RTKL principal Laura Galbreath AIA, LEED AP, the sole architect to serve on the committee, is optimistic that the new guidelines will encourage more hotel developers and operators to enhance their sustainability goals in accordance with USGBC standards.
"While most clients are interested in sustainable design, many have been less apt to seek LEED® certification for the very reason that the cyclical and variable nature of their business wasn’t addressed by the standard guidelines,”
The committee’s assessment examined potential changes to all applicable rating systems, including those focused on design and construction, as well as LEED for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance. The resulting guidelines address a host of considerations including varying occupancy rates and water and energy usage that are unique to the hospitality industry.
“In the United States alone, hotels represent more than five billion square-feet of space, nearly five million guest rooms, and close to $4 billion in annual energy use,” said Corey Enck, director, U.S. Green Building Council. “The Hospitality Adaptations Working Group is helping the hospitality industry move further toward reducing its footprint and developing and operating high-performing green buildings.”
In addition to serving on the Hospitality Adaptations Working Group, Galbreath was a leading member of the RTKL team responsible for creating the “Livable Environmentally Sustainable Suite” (LESS®) concept which encourages hotel guests to actively participate in reducing energy consumption through a benefits program.
A LESS® hotel not only employs sustainable design principles, but encourages guests to actively manage and monitor their own energy consumption through an e-concierge service that measures energy and water consumption during their stay. Every kilowatt and gallon saved equals points toward a rewards account thereby compensating guests with additional nights, spa or other amenity credits for minimizing their individual carbon footprint. This innovative “educate, reduce, and reward” model addresses not only improvements in hotel design and development, but also the long-term impact of operational sustainability.
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RTKL is a worldwide architecture, engineering, planning and creative services organization. Part of the ARCADIS global network since 2007, RTKL specializes in providing its multi-disciplinary services across the full development cycle to create places of distinction and designs of lasting value. RTKL works with commercial, workplace, public and healthcare clients on projects around the globe. www.rtkl.com
ARCADIS is an international company providing consultancy, engineering and management services in infrastructure, environment and facilities, to enhance mobility, sustainability and quality of life. ARCADIS develops, designs, implements, maintains and operates projects for companies and governments. With more than 15,000 employees and € 2.0 billion in revenues, the company has an extensive international network that is supported by strong local market positions. More information can be found at www.ARCADIS.com