Spokane’s Davenport Hotel and Tower has always been ahead of the curve.
Long before environmental concerns were on most people’s minds, founder Louis Davenport introduced farsighted energy saving measures to his hotel, opened in 1914. The Davenport was the first hotel to condition its air so that cleaning efforts were minimized. The hotel featured the first central vacuum system in a hotel, allowing one set of motors and filters that cleaned all 405 rooms; and it was also first to design air walls in its ballrooms so several events could be held while heating or cooling only one space.
And the innovation continues today.
On May 5, the Davenport Tower received LEED Gold Certification from the U.S. Green Building Council, making it the only hotel in Washington to obtain Gold status and` one of only 33 hotels in the world with that designation. LEED is the USGBC’s leading rating system for designing and constructing the world’s greenest, most energy efficient, and high performing buildings.
“We are delighted with this news!” said Lynnelle Caudill, the Davenport’s managing director. “It was just over one year ago we set out to pursue LEED certification. We worked to improve our usage of energy, lighting, water and materials, and added a variety of other sustainable strategies. Owners Walt and Karen Worthy have a tremendous commitment to the environment and to the staff and guests of the hotel, who increasingly want to know what our efforts are in this area, this was absolutely the right thing to do.”
Among the Tower’s many unique, sustainable features are high efficiency water cooled chillers; high efficiency natural gas boilers; guestroom heat pumps; compact fluorescent bulbs; motion sensors for lights; low-emissive windows in all guestrooms; energy efficient elevators; automated energy control in each guestroom; vapor barrier insulated walls and ceilings insulated; extensive recycling throughout the hotel; and cloth hand towels instead of paper in public bathrooms.
“The Davenport Tower’s Gold LEED certification demonstrates tremendous green building leadership,” said Rick Fedrizzi, president, CEO and founding chair of the U.S. Green Building Council. “The urgency of [USGBC’s] mission has challenged the industry to move faster and reach further than ever before, and this serves as a prime example with just how much we can accomplish.”
Future plans for the hotel, an AWB member since 2004, include bringing the historic hotel building and the nearby Davenport-owned Hotel Lusso up to the same LEED Gold standard as the adjacent Davenport Tower.
“It amazes me how many meeting planners are making LEED certification a big part of them bringing a convention to a city,” said Matt Jensen, the Davenport’s marketing director. “They want to know that we’ve got LEED certified buildings where they’re meeting and in the hotels where they’re staying. In the future, you’re going to see more hotels moving up to LEED certification if they want to continue to play in the corporate travel market. It’s nice that the Davenport is at the front end of this trend.”