Accomplishment

A Tip of the Hat to Woodbine Group for Rare LEED Accomplishment


Just before Thanksgiving, Syracuse-based Woodbine Group informed me that its 58-room, boutique-style Hotel Skyler had earned LEED Platinum certification from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). I spoke with two representatives of Woodbine this past week and posted an article about the property that was once Temple Adath Yeshurun, a building first constructed in 1921. (Click here for article.) Congratulations to the team at Woodbine Group for achieving a distinction shared by only two other hotels in the United States—the Proximity Hotel in Greensboro, N.C., and the Bardessono in Yountville, Calif.

USGBC’s rating system is points based with four levels: Certified (40 to 49 points); Silver (50 to 59 points); Gold (60 to 79 points); and Platinum (80 points and above). Achieving Platinum is not easy. Properties must score high in the following categories: Sustainable Sites, Water Efficiency, Energy and Atmosphere, Materials and Resources, Indoor Environmental Quality, Innovation in Design, and Regional Priority.

What sets Hotel Skyler apart from other LEED projects is its highly creative reuse of an existing structure and its investment in a geothermal heating and cooling system. Sixteen vertical wells were dug just adjacent to the hotel. Each well is 499 feet deep and there are 68 water-to-air heat pumps. This system, along with LED and compact fluorescent lighting, a key card based guestroom energy management system and low-flow water fixtures ensures a low environmental impact. Lynee Sauer, business manager for Woodbine Group, told me that from an energy and water standpoint, Hotel Skyler is easily outperforming her company’s other two Syracuse hotels.

Woodbine Group has paid particular attention to incorporating regionally and locally produced materials and artwork into the hotel. Each guestroom has its own unique art and design. The bar serves sustainable wines, beer, and liquor. Stefon’s Marketplace offers healthy take-away meals, snacks, and coffee.

Hot Spot for Sustainable Development

Hotel Skyler has quickly reached 65 percent occupancy, just shy of Woodbine Group’s 70 percent goal. It, along with the Destiny USA retail project, is causing quite a buzz in the Syracuse area. As often happens with landmark green hotels, Hotel Skyler is hosting two or three tours each week. The property has become a mini-lab for sustainability.

Our industry needs more owners like the Woodbine Group—individuals willing to revitalize their own community while investing significantly in clean technologies. In the case of the Bardessono, it was Phil Sherburne investing in a 200-kilowatt solar energy system. In the case of the Proximity Hotel, it was Quaintance-Weaver Restaurants and Hotels investing in a 100-panel solar water heating system.

If there was such a thing as a Green Hotel Hall of Fame, those Platinum hotels mentioned above would certainly be in it.

As always, I can be reached at editor@greenlodgingnews.com.

Looking for Guest Columnists

Every two weeks Green Lodging News posts a new guest column on its website. (Click here for examples.) The guest column also appears in the weekly e-newsletter. Green Lodging News is currently in need of industry experts to contribute occasional guest columns. Experts may include consultants, architects, designers, suppliers and those who own or operate green lodging establishments. Columns may be articles that take a stance on a particular subject or be strictly educational in nature. Columnists benefit by having their photo included along with a one paragraph description of their company. Interested in writing a column? Contact Glenn Hasek, publisher and editor, at (440) 243-2055, or by e-mail at editor@greenlodgingnews.com.

Planning Advertising for 2012?

Green Lodging News is accepting reservations for advertising spots for 2012. Many excellent spots are available on the website and in the weekly e-mail newsletter. Many Green Supplier Spotlight dates are also available. Interested in receiving a 2012 media kit? Be sure to contact me as soon as possible at (440) 243-2055, or by e-mail at editor@greenlodgingnews.com. A media kit can also be accessed by clicking here. Thank you to all of those companies that consistently support Green Lodging News.

Social Networking Sites

Green Lodging News now has 1,021 Twitter followers. Thank you to all of those who follow our tweets. In addition to following us on Twitter, be sure to bookmark the Green Lodging News Blog in your browser. More importantly, participate with your comments. Green Lodging News is also on Facebook. Be sure to “Like” us there. Green Lodging News now has 149 Facebook followers.

As always, I can be reached at editor@greenlodgingnews.com.