by Brianna Crandall — March 2, 2016—The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) released a week ago its LEED in Motion: Hospitality report, which showcases “tremendous” industry growth in green building and defines the scale-up opportunities for the hospitality sector. More than 109 million sq. ft. of hotel space is currently LEED certified, and the report highlights some of the most impressive LEED-certified hotels throughout the world.
Hotels consume natural resources at an extraordinarily high rate as they are occupied 24 hours a day, seven days a week, notes USGBC. With more than five billion sq. ft. of space in the United States alone, there is an enormous opportunity for the industry to transform the impact of the built environment and enhance their triple bottom line — people, planet and profit — says USGBC.
The widely used LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) green building rating program has a growing presence in the hospitality industry. Currently, there are more than 1,400 hotels participating in LEED, representing 638.7 million sq. ft. Of those, there are more than 300 LEED-certified hotels, comprising nearly 109.2 million sq. ft. of space.
According to a recent study by McGraw Hill Construction, green construction in the hospitality sector has increased by 50 percent from 2011-2013 and now represents 25 percent of all new construction in the sector today. USGBC’s recent Green Building Economic Impact Study also found that across industries, green construction is outpacing that of traditional construction and is poised to create more than 3.3 million U.S. jobs and $190.3 billion in labor earnings by 2018.
The LEED in Motion: Hospitality report highlights how LEED practices and strategies are flexible, easy to implement, generate “impressive” results, and can be integrated into the hospitality industry throughout the building’s life cycle, leading to high performance in human and environmental health. Incorporating LEED includes sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality (IEQ).
The report also features LEED-certified projects from internationally recognized brands from around the world, including:
- Marriott Marquis; Washington, DC; LEED Gold
- ITC Windsor; Bengaluru, India; LEED Platinum
- Virgin Hotel Chicago; Chicago, IL; LEED Gold
- The Nines, Pebblebrook Hotel Trust / Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide; Portland, OR; LEED Silver
- MGM City Center (Aria Hotel, Vdara Hotel, Mandarin Oriental); Las Vegas, NV; LEED Gold
- Tambo del Inka Hotel; Urubamba, Peru; LEED Certified
- Heritance Kandalama Hotel; Dambulla, Sri Lanka; LEED Certified
- Clark & Grand Hotels Complex (Hyatt Place, Fairfield Inn & Suites and Aloft Hotel); Chicago, IL; LEED Platinum
- OXO 69 / Sustainable Properties Fund; Bogotá, Colombia; LEED Platinum
USGBC says LEED is a simple and effective program for navigating complex, often competing building and environmental issues affecting humans worldwide. Every day, over 1.85 million sq. ft. of space is LEED certified. More than 74,500 commercial projects are currently participating in LEED in over 155 countries and territories, comprising more than 14.4 billion sq. ft. of construction space. With specific achievement paths built in, LEED is designed for use in various building types in a variety of climates and localities, often synching with local laws and requirements.
LEED in Motion: Hospitality, available to read online or download from the USGBC Web site, is the latest in a series of reports designed to provide a holistic snapshot of the green building movement in international markets. The report equips green building advocates with the insight to understand the use of the LEED system and to make a strong case for sustainable building activity.