January 13, 2016

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A “Green” Hotel!

St. Hyacinthe’s Holiday Inn Express & Suites is LEED certified, the very first of its kind in Quebec.

Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is a third-party certification program and an international reference point for high performance sustainable building design, construction and operation. It provides building owners and operators with the tools they need to have an immediate and measurable impact on their buildings’ performance. LEED promises a global approach to sustainability, while recognizing performance in five key areas of human and environmental health:

Sustainable site development
Water efficiency
Energy and atmosphere
Materials and resources
Indoor environmental quality
What are the daily implications of running a “green” hotel?

Running a “green” hotel means:

Reusing card keys: an 80% key (smart card) recovery rate is targeted instead of the standard magnetic card recovery rate, ranging between 40 and 50%.
Installing recycling (blue) bins in rooms.
Toilets equipped with a pressure flushing system using few litres of water per flushing (Kohler program).
All faucets, toilets, shower heads, etc. especially designed to reduce waterflow (Kohler program).
A waterless urinal in the men’s public restroom.
Compostable plates, cutlery and glasses (30-60 days) are at our guests’ disposal.
Using bulk dairy products (milk and cream) in thermoses, in order to avoid discarding non-recyclable empty containers.
Using biodegradable cleaning products.
Implementing a bedsheet and towel reuse program (depending on their wear intensity) by offering them to charitable organizations or by converting them into rags for housekeeping purposes.
Using compost bins for table leftovers. These bins are equipped with Compostable bags, to make weekly collection easier.
No paper had wipes in public washrooms, only energy efficient hand dryers.
A shower and a bicycle rack will be available for employees who wish to cycle to work.
Many more actions may still be added to this list, as all our employees and guests will be asked for their input to assist us in this environmental journey. If you have any “green” suggestions, please share them with us: any small gesture is a big step to save our planet.

To find out more about LEED, please visit:

What did we do to become a LEED certified building?

The well-insulated white roof reflects sunlight and also helps limit space-cooling energy consumption during the summer, thus reducing our contribution to global warming.
Our hotel is equipped with a drain water heat recovery system consisting of 30 coils hidden in the building walls, thus reducing the energy demand.
The concrete of a bridge that was dismantled in St. Hyacinthe was used as base building material for the M Complex.
Our mattresses were custom made for the hotel. Made of natural bamboo fibre and soy moss, they can be removed from their covers for periodic maintenance (which makes them longer lasting).
The salt pool filtering system eliminates the need for such chemicals as chlorine.
The hotel has a load-relieving line to balance the energy demand, thus avoiding extreme peak consumption. In addition, a smart computer system controls energy consumption, which also helps avoid excessive peak consumption while preserving ambient comfort for our guests.
The hotel is equipped with an energy efficient lighting system. There are no incandescent bulbs in the hotel, which only uses LED lights and compact fluorescent lamps in its 1,500 lighting devices.
Several local suppliers and manufacturers were involved in the construction, thus decreasing transportation and associated pollution. For instance, to limit transportation, all bedroom furniture was made in St. Hyacinthe, thus reducing greenhouse gases.
AND these are only a few of the features of a LEED hotel.

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