A LEED Project: Westin Element Hotel

In keeping with our effort to diversify our portfolio we have recently taken on the landscape design of the 3000 sq. ft. courtyard at the Westin Element hotel currently under construction in Park Meadows. Not unlike other projects we have done, the landscape at the Element will be LEED certified with a water efficiency credit and a sustainable sites credit. We’re proud to be on board with the design of the first LEED certified hotel in Colorado. We were recommended for the project by YRG Sustainability (yrgconsultants.com), the LEED consultant for Casey Middle School—another DC design.

Todd from our office is the key designer for this project and is also a LEED Accredited Professional. While the design of urban gathering spaces such as this are a large portion of our portfolio, Todd notes that previous plazas and public gardens were usually on school campuses and within community parks. For this project Todd and others at the firm will incorporate hardscape shaded by native trees, planted vegetation, and some grass to create the three tiered plaza that will serve as the hotel’s courtyard, pool entryway, fire pit gathering area, and outdoor dining space.

Carol (one of the four principals here) and Todd intend to focus on Colorado climate-friendly vegetation in keeping with LEED’s principal of limiting water usage. This means using plants, trees, and flowers that are native to the area and therefore well accustomed to drought. Furthermore, the design will limit the use of thirsty grasses such as the popular Kentucky Bluegrass.

Congregating spaces are definitive of the community building designs that are the DC hallmark. The Festival Plazas in Winter Park and Louisville are great examples of this. The renovations of the Trumbo Plaza on CU’s campus are even more exemplary of how our designs of public spaces define and invite social gathering. This focus is continuing with Castle Rock’s Festival Plaza, another upcoming project that will challenge us to once again apply and expand our concept of design. Check back for an update on that project.

Visit Element Hotel’s website