November 17 was a day to celebrate for Syracuse, N.Y.-based Woodbine Group. It was then that the company learned that its 58-room Hotel Skyler had earned LEED Platinum certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. LEED Platinum is a rare feat as only two other hotels in the United States -- the Proximity Hotel in Greensboro, N.C., and the Bardessono in Yountville, Calif. -- have earned the designation. According to Lynee Sauer, business manager for Woodbine Group, the road to LEED Platinum was more than a year and a half long; the company first registered for LEED on March 24, 2009. "It feels really good to have gone through the process," Sauer says.
"We took a piece of Syracuse's history and reclaimed it," adds Tom Fernandez, director of marketing and product development for Woodbine Group.
Positioned at the center of the Syracuse University campus, Golisano Children's Hospital, Upstate Medical Center, and Crouse Hospital, Hotel Skyler was once Temple Adath Yeshurun -- constructed in 1921 -- and later a home for a theater group. The property originally was set to be high end apartments and lofts until the recent recession hit.
Geothermal Heating & Cooling System
Hotel Skyler, a boutique property, features a geothermal heating and cooling system. Sixteen vertical wells were dug just adjacent to the hotel to, as Sauer explains, "harness the steady temperature of the earth." Each well is 499 feet deep and there are 68 water-to-air heat pumps. Signage inside the hotel helps educate guests about how the geothermal system works.
LED lighting in public spaces and compact fluorescents in guestrooms further enhance the hotel's energy efficiency. A key card-based guestroom energy management system ensures that lighting as well as the heating and cooling system is powered down when guests are not in their rooms. Only the guestroom corridor light and a couple of outlets remain "on" when the guest removes the key card from the card slot located in the guestroom entry area.
Low- and no-flow fixtures will save water -- about 500,000 gallons annually -- and pervious payment in the parking lot and entry way will ensure that rainwater enters the aquifer and not the storm water management system.