Sustainability

Recycled Building Materials Minimize Impact of Springwood Hotel

Springwood looks to minimize its environmental footprint in investor-friendly ways.  We found a perfect opportunity to do that when we built the Hampton Inn & Suites® York South, York, Pennsylvania.

This hotel played a role in the redevelopment of a small neighborhood that once housed a car dealership and two small retail buildings.  Local government declared the neighborhood “blighted”, and it put special tax incentives in place to encourage redevelopment of the entire area.  All of the buildings were to be demolished. 

The car dealership was a large concrete block building, with its two floors also built of concrete.  The waste material from demolition of this facility would be enormous.  Springwood told the site’s developer we would be willing to utilize the crushed concrete waste material from the dealership building as the underlayment beneath our parking lot and driveways, as long as it was processed to a standard of which our structural engineer approved.

The demolition contractor and structural engineer came up with a precise plan to process the demolished concrete block and floors so that we could use it.  Processing the waste concrete was costly, but in the end Springwood paid about the same price for this material that we would have paid for newly-mined stone to accomplish the same result.

Today when guests drive on the Hampton Inn & Suites® YorkSouth parking lot, they have no idea they are driving over the remains of a Lincoln-Mercury dealership from a bygone era, but they are!

Our green initiative on this site saved approximately 100 tandem-axle truckloads of demolition waste material from being delivered to the local landfill.  It was delivered under our parking lot instead, and under two neighboring parking lots, as well.

The Hampton Inn & Suites® York South was yet another case where developing green cost us no more than doing it the “old way.”

Continue Reading

Springwood's Homewood Suites by Hilton Frederick, Maryland, Gains LEED Certification

Springwood took advantage of a new opportunity to help our investors and to minimize our environmental footprint at the Homewood Suites by Hilton® Frederick, Maryland.

We discovered that Frederick County, Maryland, offered a new sewer tap fee discount program for newly-constructed facilities, if the developer achieved LEED certification for any building developed on the site.  Frederick implemented this policy to reduce the impact of new construction on its wastewater treatment facility.  LEED ensured them that “best practices” in water conservation would be utilized.

LEED certification’s expense is typically hard to justify to our investors, but this case would be different.  Springwood tasked our architect with developing a design that brought us the LEED label.  We were delighted to learn the added costs of building and certifying a LEED project would be substantially offset by Frederick County’s generous tap fee discount.  This hotel could earn LEED certification at little net cost to our investors.

LEED has gained little marketing traction in the age of Hotels.com, but the Frederick market is strongly influenced by government and government contractors.  Many players in this sector tell us that LEED plays a key role in their lodging decisions.  We look forward to working with these guests as we open what we believe to be the only LEED certified hotel in Frederick County, Maryland.

LEED can also benefit our investors by enhancing the energy efficiency of their new hotel.  If we achieve only a 10% savings in annual energy consumption, it will save our investors roughly $20,000 annually, and that can add roughly $250,000 to the value of their hotel.

The Homewood Suites by Hilton® Frederick, Maryland, opens to the public August 2015.  When it’s open, it can apply for LEED certification.  In 2016 Springwood Hospitality will operate its first LEED-certified hotel!

Continue Reading

Profitably Minimizing a Hotel's Environmental Footprint

Springwood Hospitality encountered 3,000 cubic yards of unsuitable soils during construction of the Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott® Hershey Chocolate Avenue.  For perspective, that was 250 tandem-axle truckloads of soil to be hauled off, and 250 tandem-axle truckloads of new stone from a local quarry that had to be imported for structural fill.

We also encountered an enormous quantity of hidden limestone at a different location on the site, which had to be blasted and removed.  Typically that massive quantity of waste rock would also wind up in the local landfill.

Our team saw a green opportunity.  What if we crushed the blasted limestone to precise specifications; then used it to fill where the unsuitable soils had been removed?  No new stone must be mined, and 250 tandem-axle truckloads of blasted stone would never arrive at the local landfill.  That’s exactly what we did!

By reprocessing on-site waste rock into valuable structural fill, we saved two months of construction time and untold thousands of dollars.  Not requiring mining of new stone, and not requiring the landfill to accept our blasted waste product, left a much smaller construction footprint on the local environment than doing it the “old way.”

We are delighted when the local environment and our investors can both benefit when we creatively approach a project with the goal of optimizing our environmental impact.  The Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott® Hershey Chocolate Avenue is a perfect example of profitably thinking green.

Continue Reading