In keeping with the theme of Connected Urban Development Global Conference 2008-Connecting Cities: Innovation for Sustainability-Cisco and the city of San Francisco employed several protocols and practices to make the conference environmentally-friendly, leaving zero-negative impact on the ecology of San Francisco and the Bay Area.
The Orchard Garden Hotel is built to nationally accepted standards for green buildings developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), which awarded the hotel the coveted “Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design certification for energy use, lighting, water, materials, and other sustainable strategies.
The Orchard Garden Hotel debuts San Francisco’s first guestroom key-card energy-control system, similar to European and Asian systems. Green practices also includes an in-room recycling system, chemical-free cleaning products, organic bath products, compact fluorescent light bulbs, and a 100 percent tobacco-free environment.
Architecture International designed the hotel, which was built by Swinerton Builders. Ecofriendly construction materials include concrete made with fly ash, a byproduct of recycled coal, and wood harvested in a sustainable manner and certified by the Forest Stewardship Council. Diverting debris from landfill disposal by redirecting recyclable material back to the manufacturing process was one environmentally sustainable building practice used during construction.
Architecture International worked with Luna Textiles to develop drapery, sheers, upholstery, coverlets, and shower curtains. All fabrics are made from recycled polyester and other textiles without chemicals and are machine-washed to avoid the chemicals that come with dry cleaning. Organic, citrus-based cleaning products are used throughout the hotel.
The building is well insulated, resulting in less energy used for heating and air-conditioning, and quieter guest rooms. Low-flow water faucets and toilets help conserve water, while specially designed carpets from Bentley Prince Street include recycled content and have low-chemical emissions.
The Orchard Garden Hotel is two blocks from the Powell Street Cable Car line, with easy access to shopping at Union Square.
The Orchard Hotel has registered for LEED Certification for Existing Buildings from the USGBC. It is just steps from the Powell Street cable car line, two blocks from Union Square, and halfway up Nob Hill.
Our conference caterer recently instituted a composting program in its prep kitchen, reducing the company’s landfill waste by 80 percent. Special bins for food scraps are located at each prep station, and food waste is collected in biodegradable bags that Alameda County converts to compost. Additionally, the catering company sends all water, wine, and liquor bottles to a local regional recycling center. The prep chefs also use metal “tasting spoons” that are rewashable, instead of using environmentally unfriendly plastic ones.