|The Omni Dallas Hotel. Photo: 5G Studio Collaborative, llc
The Omni Dallas Hotel, which opened its doors on 11/11/11, received LEED Gold New Construction (NC) certification in May 2012. The hotel claims it is only LEED Gold hotel in Texas and the largest LEED Gold hotel in the U.S. outside of Las Vegas. The hotel says the designation was made possible by the development and execution of a highly disciplined plan that included the use of recycled and regionally sourced materials, reduced construction pollution and water conservation initiatives. Upon opening, the hotel also instituted practices to operate at LEED Gold standards.
"The Omni Dallas Hotel is living up to its expectations in every way," says Mayor Michael S. Rawlings. "We promised to create a hotel that added to downtown development and brought in more convention business all in a sustainable manner, and we are proud that with great teamwork, we have surpassed our goal for LEED certification."
Developer Jack Matthews of Matthews Southwest says, "Clearly we had a mandate from the City of Dallas to achieve LEED Silver status. It is a tribute to our team's professionalism and hard work that we were able to exceed expectations."
Examples of sustainability efforts during the design and construction project include:
• The construction team employed an aggressive recycling program for the removal of construction waste.
• The interior design for the hotel's restaurant, Texas Spice, included reclaimed timber and brick. Certified wood makes up 50 percent of the wood-based material to encourage environmentally responsible forest management.
• The hotel's design reduces the amount of storm water run-off with a 25,000-gallon cistern to capture water as a means of irrigation in lieu of city water. The northwest corner of the property features a rain garden designed to help with run-off. The water softener system is tied to the cooling tower and reduces water and chemical usage.
• Roof materials feature solar reflective indexes to help with heat island effects.
• Systems for lighting and thermal control include guest rooms equipped with a key switching system. When a guest puts the room key into a slot by the door, it activates lighting and HVAC systems. When removed, the HVAC system sets back to a preset temperature and the lights automatically shut off.
The project was overseen by numerous LEED accredited professionals, ranging from the design/builders staff to various engineers and consultants. Balfour/Russell/Pegasus, the construction company responsible for the project, hired a LEED consultant to ensure the project met the requirements established by the U.S. Green Building Council.
"The remarkable efforts put forth by every team member who has a hand in keeping the project focused on sustainability led to this significant milestone," said Ed Netzhammer, managing director of the Omni Dallas Hotel. "We are thrilled with this acknowledgement and look forward to continuing to be a sustainability leader in the hospitality segment."