Concord Hospitality Enterprises, one of the nation's top-ranked hotel developer/owner/operators, announced it will open tomorrow the first LEED-designed Courtyard by Marriott.
Located in Settlers Ridge in west suburban Pittsburgh, the state-of-the-art property design, created by Concord with support from Marriott, will be the prototype for all future LEED-compliant Courtyards.
The new design is expected to reduce energy usage at Courtyard hotels by an average of 24 percent annually and save more than 300,000 gallons of water per year, the equivalent of 21 swimming pools. This improved energy efficiency is expected to produce average annual operating savings of $50,000 at current energy costs, which are expected to accelerate over time, yielding even greater future savings.
According to Mark G. Laport, president and CEO of Concord, the LEED-certified prototype adds approximately $500,000 in development cost of a Courtyard. "However, the design produces significant development efficiencies, which effectively reduces that cost to approximately $350,000 and substantially lowers design time, producing a projected payback to owners in approximately six years.
"This is the second prototype concept that we have done with Marriott," he added. "We worked together creating the fourth generation prototype of the Springhill Suites by Marriott brand three years ago, which represented a complete reinvention of the brand design. LEED was in its infancy at that time and didn't play a major role in the design. We already have a second LEED-designed Courtyard under construction in Washington, Pa., and now will incorporate the appropriate LEED-designed elements into our future Springhill Suites.
"Being environmentally responsible as a company goes hand in hand with one of our founding cornerstones of supporting our communities," he said. "Now that we have successfully worked through all the LEED issues, all of our future ground-up development regardless of brand will be LEED designed because it is the right thing to do. We already have five additional LEED-designed projects in development."
Many of the component parts of the Courtyard's original engineering were revised to create the LEED prototype. Among the most notable and cost-effective were:
- A heat recovery energy system that reclaims building exhaust air to pre-heat the building's fresh air system.
- An energy management system that reduces unnecessary heating and cooling run times when guest rooms are unoccupied.
- Water-saving showers, lavatories, and toilet fixtures.
- Energy-efficient light fixtures.
- An enhanced building thermal envelope that includes exterior building outsulation and increased glass and glazing u-value.