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09/09/2021

Icon of Brutalist Architecture Aims to Be the First Net-Zero Luxury Hotel in the U.S.A.

Scheduled to open Spring 2022, the 110,000-square-foot 165 room Tapestry Collection by Hilton property will be a fully sustainable historic hotel.
Michal Christine Escobar
Senior Editor (Hotels)
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a tall building in a city
Photo Source: Becker + Becker

Designed in 1967 by Marcel Breuer as a commercial office building, the Armstrong Rubber Building located in New Haven, Conn., is being converted into a sustainable luxury hotel by architect and developer Bruce Becker, FAIA.

The upcycled modern landmark shall deploy some of the latest technologies available in order to achieve the highest energy efficiency standards, including LEED Platinum and Passive House certifications. 

The hotel is on track to become the first net-zero emissions hotel in the U.S.A., based on certifications from LEED and the New Buildings Institute.

Scheduled to open Spring 2022, the 110,000-square-foot 165 room Tapestry Collection by Hilton property will be a fully sustainable historic hotel

Repurposing the landmark property as a sustainable luxury hotel was a priority for Becker + Becker

Becker sought out the expertise of design, build & integration firm Sinclair Digital because of their past work at the Sinclair Hotel where a 1930s Art Deco property was converted into another sustainable luxury hospitality environment.

graphical user interface
Photo Source: Pat Krupa

“As stewards of an important work of architecture by a legendary mid-century modern master, we had a responsibility to preserve and restore its significant architectural details. We also had both an economic and environmental mandate to use the most advanced technologies to reduce energy use, while at the same time enhancing the guest experience,” explained Bruce Becker

Systems related items that contributed heavily towards efficiency savings and/or created a better guest room experience included power-over-ethernet lighting and motorized window treatments, digital electricity DC power distribution, battery energy storage, VRF air conditioning, triple glazed windows, on premise solar, in room touch screens for HVAC, shades and lighting scenes, and more.

“Low voltage DC power is the strong foundation or nervous system that is necessary to construct sustainable intelligent buildings. There is not a more efficient and sustainable way to transport and power devices in a building and is by far the best way to get closer to Net Zero,” noted Hannah Walker of Sinclair Digital.

Combined with high efficiency heat pumps, triple-glazed windows, and low voltage power-over-ethernet wiring for the lighting, the building cuts down the total electricity it needs and uses solar panels and a one megawatt battery to provide the supply. Becker says they'll pay for themselves through energy savings within a few years.