Green Answer From CBH Hospitality
Just as this project has been a learning experience for Patel and Bhakta, it’s been the same for La Quinta. “They’re doing things that exceed what most environmentally conscious developers are doing,” says Murry Cathlina, the executive vice president of design and construction for La Quinta. “We’re looking and learning and our part is more encouragement and flexibility.”
The budget for the project is at $6.5 million—up from the original $5 million price tag they started with. Patel estimates CBH is spending an extra 10 percent to reach at least LEED Silver status, but he believes there will be a significant payback from many of the sustainable features.
“This is the future of the way things should be done,” Patel says. “Nobody sees it because there is no immediate payback. We hope to show people they can do this for financial and personal gain. At the end of the day, we’re not going to build a hotel to break even. We have to make something and we’re hoping to show people you can make something by doing this.”
Guests will be aware of the hotel’s sustainable features and benefits. “All of this would be a waste if we didn’t educate our customers,” Patel says. They’ll hear about the 20 kilowatt grid-tied photovoltaic solar-electric; the solar assisted hot-water heating system; the fact 95 percent of all lighting will come from LED or compact florescent bulbs with occupancy control sensors; rain water irrigation and drought resistant landscaping; water-saving fixtures; improved air quality through low VOC paints, adhesives, carpet and a continued fresh air ventilation system; a high efficiency and energy-saving HVAC system with heat pumps; the recycling of hotel waste; and the preferred parking for hybrid cars and recharging stations for plug-in vehicles.
Educational benefits will also extend to nearby public schools thanks to a third and anonymous partner. Fifty-percent of the hotel’s profits will go to the Community Foundation of Northwest Mississippi to benefit a technology and education fund for public schools.
“This ties in real well with schools and public education,” Patel explains. “You hear it from your own kids, ‘Are you recycling?’ Kids always ask if we’re doing our part. We don’t feel so bad when our kids ask anymore. Stewardship is the one word that sums it all up. We’re doing our part.”
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