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Ritz Carlton Charlotte to Unveil Environmental Firsts

From living roof to plastic bottle uniforms - First environmentally-built hotel for Ritz Carlton, First for Charlotte

A long list of eco-friendly firsts will be unveiled when The Ritz-Carlton, Charlotte opens this October, from a green, vegetated roof to employee uniforms made of fabric derived from regenerated plastic bottle materials.

The first environmentally-built hotel for The Ritz-Carlton brand and the first for greater Charlotte, the 146-room Ritz-Carlton has been designed to attain LEED® Gold certification in two distinct categories.

The hotel will seek LEED Gold New Construction certification once it opens, to be followed by LEED Gold Existing Building certification a year thereafter. This dual certification would set a new benchmark for the luxury hotel industry. LEED Certification is awarded to select properties based on their site sustainability, water efficiency, energy use and atmosphere, materials and resources, indoor environmental quality, and innovation in design for a new building or innovation in operations for an existing building. 

Highlighting its eco-conscious features, The Ritz-Carlton, Charlotte’s use of a sophisticated water purification system will divert 73,000 plastic bottles from landfills, save more than 104 barrels of oil, eliminate nearly 49 tons of CO2 emissions and save almost 605,000,000 BTUs of electricity each year.  The hotel’s state-of-the-art air transfer system will efficiently circulate outside air into guest rooms and suites, and its bi-level penthouse Wellness Center will utilize only organic and vegan spa products. Hotel meeting space will feature recycled aluminum conference tables, and parking will be complimentary for Hybrid vehicles.

“Attainment of LEED building and operational certification is a first for the top-tier hotel-brand sector,” said David Rothwell, General Manager. “Our environmental and sustainable practices have been developed as meaningful guest amenities, offering a next generation in guest well-being. We look forward to delivering a supremely comfortable yet environmentally-mindful guest experience, carefully integrating green and sustainable practices with the rigorous standards of The Ritz-Carlton brand.”

The Ritz-Carlton, Charlotte sustainability highlights:

•    A green, vegetated rooftop is planted on the hotel to reduce the “urban heat island effect”.  The green roof reflects heat, thus reducing the amount of energy needed for air conditioning.  It also slows rain runoff and insulates the rooftop, keeping the building cooler overall.

•    More than 80% of construction waste is recycled, diverting 3,900 tons of debris from landfills as of April 2009.

•    Air quality is improved by circulating large amounts of outside air into the guestrooms (60 cubic feet per minute).

•    Water usage is reduced by 35% by installing high-efficiency plumbing fixtures, saving 700,000 gallons of water in the first year alone.

•    The hotel will contract with a green power supplier to purchase 35% of the building’s electricity use for two years.

•    The hotel building uses 30% less energy than a conventional hotel through use of ultra-efficient materials and the latest construction technology.

•    A Natura Water Filtration program is in place to provide and contain purified still and sparkling water.  The system reduces the hotel’s carbon footprint by decreasing its usage of bottled water, thereby reducing the energy and resources needed to transport, store, and dispose of plastic bottles.

•    150 bicycle parking spaces are provided for hotel guests.

•    Complimentary bicycle usage and Bike Valet services are available for guests to enjoy while in Uptown Charlotte.

•    Local complimentary transportation will be provided to guests on weekday mornings, with a Hybrid vehicle to be used for this service.

•    Hybrid and electric vehicles will receive complimentary valet parking.

•    All leather products utilized in the hotel were created with recycled leather.

•    The hotel will donate unused food to Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina.

•    A comprehensive recycling program will be visible throughout the hotel.

•    Members of the hotel’s Education Center for Sustainable Practices will highlight green features for guests. Also planned is a sustainable guest speaker series and environmental outreach programs for students of all ages.

•    The hotel will conduct regular community activities focused on environmental conservation. The hotel’s pre-opening team has already led a city clean-up project, and upcoming activities include community recycling days for consumer electronics, used athletic shoes and bicycles.

Valere Tjolle


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