College Park Marriott Hotel & Conference Center, a property adjacent to the University of Maryland, has achieved Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum certification from the U.S. Green Building Council — LEED’s highest level of certification. The designation makes College Park Marriott one of just four LEED Platinum U.S. hotels.
The hotel’s Platinum certification follows the completion of an extensive multi-year renovation of meeting and event space, guest rooms and public areas that emphasized green building techniques and enhanced eco-friendly practices in daily operations. This new designation highlights College Park Marriott’s longstanding commitment to preserving the environment. In 2004, the hotel was North America’s first LEED-certified hotel. It’s also a Maryland Green Travel Partner and a 2015 TripAdvisor GreenLeader.
“As the nation’s first LEED-certified hotel — and now one of the first to achieve Platinum certification — we’re proud to engage in a variety of eco-friendly hospitality practices,” says Mike McCarthy, general manager, College Park Marriott.
According to investigators at the Cornell Center for Hospitality Research, hotels embrace LEED certification as a way to inform guests who are concerned about what hotels are doing to limit their carbon footprints, and to improve operational savings and revenues.
To qualify for LEED Platinum certification, the hotel was evaluated for key sustainability features including water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, construction waste management, indoor air quality and close proximity to the College Park Metro Station and other public transportation.
Material selection and energy efficiency were important considerations during the 2012-2015 redesign of 237 guest rooms and suites, public areas and 40,000 square feet of flexible function space in the College Park hotel. Low-flow bathroom fixtures and high-efficiency lighting and HVAC are among the upgrades. More than 90 percent of construction waste from the project was diverted from landfills to recycling options.
College Park Marriott’s dramatic transformation also features: The Common, a new three-meal modern American pub and kitchen offering locally sourced cuisine and artisan drinks; new 6,700 square-foot Potomac Ballroom; renovated 8,200 square-foot Chesapeake Ballroom; new 250-seat conference dining room; 18 redecorated meeting rooms; and reinvented Marriott Hotels Greatroom, business center and fitness center. In 2014, the Maryland green hotel’s name was changed from Marriott Inn and Conference Center University of Maryland University College to reflect its new, streamlined décor and technology designed to meet the needs of the modern mobile, social lifestyle.
There are 19 LEED Platinum hotels in the world. College Park Marriott is the only hotel in Maryland to earn this certification. Three other U.S. LEED Platinum hotels are located in California, North Carolina and New York, according to the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). For a searchable database of LEED projects, visit the USGBC’s Green Building Information Gateway at www.usgbc.org/gbig.