Hospitality For The Planet - Bruce Becker - Defining Hospitality - Episode # 134

Today's guest leads the charge of finding new ways to build and design sustainably. He’s responsible for the first zero emissions and passive house certified hotel in the United States. Our guest this week is none other than President at Becker + Becker Associates, Bruce Becker!
Bruce joins Dan Ryan from the Hotel Marcel in New Haven, Connecticut, for a conversation on how he is trailblazing the world of sustainable hotels. Bruce shares his motivations for the hotel, how other brands need to better incentivize sustainable building practices, and how he took on his first hotel project. 

  • Hospitality is about caring for both people and their environments. You can’t be generous with hospitality while polluting the planet. Hospitality means preserving the future while innovating in the present. 
  • Beyond the good for the planet, sustainable initiatives can save a hotel on budget. A lower energy bill can save you as much money as having an extra 20 rooms. For the Hotel Marcell, their initiatives add up to about $300,000 a year to their bottom line. 
  • Despite the operating benefits of more environmentally friendly options, many brands still have issues implementing them, as no one directly owns these initiatives. To solve this, brands need to appoint individuals to choose more sustainable options. 
  • When hotel designers are over budget, their first intention is to start cutting back on costs from different sections. Environmental tax credits and grants are a potent way to adopt new technology while making budgets more efficient.
  • When designing a hotel, it’s important to consider how each of the different functions interplay with each other. When you have over 100 rooms, you also need meeting rooms, lounge space, and open space. 
  • When looking to add solar to a hotel, building roof space can be a limiting factor. Covering parking spaces with solar panels offers a unique way to take advantage of existing space. A 4 story hotel has enough parking space to be 100% net zero.
  • While there are incentives for individual designers to adopt sustainable practices, there needs to be more pressure from brands. Much like a hotel can’t open until passing a safety inspection, brands should require a certain level of sustainability before opening. 

Quote of the Show:
  • “You have to have a holistic approach to taking care of people and their things and their environment and their planet.” - Bruce Becker


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Creators and Guests

Dan Ryan
Dan Ryan
Host of Defining Hospitality
Hospitality For The Planet - Bruce Becker - Defining Hospitality - Episode # 134
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