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News // Leading Hotel Chain Incorporates Sustainability and Green Building Practices into Design, Post-Construction Design Documents Phase, achieves LEED Silver Certification

Date // 12th March 2012


Embassy Suites, the largest brand of upscale all-suite hotels with over 200 locations across the USA, was looking to build its newest hotel in downtown Denver, Colorado. It wasn't until the construction design documents were well underway and the building exterior was a complete design that the hotel stakeholders decided to rethink their design strategy and shift their focus to green building practices. As less than one percent of all hotels in the USA are LEED certified (Green accreditation from the US Green Building Council) Embassy Suites saw this as an opportunity to act on their sustainability aspirations and differentiate their brand in the process.

Working with Inogen Associate Antea Group, the solution involved balancing LEED principals with cost impacts and optimal guest experience. Examples of implemented strategies included use of a curtain wall system, installation of state-of-the-art elevators and waste diversion. 

The curtain wall system with low emissivity glass provided sweeping views of the Rocky Mountains while maintaining outstanding energy performance and exceptional natural light, allowing for less artificial lighting. The installed elevators used the latest regenerative drive technology that converts mechanical energy into electrical energy, feeding power back into the building's energy grid, saving up to 75% energy compared to traditional elevators. With regard to waste diversion, over 21,000 tons of demolition material was recycled into aggregate for use in new concrete structures and landscaping, diverting 99% of the demolition waste from landfill.

Other sustainable actions included installation of energy star appliances through the hotel, use of locally sourced and low VOC-emitting interior materials (paints, adhesives and sealants), development of a stringent indoor air quality plan, and investment in a hydronic heating and cooling system.

The holistic approach of the strategies resulted in the hotel receiving LEED Silver certification from the United States Green Building Council upon its completion. The hotel stakeholders were pleased to have achieved such a significant certification, given that LEED was not part of the initial design strategy. The hotel demonstrates that it's never too late to amend plans and strive to combine both aesthetics and environmental stewardship into design.

For more information, contact Amber Keenoy at

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