Two prototypes are the first of their kind in Yosemite National Park
YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, Calif., April 21, 2010 – Yosemite Lodge at the Falls, a popular year-round lodging destination in the heart of Yosemite Village, unveiled today two prototype guest rooms on the cutting edge of environmentally-friendly interior architecture and design. The two rooms at The Lodge are the first of their kind in Yosemite National Park.
Reflective of Delaware North Companies’ award-winning GreenPath® environmental stewardship platform, the two eco-friendly guest rooms were designed with an eye toward an eventual roll-out throughout the Lodge’s 245 rooms. Every design selection, from insulation and paint to textiles and light fixtures, was evaluated based on its proximity, sustainability, recycled content and resilience. The prototypes offer an opportunity for Delaware North Companies and the National Park Service to evaluate the success of the overall design, research the durability of eco-friendly products and gather guest feedback from those who stay in the rooms. An additional goal is the eventual certification of Yosemite Lodge at the Falls as a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) and Energy Star property.
“A great deal of research and technology is integrated in these rooms, most of it working quietly just beneath the surface,” said Keith Erikson, General Manager of Yosemite Lodge at the Falls. “Our guests won’t notice many of these elements, but when they cross the threshold and drop their bags, their rooms will be welcoming, comfortable, affordable and, we hope, inspiring.”
In designing the prototype eco-friendly rooms for Delaware North Companies Parks & Resorts, Richard Kollath and Edward McCann of Kollath McCann Creative Services considered each element of a standard hotel guest room and found a way to make it as eco-friendly as possible. The following outlines every aspect of the guest rooms, and can double as a resource guide for those looking to incorporate green design elements into their home living environment.
A new electronic key card entry system integrates with the room’s energy controls, using a lock that requires 50% fewer batteries than older locks, with the batteries lasting for nearly four years. After unlocking the room, the guest places the key card in a wall slot just inside the door. With a faint click, the key card activates select circuits that power lighting and electronics. When the guest removes the key from the slot upon leaving, the room reverts to its unoccupied, energy-saver state, automatically reducing the demand for power to circuits that feed the television and accessory lights. (Coupled with a wireless sensor, this approach to energy management has been shown in European hotel case studies to reduce demand and energy expenses by upwards of 40%.)
The blown-in cellulose now in the walls of the two prototypes at Yosemite Lodge increases heating and cooling efficiency and reduces sounds from adjacent rooms. With an R-value similar to fiberglass but nearly three times as dense, the insulation is made with locally available materials – up to 85% recycled newspaper and 15% boric acid as fire retardant – and has the highest recycled content of any insulation available.
Inefficient single-pane and jalousie windows have been replaced with double pane windows that will help guests feel warmer – or cooler – while conserving energy. The exterior aluminum cladding has a baked-on, electrostatically applied paint finish, minimizing the need for future maintenance.
Toilets alone account for nearly 30% of indoor water consumption; older, inefficient toilets, faucets and shower heads are responsible for most of the water wasted in American homes and hotels. The new shower and bath fixtures in the Yosemite Lodge prototype rooms are high-performing, water-efficient models that will save nearly 5,000 gallons of water each year, using just 1.28 gallons per flush.
Handsome new steel wall sconces, pendants and floor lamps in the guest rooms were manufactured in nearby Washington. All use energy-saving compact fluorescent bulbs, which use one-third the energy and last roughly ten times longer than standard incandescent bulbs.
The rooms are painted using California-based Kelly-Moore paints with low- and zero-VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds).
With fibers produced in part from recycled plastic bottles and a backing derived from old tires, the carpet tiles in the guest rooms add warmth and comfort underfoot with a small carbon footprint. The 12-inch porcelain tiles used in the vanity and bath areas contain 40% recycled materials and will provide many years of service.
Vanity & Countertop
Produced just outside San Francisco, the countertop is made of 85% glass collected from curbside recycling bins. This striking surface alerts guests that there’s something different and special about their room, especially when paired with drinking glasses made from wine bottles. Additionally, wall-mounted soap and lotion dispensers eliminate clutter and waste.
Richard Kollath designed a line of Old Hickory furnishings unique to the green rooms at Yosemite Lodge at the Falls featuring distinctive, inset bow tie joinery. Like other Old Hickory furnishings and accessories in the Yosemite Valley, this rustic, durable collection is made using mid-western hickory saplings – the hardest wood in North America (30% harder than oak) and a renewable source that continually re-sprouts from the same stump. Produced in a factory employing sustainable practices and water-based glues, Old Hickory furniture has lasted for decades in hospitality settings.
The 40-inch flat-screen SONY Eco Series HDTV selected for the guest rooms features a high-efficiency HCFL backlight that provides optimum brightness and reduces power consumption up to 50 % in comparison to Energy Star requirements, using only 90 watts, which is as little as an incandescent light bulb. The television’s Presence Sensor detects when a guest has stepped away from the TV and turns the picture off. If after 30 minutes the sensor still doesn’t detect movement, the set turns off completely. And, an energy-saving switch reduces power consumption of the TV to zero when the set is turned off.
Kollath McCann’s prototype divided recycling caddies were also made by Old Hickory.
Bedding & Linens
The American-made, 100% organic cotton sheets were produced in a solar-powered factory in Rhode Island. The bed’s blanket cover, throw and window drapery are made from washable cotton matelasse.
Follow the link to view the room: http://www.youtube.com/v/GeZ15imH0Iw
Follow the link to view the room: http://www.youtube.com/v/GeZ15imH0Iw
ABOUT DELAWARE NORTH COMPANIES PARKS & RESORTS AT YOSEMITE, INC.
The Ahwahnee, Yosemite Lodge at the Falls and Wawona Hotel are operated by Delaware North Companies Parks & Resorts at Yosemite, an affiliate of Delaware North Companies and an authorized National Park Service concessioner overseeing lodging, dining, guest recreation activities and transportation services in Yosemite.
GreenPath®, which began in Yosemite National Park over a decade ago, has since expanded to Delaware North Companies’ 200-plus venues across the world. A sophisticated environmental stewardship program actively engaging employees at every level, GreenPath® ensures environmental considerations are incorporated into all business decisions. The program’s initiatives are showcased in comprehensive recycling, composting and other waste-diversion programs, energy and water conservation, employee and guest interpretation and education, sustainable, local and organic food policies, strategic planning and partnerships, product purchasing and fuel consumption. As a result, Delaware North Companies is one of the first hospitality companies in the United States – and the first operating in a national park – to earn 14001 environmental management registration in the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), a worldwide federation of national standards from some 140 countries.
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Photographs available upon request.