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Cavallo Point - The Lodge At The Golden Gate

March 3, 2009 By: Travel Agent Central Contributor


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Cavallo Point - the Lodge at the Golden Gate is pursuing certification under the United States Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program. The lodge’s exact LEED certification level, if any, will be determined around September 2008.

In addition, Cavallo Point Lodge is anticipated to meet the Green Seal Environmental Standard for U.S. Lodging Properties, which pertain to waste minimization, water and energy efficiency, hazardous substances handling, and environmentally responsible purchasing. Since 1995, Green Seal has partnered with the lodging industry, the nation’s second largest employer, to promote environmentally responsible products and practices within lodging properties, by focusing on environmental efforts that both improve the bottom line and benefit the environment.

Green building elements at Cavallo Point Lodge include state-of-the-art unisolar panels fully integrated into metal roofing, low VOC glues, paints and carpets, and green building materials (denim insulation, extensive use of bamboo and recycled woods, and low-E glass, for example).

The property’s ‘historic core’ features native plants and seeds from the watershed, grown by the National Park Service (NPS). These noninvasive and drought-tolerant species include the sticky monkey bush and California poppy. In addition, almost two acres of mixed nonnative grass-scrubland will be replanted with native species. Consistent with NPS policy and with the assistance of the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy, approximately 58,000 plants that are genetic natives of the Fort Baker watershed will be grown in the nearby Marin Headlands and transplanted at Cavallo Point Lodge.

Open space is maximized to encourage wildlife inhabitation. While over 50 percent is considered positive from the standpoint of the Standards on Historic Rehabilitation, Cavallo Point Lodge substantially exceeds this. And because light affects wildlife, Cavallo Point Lodge will use low-level and minimal lighting outdoors, for example, using only safety lights to illuminate steps, not the entire pathway.

Cavallo Point Lodge is implementing an eco-sensitive storm water design: instead of a drain to sewers then to the ocean, six infiltration zones on the site will purify water, reduce erosion and protect ocean waters. Water efficiency landscaping will be used. Based on the results of a two-year on-site study of cultivation and turf species, landscaping was chosen based on plants’ drought-tolerance and hardiness.

Indoors, water is conserved by low-flow, dual-flush toilets. Typically, a hotel uses 33 percent of its water in the laundry, since linens (sheets and towels) are an ongoing requirement for the hospitality industry. However, Cavallo Point Lodge expects to cut it water usage by 65 percent through use of a water reclamation system.

Each guest room will have a recyclables collection bin. Recycling will be done property-wide, including offices, the kitchen and restaurant. A comprehensive recycling plan for paper, plastic, aluminum, etc. will be in place prior to opening.

The lodge will use glass or paper whenever possible instead of plastic. In guest rooms, for example, a pitcher of filtered water will be provided with glasses that can be washed and reused. As an alternative to non-degradable plastic packaging, the lodge plans to use products that are renewable, sustainable, compostable and biodegradable. These include SpudWare, BagasseWare and other biodegradable products made of renewable resources.

The Cavallo Point Lodge property is reusing Fort Baker’s historic buildings, which are built in the Colonial Revival style. In fact, 100 percent of the building shells and approximately 75 percent of the building interior fabric such as walls and floors will be retained or repurposed. These efforts extend the life cycle of existing building stock, conserve resources, and reduce waste and environmental impacts related to materials manufacturing and transport.

Energy conservation is another priority at Cavallo Point Lodge. Photovoltaic panels have been installed on 12 of the 14 new buildings, which will generate a substantial portion of these buildings’ energy demands. An energy measurement and verification plan will regulate consumption and provide for on-going accountability of performance and ensure energy-related systems perform as intended. Additional benefits include reduced energy use, lower operating costs, reduced contractor callbacks, better building documentation and improved occupant well-being. To help defray energy costs, the lodge plans to buy renewable energy credits. This will be achieved through contracts with grid-source, renewable energy providers in the form of renewable energy certificates that encourage delivery and usage of renewable energy technology on a net-zero pollution basis. Such green power is derived from solar, wind, geothermal, biomass or low-impact hydro sources.

Cavallo Point Lodge will be designated as a non-smoking facility. The lodge will make extensive use of natural or energy-efficient ventilation, including ceiling fans and windows that open to cool air with bay breezes. No guest room will have air conditioning. The property will develop and implement an indoor air quality management plan. This will include ways to protect the mechanical parts and ventilation from getting dusty, and flushing all rooms before occupancy to ensure comfort and well being of occupants.

Cavallo Point Lodge is home to the Mission Blue butterfly (Icaricia icarioides missionensis), which received federal protection as an endangered species in 1976. To help keep the habitat pristine, a post and cable fence surrounds the area to ensure hikers do not intrude.

Cavallo Point Lodge meeting rooms are named for local endangered species, including the Mission Blue and Calliope butterflies, and most will feature operable windows to take advantage of the national park site’s pristine coastal air.


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