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An eco haven inalbuquerque

The Andaluz Hotel just opened its doors following a 30 million dollar ‘green’ renovation project. I am actually one of the first guests! The personnel is very friendly and even compliment me with my Vans eco-sneakers. Manager Paul O’Dowd enthusiastically announces that ‘this hotel will be the most sustainable and energy efficient hotel in the United States!’. Now that’s what I want to hear! The Andaluz Hotel claims to be the first hotel in the South-West with a LEED certificate. This stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. Being LEED certified means that the hotel functions energy-efficient and that you put a strong and proven emphasis on environmental consciousness. The Andaluz Hotel’s LEED expert, Darin Sand, adds: “We are proud to have achieved a balance between historic preservation and environmental sustainability. In doing so, we are best serving our customers and our community. We actually didn’t throw away all the old stuff (like wood, sinks, tubs, etc) in the hotel. We made a woodshop where all the old wood is reused to make the new furniture.” Practically that means for example double-glazing, LED-lights where possible, eco friendly building materials, bamboo furniture, super efficient use of water, 100% use of green energy and plenty of solar panels on the roof. In the visitors guide I read an advertisement for the local Hilton hotel. It won the prestigious Green Zia award this year. They use the slogan ‘our competition is just green with envy’…. Well, time to ask the Andaluz manager what he thinks of this. ‘That’s old news. We just opened two days ago, but I am pretty sure that what we do goes far beyond what they did, in every aspect. I mean we all bike from our homes to the hotel, and the Andaluz hotel owner even drives a Prius.‘ Fair enough!

By Tom van de Beek