- Lauren Englehardt
Glodow Nead Communications – www.glodownead.com
H2Hotel, a progressively-designed hotel located just off the historic town plaza in Healdsburg, announced that it has been awarded LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold Certification and is the first LEED Gold certified hotel in Sonoma County. The design is both minimal and complex, with a light-hearted utilitarianism that makes it an ideal choice for those seeking a stylish and ecologically progressive wine country retreat with comfortable accommodations at accessible, moderate rates.
Reflecting Healdsburg’s relaxed Wine Country ambience and gentle rusticity, the hotel conveys straightforward simplicity with a sophisticated sense of space and style. A collaboration among David Baker + Partners, the architect responsible for the AIA design award-winning Hotel Healdsburg, Andrea Cochran Landscape Architecture, and Interior Designers Marie Fisher and Jennifer Gadiel, h2hotel thoughtfully incorporates an eco-conscious sensibility into every aspect of its design, operation, and attitude.
A relatively small footprint, the hotel rises four stories with 36 guestrooms. During its building, more than 85% of h2hotel’s construction debris was recycled. Many of the materials used to build the hotel—from steel to concrete to glazing—contained a high percentage of recycled content. The custom furnishings, exterior wood decking, main stair, and meeting room floor are made from salvaged lumber (such as American elm, acacia, and black walnut) in percentages far exceeding the LEED standard.
An undulating green roof filters and lessens the impact of rainwater runoff on Foss Creek and reduces wear on the city’s storm-drain system. “Spoonfall,” a whimsical water sculpture visible upon arrival and sustained by an underground cistern, is replenished by natural rainfall captured from the green roof. More than 60% of the total site—including the living roof—has been left as landscaped open space to promote biodiversity. The majority of the developed land is planted with native drought tolerant species.
Committed to maintaining a sustainable property, h2hotel incorporates green practices into its operation, uses energy efficient appliances on property, and takes part in socially responsible conservation efforts. Every light, fan and air conditioner on the property is controlled by occupancy sensors to reduce electricity use when guest rooms are empty. In order to reduce electricity consumption, both the swimming pool and hot water in the guest rooms are heated by solar panels on the roof. Custom-made water (h2O) bars serving purified sparkling and still water are located on each floor for guests to fill glass water carafes offered in the rooms. h2hotel encourages environmentally-friendly stays for guests by providing complimentary Dutch cruising bicycles for exploring Healdsburg as well as an on-site bike storage and service station.
At the rear of the property lies a 10,000-square-foot native meadow flanking Foss Creek, which runs through the length of the town. A testament to their continuing commitment to the community, h2hotel is restoring Foss Creek with a native planting project in partnership with the Russian Riverkeepers.
The belief in sustainability is encompassed by both h2hotel and its onsite restaurant, Spoonbar. Spoonbar’s menu is carefully sourced using seasonal ingredients and artisan-crafted products from local purveyors. Liquors are sourced from small-batch producers, many of which are local or certified organic. The herbs, fruits and even garnishes used in crafting beverages are sourced from local organic growers, while the wine list emphasizes sustainable and local producers. The restaurant also offers six wines on tap – eliminating excess packaging and spoilage – as well as complimentary house-purified sparkling and flat water.
LEED is an internationally recognized, third-party certification for the design, construction and operation of high-performance green buildings. The LEED rating system is designed to promote design and construction practices that increase profitability while reducing the environmental impacts of buildings and improving occupant health and well-being. LEED’s rating system offers four certification levels for new construction — Certified, Silver, Gold and Platinum — that correspond to the number of credits accrued in five green design categories.
You may also like:
- Eco Tourism: Chumbe Island Coral Park, Tanzania, Africa
- Responsible Tourism with Evason Phuket & Six Senses Spa
- Soneva Gili Celebrates The Close of Inaugural Hay on Wye Festival
- Mangrove Forests Tourism
- "Keep Phuket Clean" – Earth Day 2010 Campaign
- Eco Watching: Butterfly Watching in Thailand at Khao Kho, Petchabun
- Eco Tourism with Unseen Freshwater Jellyfish in Thailand
- The Billion Tree Campaign – Growing Green
- The International Day for Biological Diversity 2011: Forest Biodiversity