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Two net-zero hotel projects could portend a new hospitality trend

Energy-intensive sector comprises 10% of all commercial real estate.

January 12, 2021 |

Courtesy Pixabay

Two new net-zero hotel projects could be a sign of things to come for the hospitality industry, which is ripe for efficiency improvement.

The industry comprises about 10% of all commercial real estate in the U.S., and has the highest energy use intensity (EUI) of all CRE sectors. The projects, the William Penn Hotel in San Francisco, and a new boutique hotel in New Haven, Conn., are on target to be the industry’s first net-zero buildings.

The New Building Institute, which tracks net-zero buildings around the country, says it has no verified net-zero hotels on file. New Haven’s Hotel Marcel, at 110,000 sf, will generate 100% of the power it needs for lighting, heating, and cooling, as well as for charging stations for electric cars from rooftop and parking canopy arrays. The green measures will cost about $5 per sf more than a standard-built project, with projected energy savings of about $1 per sf annually.

Developers of the San Francisco project plan to use the building as a lab for startups to test new products. The hotel will also add solar panels and make energy-saving upgrades.

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