Building the first U.S. LEED certified Hampton Inn.
Hotel developers, Finergy Development LLC, and our company strived to reduce the environmental impact of the project from the point of site selection and throughout the construction process, up to the day-to-day operations of the hotel. These are the steps we took to ensure the Hampton Inn’s environmental footprint remained as small as possible.
The site selected for the project is located on the premises of the Sarasota/Bradenton Airport. The urban site at the entrance to the airport minimized the environmental impact because it didn’t require removing additional plant life, disturbing wetlands, or local bodies of water. The site also required minimal additional infrastructure for waste, water and traffic patterns.
Site Design and Development
The site was developed to increase open spaces beyond zoning guidelines, minimizing it’s footprint. The structure’s position maximized Florida’s sunshine as a resource for lighting and solar power, while limiting impact on cooling costs.
The site landscaping incorporates native plants that, once established, will require watering only during the driest months. The irrigation system is a low output model with rain sensor reducing water usage by 23 percent annually.
The storm water system is designed to store, filter and clean the water on site before being released into the waterways. The design of the structure was run through a vigorous energy modeling program under the watchful eye of an MEP engineer and the position of the building, along with the procurement of all the materials and equipment was analyzed through this model prior to construction.
The building’s abundant windows increased the amount of natural light within the hotel and the sculpture-like structures situated outside the building shade the sunlight from the meeting rooms & public area windows.
Our goal was to maximize energy savings while minimizing the environmental impact of the products used. 50 percent of the construction products utilized were purchased, assembled and manufactured within 500 miles of the site. This high local material percentage reduces the impact of transportation on the environment, while also maintaining the local economy. Of the construction products used, 20 percent were recycled, including the gypsum board, metal framing, acoustical ceilings and window frames.
Throughout the construction process, Firmo Construction maintained a rigorous recycling program of all materials and implemented a system of barriers around the construction area to reduce soil erosion and waterway sediment. Special care was also given to maintain the health of the oak trees fronting University Parkway.
Glazing was utilized on the exterior surface of the building, which transmits visible light, but rejects the hot Florida sun. A similar strategy was used for the rooftop where reflective, Energy Star rated material was installed to reduce the heat absorbed by the rooftop.
The air conditioning and water heating systems were carefully selected among the most energy efficient available on the market. Each of 108 guest rooms is equipped with individually controlled thermostats that use door switch sensors and motion detection, with a system that resets the thermostat settings when the room becomes unoccupied. In addition to the water savings from the irrigation system, potable water usage will be reduced by a third with the use of water saving fixtures in guest rooms and public areas.
Solar Direct and Hampton Inn
We partnered with Solar Direct for the project engineering, installation, and funding of five industrial-duty solar thermal collectors. This system was a critical component in Hampton Inn achieving its first nation-wide LEED® Green Building Certification.
Solar water heating reduces energy costs and negative impacts on the environment while the solar thermal system creates a core reliance on solar thermal energy, reducing CO2 pollution as a result.