Green is the New Black – Sustainability and Hotel Asset Value
According to TV and Netflix, orange is the new black...but when it comes to the hospitality industry, it's really green!
In recent years, there has been a serious increase in sustainable expectations, especially in the hotel market sector. Driving this environmentally conscious trend is a multitude of factors; from government regulations to increased utility costs and brand influence to consumer awareness.
The implementation of green initiatives has been and continues to sweep the nation. With numerous regions and industries developing their own green building standards, the need for cohesive environmental recognition has become a must. In response, the U.S. Green Building Council has created the very first LEED® rating system specifically for hotels – the v4 LEED® BD+C: Hospitality. The influence of outside market forces has spurred hotels to embrace sustainability and adopt green building practices that go above and beyond most local regulations.
When it comes to controlling design and construction costs, going green can have significant advantages. There are two key areas of environmentally conscious building design that can directly impact operating costs; reducing energy usage and reducing water consumption. In the realm of hotels, more energy is generally used per person than in other building types. Through a combination of high-performing envelopes, HVAC controls, low energy lighting solutions, energy efficient appliances, low flow fixtures and aerators utility costs can be greatly lowered.
Major hotel franchises have taken notice of the benefits to sustainable design and are joining the cause. In fact, many have begun producing dedicated eco-centric brands tying green practices to brand identity - a move that is drawing more brand-loyal customers every day.
To that end, today’s business and leisure travelers play an important part in the push for environmental design. They feel an obligation to lessen their carbon footprint, driving the need for eco-friendly accommodations. While central plant and BOH upgrades may have significant weight, guest facing sustainability-conscious upgrades raise the profile and give hotels the most public relations bang for its buck. Specific to green efforts, hotel owners have reported seeing a correlating rise in occupancy rates and RevPAR – a critical metric for profitability.
The benefits of “going green” are undeniable, and significant opportunities exist for hospitality owners and developers to capitalize on sustainability in their new construction or renovation projects. More efficient buildings with lower life-cycle costs, increased brand identity and increased occupancy are all factors for an escalation in property asset value and improved return on investment (ROI).
Are you looking to “go green?” NELSON can work with you to develop strategies that effectively address the unique challenges facing hotel developers. NELSON’s view on sustainable design is integrated in all of our services!
Principal, Co-Chair, Legal Workplace Practice
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