Green Strides: Solar-Powered, Net-Zero Hotel Marcel New Haven Makes Its Debut
What is believed to be the first net-zero carbon emissions hotel in the U.S. recently opened its doors in New Haven, Conn. Unveiled on May 19 following a more than two-year renovation project, Hotel Marcel New Haven, Tapestry Collection by Hilton is an all-electric hotel that harnesses on-site renewable solar power sources to power its common areas, restaurant, laundry, meeting spaces and 165 guest rooms and suites.
Operated by Remington Hotels, the landmark property is expected to be the first Passive House-certified hotel in the country, as well as one of the few Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum-certified hotels in the U.S.
The fossil-fuel-free hotel is the brainchild of Bruce Redman Becker, lead architect, developer and owner of Becker + Becker, who purchased the building at the end of 2019 with a vision of reimagining it with sustainability as a key focus while preserving its rich and storied history.
Listed on the State and National Register of Historic Places, the iconic building was originally designed by Marcel Breuer and opened in 1970 as the Armstrong Rubber Company Headquarters. Becker + Becker, along with partner Dutch East Design, retained many design elements of the building’s Brutalist architecture, preserving its board-formed concrete, granite tile and focus on functionality, clean lines and geometric forms.
“We are all responsible for confronting the climate crisis, and that sense of obligation factored into every decision we made in creating Hotel Marcel New Haven,” Becker explained. “The opening of this revolutionary hotel, which is giving new life to a New Haven landmark, is a momentous occasion for travelers, the industry and the planet. Guests will be ensured a terrific hotel experience and can relax knowing that both they, and the environment, are being cared for during their stay.”
A Modernized Property and Eco-Friendly Destination
The hotel’s energy-saving features include a power-over-ethernet lighting system that reduces lighting energy use by more than 30%. There are repurposed building materials throughout, such as light fixtures and carefully restored wood-paneled walls in suites that were once the Armstrong executive offices and conference rooms, while extensive upgrades to enhance interior temperature control and air quality enable the building to use significantly less energy per square foot than most hotels, according to Hilton officials.
Meanwhile, triple-glazed windows providing ultra-efficient insulation keep guest room temperatures stable and greatly reduce noise levels, while built-in motorized sheer and blackout window shades help provide a better night’s sleep. Guests and travelers on-the-go also have the convenience of 12 Tesla Superchargers or universal level-two chargers for their electric vehicles.
Green Meetings and Dining Experiences
Divided between the first and ninth floors, the hotel’s 7,000 square feet of meeting and event spaces feature natural light, modern design and seamless technology, including The Forum, a 1,711-square-foot room with an attached 761-sq.-ft. function room on the first floor, and four 664-690-sq.-ft. meeting rooms and a 4,441-sq.-ft. ballroom with a glassed-in courtyard on the penthouse floor.
Individually crafted cocktails and sustainably sourced and curated menus are available for groups via the hotel’s American restaurant and lounge BLDG (pronounced “building”), offering locally-sourced menu items alongside biodynamic and organic wines. BLDG’s kitchen (as well as the hotel’s laundry room) runs on electricity instead of natural gas, using induction, an energy-efficient process that ensures a more precise and even heat while also creating a healthier kitchen environment for staff.
In addition to its on-site restaurant and bar, the hotel offers a grab-and-go station with sustainable snacks, design-focused gifts and a water filling station.
A Unique Landmark Joins the Tapestry Collection Portfolio
Hotel Marcel New Haven joins Hilton under its Tapestry Collection, an upscale portfolio of more than 70 handpicked original hotels with one-of-a-kind features and their own unique stories.
The property is also a leading example of a hotel development that advances Hilton’s Travel with Purpose program, an environmental, social and governance (ESG) strategy to drive responsible travel and tourism globally. According to Hilton officials, the company remains focused on paving the way toward a net-zero future and remains committed to partnering with its owners to help minimize carbon footprints and redefine sustainable travel.
“Hotel Marcel New Haven is a major milestone for the Tapestry Collection by Hilton brand as the first anticipated net-zero hotel in the U.S.,” said Jenna Hackett, global brand head, Tapestry Collection by Hilton. “Each Tapestry Collection property displays an original style and personality while also encouraging guests to explore local destinations. Hotel Marcel New Haven will connect travelers with the New Haven area while inspiring them to incorporate sustainability into every aspect of their stay.”