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JMBM’s Hospitality Attorneys with case studies of the compelling economics of Green Hotel Development by Gary Golla of SERA

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30 May 2008
Hospitality Attorneys on green hotel development. We have a rich library of articles on green hotel development here at (Just go to the blog, search down the right hand side for “Topics” and then click on “Green Hotels.”). But as we now publish the DVDs from our recent conference on green hotels — which are free to all conference attendees — we thought many of our readers would like to see the major PowerPoint presentations from our high-powered speakers, so we have published them here for your benefit. You will not want to miss this series of important presentations! Here is the presentation from Gary Golla of SERA.

Gary Golla is an Architect and Associate with SERA Architects in Portland, Oregon. SERA is a 90-person employee-owned Architecture, Planning, and Interiors firm with a special focus on sustainable design and development. Gary has 14 years of experience in architecture, much of it focused on hospitality design. His portfolio includes over 2,000 built guestrooms ranging from a 900-room convention center hotel to a 50-room ski resort. Gary is a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Accredited Professional and has several LEED registered projects in design and construction. Among those is a 331-room Starwood Luxury Collection Hotel and a 256-room Courtyard by Marriott, both designed with the goal of LEED Silver. Gary Golla can be reached at (503) 445-7361 or

Branded luxury collection property rated LEED Silver for 0.25% cost premium, and 30% ROI, with 28% savings in energy, water and sewage — for life!

The final analysis shows a 1.2% soft cost and hard cost premium for the project to pursue LEED Silver for The Nines. After factoring in the incentives, the premium is reduced to 0.25%. The energy and water cost savings cover that remaining premium in 19 months — and after 10 years, the property will have saved over one million dollars in operating costs. This represents a 30% return on investment considering Net Present Value over 10 years.

The property will benefit from a 28% reduction in energy costs and 28% reduction in water and sewer charges. It will also provide a healthy indoor environment to guests and employees. The green initiatives that will be achieved and verified via LEED certification will set the property apart from others. It will give the property the ability to gain market share from the growing number of groups and individuals who are concerned about the environmental performance of the hotels they choose.

The Nines – Starwood Luxury Collection case study

The following summarizes a case study for The Nines, a Starwood Luxury Collection property developed by Sage Hospitality of Denver. The study quantifies the cost premium for building to LEED Silver (above the cost of a doing the same hotel, on the same site, without pursuing LEED certification). For example, the credit for Public Transportation Access was considered “zero cost” because the site met the requirement. However, the Bicycle Storage and Changing Room credits called for program space and equipment not typically in the program, therefore a cost was assessed. For mechanical equipment the cost delta between a system that would meet building code versus the selected efficient system, was considered the cost premium. Both hard and soft costs were analyzed. Incentives and utility cost reduction paybacks were also factored in.

The future of green building from Gary Golla and Lisa Zangerle

Shortly after his presentation at JMBM’s Hotel Developers Conference, Gary and Lisa Zangerle, a senior interior designer at SERA, gave the following presentation at HD Expo.

This presentation covers:

Negative perceptions of green hospitality and the current reality of green properties today that are achieving high levels of environmental performance along with high levels of guest comfort
The green design process — some of the tools and techniques that can help boost success and reduce cost impacts
The future of green building with recent initiatives like the Living Building Challenge and the 2030 Challenge
Future trends for building stock applied to current guestroom numbers — showing that by 2030 over 75% of guestroom stock in the US will be either new stock or existing buildings with major renovation.

[Gary concludes that, if hotels follow general trends, 6 million guestrooms will offer the opportunity for those who design and deliver hospitality projects to make better performing buildings.]

Thank you Gary.

JMBM’s Hotel Developers Conference

For the past five years, the Global Hospitality Group® of Jeffer Mangels Butler and Marmaro LLP has presented The Hotel Developers Conference™. Each year, this high level conference focuses on a current, cutting-edge issues such as resort development, condo hotels, and hotel mixed-use. In 2008, the conference, supported by UNLV and the USGBC, Nevada chapter, was devoted solely to green hotel development, renovation and operation.

Some of the great presentations from this series by the hospitality lawyers at JMBM include the following:

* Hospitality Lawyer Talks with The Ambrose Collection’s Deirdre Wallace on Going Green with an Existing Building

* Compelling economics of green hotels by Gary Golla – going LEED Silver with a luxury hotel only costs 1/4% premium and provides 30% ROI plus 28% savings on energy, water and sewage for life of building.

* Saving money by going LEED Platinum by Kip Richardson
* How to get LEED certification and make it pay(harvesting all the incentives) by Lynn Simon
* Beyond LEED: The Future of Sustainable Design by Kip Richardson
* The Orchards — Green Case studies in green hotel development and renovation by Stefan Mühle
* Demystifying LEED by Howard Wolff
* EPA Energy Star and other resources available to hotels by Stuart Brodsky

And there are many more valuable articles at, particularly under the Topic of “Green Hotels.”

This is Jim Butler, author of and hotel lawyer, signing off. We’ve done more than $87 billion of hotel transactions and more than 100 hotel mixed-used deals in the last 5 years alone. Who’s your hotel lawyer?

Our Perspective. We represent developers, owners and lenders. We have helped our clients as business and legal advisors on more than $125 billion of hotel transactions, involving more than 4,700 properties all over the world. For more information, please contact Jim Butler at or 310.201.3526.

Jim Butler is one of the top hospitality attorneys in the world. GOOGLE “hotel lawyer” or “hotel mixed-use” or “condo hotel lawyer” and you will see why.

Jim devotes 100% of his practice to hospitality, representing hotel owners, developers and lenders. Jim leads JMBM’s Global Hospitality Group® — a team of 50 seasoned professionals with more than $87 billion of hotel transactional experience, involving more than 3,900 properties located around the globe. In the last 5 years alone, Jim and his team have assisted clients with more than 100 hotel mixed-use projects — frequently integrated with energizing lifestyle elements.

Jim and his team are more than “just” great hotel lawyers. They are also hospitality consultants and business advisors. They are deal makers. They can help find the right operator or capital provider. They know who to call and how to reach them.

Jim is frequently quoted as an expert on hotel issues by national and industry publications such as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, Forbes, BusinessWeek, and Hotel Business. He is the Conference Chairman of The Hotel Developers Conference™ and Meet the Money®.

Contact him at or 310.201.3526. For his views on current industry issues, visit

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