Green Signs in an Eco-Friendly Hotel
LEED® Gold Case Study
Inpro Corporation recently completed a sign project for a Fairfield Inn and Suites in Baltimore, Maryland. The hotel achieved LEED® Gold Certification making it the only hotel in Baltimore with this status. Novacryl® Photopolymer was chosen for the Braille signs because of the recycled content among the other advantage posed by using Novacryl®.
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An Eco-friendly Fairfield Inn
The Fairfield Inn and Suites, located on the site of the former Baltimore Brewing Company near the Inner Harbor in Baltimore, is the first of its kind.
From the heat-island reducing roof, to the courtyard lawn made from old tires, to the staff uniforms made from recycled plastic bottles, the Fairfield Inn in downtown Baltimore is green … really green. And when certification is complete, it hopes to be Baltimore’s only LEED® Gold hotel.
“We began the design discussion around a plan to simply build a ‘green’ hotel,” said General Manager Patrick Leary. “But when we weighed the benefit of going for a LEED certification, we decided to go for the Gold.” Certification of the Fairfield by the U.S. Green Building Council should be complete in January 2010.
The Fairfield Inn and Suites is located in the urban core of Baltimore, Maryland. City leaders are focused on revitalizing its neighborhood commercial corridors. The hotel is on President Street on the western edge of the Jonestown neighborhood, bordering dense multi-family residential neighborhoods to the north and east, and the central business district and the Inner Harbor to the west.
The development of this hotel contributes to achievement of the December 2003, Baltimore Inner Harbor Master Plan by Cooper, Robertson & Partners to, “Ensure existing and future development contributes to a dynamic, economically sustainable mixed-use district which contributes to the larger civic realm.”
The Fairfield Inn and Suites is located on the Baltimore Heritage Walk, a 3.2 mile (5 kilometer) walking trail through four centuries of American history. Jonestown (now the neighborhood) was established in 1732 and has been a mix of religious, industrial and residential buildings since it was laid out as twenty lots on ten acres on the east side of President Street (originally the Jones Falls).
In 1787, Thomas Peters built a brewery on a portion of this site, the earliest and largest industry in Jonestown. After construction, he took on Edward Johnson as a business partner. Mr. Johnson later became sole owner of the Brewery and Mayor of Baltimore. In 1814, Mary Pickersgill made the flag that inspired Francis Scott Key’s famous poem that later became our national anthem. The Flag House and Star Spangled Banner Museum, adjacent to the hotel, was Ms. Pickersgill’s home and place of business.
More recently, the site was the home of the Baltimore Brewing Company, famous in Baltimore for brewing DeGroen’s beer. Its grain silo and one of its brewing tanks were salvaged and, together, are being used to collect and store rainwater draining from the roof for landscape irrigation. A focal point of Brewer’s Park, a massive steel arbor was salvaged and has been reconstructed and re-installed in the hotel’s main entrance courtyard.
Sewn into the fabric of the city
The form of the Fairfield building recognizes the traditional scale and massing of the Jonestown neighborhood while also addressing the larger commercial scale of President Street. The hotel comprises the majority of the city block. A single-story ‘building’ forms the southeast edge of the courtyard: connecting the two guestroom wings; opening the courtyard to the sunlight and giving the guestrooms longer views. The green roof of this ‘building’ works with the courtyard and the entry court to manage the site’s storm water. This hotel has 154 guest rooms distributed throughout the complex.
Setting an Example
A moderately-priced “green” franchise hotel can play a pivotal role in educating the many who build, operate and visit. The hotel’s ownership and staff are striving to make this hotel a model of sustainable development and operations. The hotel showcases and explains the environmentally conscious features incorporated into its design and construction during the general manager’s daily tours and in its interaction with every guest.
The breakfast area is lit by solar tracking skylights and looks out onto the courtyard, turf is made of recycled tires and the plants are watered from the re-purposed grain silo/beer brewing tank standing in the courtyard. Guests use greenware biodegradable cups in their rooms, beverage koozies made from recycled material in the Tavern and have opportunities to recycle throughout the hotel. Behind the scenes, employees clean and maintain the building according to their “Green Housekeeping” protocol.
Even the interior signage offers a lower environmental impact. The Fairfield used InPro Corporations’s line of PETG photopolymer signs throughout the facility. In Pro’s photopolymer signs use a simple water wash during manufacturing, which eliminates pollution.
Summit Associates, the owner, is working to make this hotel a recognized leader providing a wonderful hospitality experience and a real learning experience focused on sustainable living and development.