Ritz-Carlton, Portland earns LEED Gold certification

The Ritz-Carlton, Portland has achieved achievement of LEED Gold certification, achieved through efforts to build a sustainably conscious building and enact environmentally friendly operations. In addition to the LEED Gold certification, the hotel’s unique biophilic design and thoughtfully incorporated sustainability initiatives further the downtown Portland hotel’s commitment to protecting the environment with design, energy efficiency and water conservation.

The hotel’s biophilic design is a key component to its sustainability philosophy. Every aspect of this pioneering property showcases the abundance of natural beauty that only Oregon can provide. Many design features bring to life the sights, sounds and soothing rhythms of water found in and around the area, whether it is artwork, custom carpeting or lighting effects. 

Another key biophilic theme is materials drawn from the local ecology such as woods deep in maple tones or stones of jasper, obsidian and agate, all of which are symbolically showcased to pay tribute to the ever-changing weather and landscape patterns of the area. Even the building’s exterior white base is inspired by the columnar basalt formations in the region and the lobby mimics Portland’s lush Forest Park with double height, tree-like vertical walls and a filtered light effect.

“It has been crucial to the construction of The Ritz-Carlton, Portland and a key initiative in operations to prioritize sustainability by implementing environmentally conscientious measures,” General Manager Marie Browne said in a statement. “We are incredibly proud of the sustainability efforts happening at the property and the way they have allowed the hotel to draw inspiration from the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest while also working to protect it.”

Highlights of the property’s sustainability initiatives include:

  • Sustainable design: Select floors of the 35-story building feature outdoor terraces that showcase an eco-roof, the hotel’s most notable sustainable design feature. The eco-roof is planted with low-water-requirement native and adaptive plant species that capture and store rainwater within the roof soil. This eco-roof reduces the urban heat island effect and provides Portland with more green space, allowing heat to escape instead of being held in hardscape.
  • Water conversation efforts: Water use reduction and using a sustainable storm water system are also key components to the property’s environmental efforts. The use of smart weather-based controllers to irrigate ensures 42 percent of water usage will be reduced from typical baseline designs. Greenery at the hotel will only be watered when necessary and the property’s use of native and adaptive plant species establishes the flora to need less water throughout their lifecycles.
  • Energy efficiency efforts: The Ritz-Carlton, Portland earned LEED Gold certification with energy efficiency measures derived from a building envelope and mechanical system, which reduce energy usage by a modeled 13 percent from a typical baseline code building. The building will also use energy-efficient LED lighting, as well as low-flow, hot water heater fixtures resulting in less hot water usage overall. The hotel’s proximity to local transportation and offering of ample bike space storage also reduces carbon emissions and encourages guests to reduce car use and benefit from Portland’s extensive bike network.
  • Building and construction efforts: From the onset of this historic construction project, sustainability initiatives have been instrumental to both the construction of the building and procedures. During the project, 75 percent of construction waste generated was recycled and diverted from landfills. Low-emitting building materials including paint, insulation, and composite wood and flooring were installed throughout the building. The Ritz-Carlton, Portland also worked with manufacturers and contractors who are passionate about sustainability efforts and measuring their carbon footprint.

Ongoing Sustainability Efforts

The Ritz-Carlton Brand has worked with the luxury bath amenity brand Diptyque to provide refillable shampoo, body wash and conditioners within each guest bathroom all encased in beautiful glass bottles. Guests are also encouraged to reduce laundry requests with linens in water conservation efforts. Each hotel room features trash cans with recycling options to encourage proper separation of waste, as well.