Fairmont Pittsburgh is pleased to announce that it has received a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED™) certification at the Gold level from the United States Green Building Council (USGBC). The announcement was made by Leonard S. Czarnecki, general manager of the luxury hotel.
"We are proud to continue Fairmont Hotels & Resorts' tradition of operational sustainability and responsible tourism here at the Pittsburgh location," states Czarnecki. "In fact, Fairmont Pittsburgh is the first LEED certified project for Fairmont, and we are looking forward to growing our reputation as a responsible member of this community."
Fairmont Pittsburgh which opened on March 29, 2010, is part of Three PNC Plaza, a 23-story high-rise owned by The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc (NYSE:PNC). Three PNC Plaza, which is one of the nation's largest green, mixed-use buildings, expands upon PNC's commitment to environmental responsibility and green building practices. PNC has more newly constructed LEED certified buildings – 80 – than any company on earth.
The LEED Green Building Rating System is the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction, and operation of high performance green buildings. In order to receive Gold certification, Fairmont Pittsburgh had to meet strict sustainable design and construction guidelines set by the USGBC. Some of the hotel's most interesting features include:
- Recycled Construction Waste: Due to careful waste management practices, about 99% of the waste accumulated during the construction process has been diverted from landfills. As a result, around 900 tons of concrete, metals and other materials have been reused in other projects or recycled into new products.
- Energy Savings: By adopting innovative lighting and appliances, the hotel is highly energy efficient, which will significantly reduce its carbon footprint from operations.
- Lighting energy savings - Lighting power in the project has been reduced by about 40,000 Watts below ASHRAE standards. By using energy efficient bulbs (LED and compact fluorescent), guestroom occupancy sensors, and access to natural light, these efforts will annually reduce:
- lighting energy use by about 75,000 kWh (equivalent to lighting about 50 households annually), and
- CO2 emissions by 97,500 lbs (45 metric tons) (equivalent to removing 8 passenger cars from the road for a year).
- Equipment energy savings - Approximately 80% of all equipment and appliances used in the project are Energy Star compliant, which means they use around 20-30% less energy than non-certified equipment. This equipment will annually reduce:
- energy use by about 100,000 kWh (equivalent to powering appliances in about 30 households for a year), and
- CO2 emissions by 130,000 lbs (60 metric tons) (equivalent to removing 10 passenger cars from the road for a year).
- Water Use Reduction – By installing water conserving fixtures, the hotel is designed to save about 930,000 gallons of water annually. These fixtures include low flow toilets, aerators, and automatic sensors on public restroom sinks.
- Improved Indoor Air Quality – The building design and material selection are also based on optimizing indoor air quality.
- Ventilation: Guestrooms are served by dedicated ventilation units that supply 100% outside air.
- Low VOCs: All paints, adhesives/sealants, carpets and fabrics specified for the project have no or low emissions of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC). For instance, all carpets are certified by the Green Label Plus program, which verifies products have very low VOC emissions and all laminates are free from added urea formaldehyde. Moreover, no vinyl wallcoverings are used in the hotel, which is unique for a hotel property.
- Green Materials: In addition to improving air quality, the hotel selected building materials and furnishings that were made from recycled content or other "green" materials. The total recycled content value of all building materials and products (by cost) is more than 10%.
- All guest room desk chairs are Cradle to Cradle Certified(CM), which means they are constructed using sustainable materials and are recyclable.
- Most bedding in the typical guestroom is made from organic or recyclable fiber.
- An innovative solid surface called Alkemi, which is made from recycled metal shavings, is used in the lobby bar.
- Wood floors and millwork are made from timber certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), which means it comes from sustainably harvested forests.
- Pittsburgh Focus: To reduce greenhouse gas emissions from transportation and to support the local economy, the hotel selected many products from Pittsburgh and its surrounding area.
- All of the typical guest room furniture (excluding mirrors and accessories) is produced within 500 miles of Pittsburgh.
- Porcelain tile in the typical bathroom is produced within 500 miles of Pittsburgh, and the glass tile in the bathroom is made in Chicago.
100% of the artwork displayed throughout the hotel is created by Pittsburgh artists and photographers.
- Prominent light fixtures in the lobby and ballroom are made by local Pittsburgh artisans.
- Green Operations: In addition to the building design and construction, the operation of the hotel follows practices to limit its environmental impact.
- Green Housekeeping - The hotel cleans guestrooms with products that are verified to be low-toxic and environmentally-friendly.
- Recycling – Waste at the hotel is sorted to divert landfill bound trash. To encourage participation, each guest room and suite has a recycling bin.
- Sustainable Dining: The hotel chef features local and organic ingredients in the restaurant and bar. Food waste is also treated by an enzyme-based digester, and fryer oil is processed locally into biodiesel.