Hotel Indigo East Liberty Exemplifies Sustainability in Hospitality

Nestled in Pittsburgh’s burgeoning East Liberty neighborhood, Pittsburgh’s latest boutique hotel, Hotel Indigo, demonstrates the renewal and restoration happening nearby, with an eye on sustainability and efficiency. Comprised of 3 renovated buildings and 1 new addition, the hotel is pursuing LEED Silver certification, preserves local heritage, conserves energy, reuses water, and recycles materials. We’re excited to showcase Hotel Indigo on June 30 at GBA’s Member Appreciation Party!  Join us!

What’s Unique and Green about Hotel Indigo?

What does it mean to be a boutique hotel? An upscale, high-end hotel caters to someone who doesn’t want a cookie-cutter experience, says Patrick Wozniak, Hotel Indigo’s Chief Engineer: “We’re a very unique hotel for the business traveler or someone wanting to stay in a different atmosphere. A busy traveler wants a different feel, different décor.” Hotel Indigo has taken on the neighborhood’s history and story, highlighting East Liberty’s 1930s theater era, while integrating various green features and practices that look toward the future.


Hotel Indigo Pittsburgh

Starting with the basics, nearly all interior light bulbs are LEDs and all guest rooms have Energy Star appliances. Occupancy sensors and timers are used for back-of-house and exterior areas, air conditioning units are programmed to conserve energy, and the windows are slightly tinted, better maintaining interior temperatures. Also, bathroom fixtures meet current gallons-per-minute and gallons-per-flush flow rate standards. All these features combine to keep energy use and utility costs low.

Also inside, low VOC paints, adhesives, and sealants were used throughout the building. At the front desk, used newspapers are donated to a local animal shelter. Moving outside, the landscape in front of the hotel is a rain garden. All rainwater is collected and used to water the garden, so no sprinkler system is required. Plants were chosen that will flourish without additional irrigation. Looking up, 100% of Hotel Indigo’s roof is a “cool roof” that reflects sunlight, reducing heat island effect.

Hotel Indigo's Rooftop Garden

Hotel Indigo’s Rooftop Garden

The hotel’s restaurant, Wallace’s TapRoom, uses locally produced food and beverages from as close as the hotel’s rooftop to within 100 miles. Hotel Indigo’s Green Team constructed a rooftop garden with vegetables and herbs used in their own kitchen. The planters were made using materials reclaimed from the hotel’s construction and boast parsley, cilantro, broccoli, cucumbers, and a variety of peppers and tomatoes.  The entire green team has been pleasantly surprised at how easy it is to maintain. Also in the kitchen, used cooking oil is recycled into biodiesel, a clean burning alternative fuel produced from domestic, renewable resources that is biodegradable and nontoxic.

Hotel Indigo's Rain Garden at the hotel's entrance

Hotel Indigo’s Rain Garden at the hotel’s entrance

LEED Certification, Green Engage, & GreenLeader

Throughout the project’s design, renovation, and construction, the pursuit to achieve LEED Silver remained a priority to the entire project team, which included TKA Architects and Parkinson Construction. “When you tear down and rebuild or use what was already existing, all the items you recycle from the job site and the architecture and landscape are all tied together to make it as green as possible,” Patrick said. “It’s not a brand new building, but it’s a lot more difficult to combine three existing building and one new one, in terms of expenses and efficiency and time consumption.

We kept our priorities straight and the end result is a unique experience with sustainability in mind.”

That carries over into everyday practice, as well. Hotel Indigo’s parent company, InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), utilizes an online sustainability tool called IHG Green Engage to minimize the building’s impact on the local environment. The tool measures energy, carbon, water, and waste, auto-calculates utility bills, and uses actual data to provide customized environmental performance benchmarking. Hotel Indigo Pittsburgh East Liberty recently achieved the first of three levels, and remains steadfast to work toward the top. Operating at Level Three certification can achieve up to 25% energy savings.

In addition, the Hotel Indigo East Liberty achieved the Silver level of TripAdvisor’s GreenLeaders program, a first-party designation that makes travelers aware of hotels committed to green practices.

Join GBA @ Hotel Indigo on June 30, 2016!

Don’t take our word for it, come check out Hotel Indigo East Liberty yourself for GBA’s Summer Member Appreciation Party on June 30, hosted by GBA’s Emerging Professionals. We’ll mix, mingle, take a behind-the-scenes tour, and enjoy drinks, hors d’oeuvres, and music on the patio! Register now! Not a GBA member? Now is a great time to sign up!

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