Full-Featured Green Hotel Opens Soon

Thanks to a $14 million renovation, the Sheraton Rittenhouse Square in Philadelphia will be at the forefront of environmental design in the hospitality market. Set to open by the end of this year, the 192-room hotel will occupy part of the 72-year old, 17-story mixed use Rittenhouse Regency building.

The hotel is making indoor air quality (IAQ) one of its hallmarks. Its ventilation system will provide filtered outside air to occupied rooms 24 hours a day. Smoking will be prohibited throughout the hotel. Materials were selected with IAQ in mind, including paint and carpeting. Furniture is made from certified wood and only water-based glues are used. The bed sheets and curtains are made from organic cotton.

At the center of the six-story atrium will be 60-foot bamboo trees. Bamboo was chosen because they take in carbon dioxide and produce oxygen at a 35 percent higher rate than most other plants. “When a person is having breakfast in the atrium, the high amount of oxygen makes it feel like a ski mountain,” says Barry Dimson, president of EcoSmart Properties, one of developers. Lobby flooring is also made from bamboo.

Dimson says because they were able to market these features, the hotel should reach full occupancy within a year, rather than the standard three years.

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