Friday, November 7, 2008

Two Certified Green Hotels Planned for Washington, DC Area

The best way for a hotel to go green is to build it eco-friendly from the ground up. And that's exactly the plan for two hotels just across the Potomac from Washington, D. C., easy travel distance visits to the city's attractions.

One will be an upscale Renaissance hotel, the other a budget Residence Inn. Both hotels will be managed by Marriott International, and both are expected to be LEED® certified “green” buildings when complete – the first such hotels in Arlington County, Virginia. The Renaissance Crystal City Potomac Yards and adjacent Residence Inn Crystal City Potomac Yards will cost around $130 million to build, and should open in two years. The 600-plus rooms in the two hotels will add 500 jobs to the area -- good news in tough economic times.

The green hotels will feature an energy saving “green roof’ with plants and trees. Since their location provides a picture postcard view overlooking the U.S. Capitol and Potomac River, my prediction is these roof gardens will become a new favorite hotspot for sunset gatherings. When the weather cooperates, of course.

LEED® is the benchmark standard for environmentally responsible buildings set by the U.S. Green Building Council, and there are some stringent requirements. By the end of 2009, all new Marriott hotels -- including the other brands it owns such as Ritz-Carlton and JW Marriott -- will be designed and built according to LEED standards. The company also is working towards getting LEED status for its international headquarters in Bethesda, Maryland.

So thank you, Marriott, for helping us travel green.