Green buildings are so mainstream now, even hotel chains are getting into the act. Marriott International revealed an ambitious green hotel portfolio last week, a plan underpinned by a green hotel prototype that is pre-certified LEED-compliant.
The new hotel design will be available in April 2010, implemented on the Courtyard Settler’s Ridge property in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. As Marriott learns from the prototype’s example, more green hotels will be built as part of a tenfold expansion planned over the next five years.
Marriott claims it can save up to $100,000 in construction expenses, and reduce design time by six months. The green hotels built using the template will use up to a fourth less energy and water compared to the average hotel. (read more)
When combined with local and regional green building incentives, the initial time and expense consumed in achieving LEED certification may be recouped in two years, Marriott believes.
At the US Green Building Council’s annual Greenbuild 2009 press conference, Marriott’s President and COO Arne Sorenson explained how the green building initiative was consistent with Marriott’s values: “This new initiative is an example of how Marriott continues to take a leadership role in the industry in sustainability. We realize that greening is a journey, not a destination and is never fully completed,” Mr. Sorenson said.
“The green hotel prototype gives Marriott a competitive edge with guests who prefer a green hotel experience, and with the growing number of owners and franchisees who want to provide it,” said Sorenson.
Doug Gatlin, Vice President of the US Green Buildings Council (USGBC), lauded Marriott’s effort: “Marriott’s commitment makes it among the first in the world to commit to implementing green buildings on this scale.”
The US Green Building Council developed LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) as a rating system for green building certification. Marriott is no slouch when it comes to LEED – the hotel chain now has 15 LEED-certified hotels, comprising half of the 31 LEED-certified hotels in the US.
Marriott hopes to radically increase the number of green buildings in its portfolio through this new green initiative.
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