lodging industry worldwide has witnessed a trend toward
environmentally responsive facilities, called eco-hotels.
These structures carry the environmental theme throughout,
from the positioning of buildings to maximize the natural
assets of a site to the careful selection of construction
materials. The hallmark of eco-hotels is the integration
of all components, which allows for a sustainable design
at little or no additional cost compared with conventional
approaches. This is not easy, however. According to one
major rating agency, applications for certification have
doubled each of the past several years, with 90 percent
of the applicants failing to meet the rigorous ecological
regard, engineering solutions are critical, with the design
engineer expected to contribute more than he is in the conventional
design process. Key to that contribution is a proactive
stance regarding a number of environmental-design parameters.
Table 1 identifies basic environmental considerations and
ways to address them. Much of what is involved is similar
to that for a conventional project; however, far more investigation
and design is required.