Many are the initiatives to make New York City the Big Green Apple these days, from Mayor Bloomberg’s PlaNYC to the energy efficient retrofitting of the Empire State Building. Now the Hilton New York in Manhattan — which happens to be the city’s largest hotel — is getting in on the act with a green roof and an efficient cogeneration heat and power system.
According to Green Travel News, the hotel now features a 16,000-square-foot green roof planted with greenery from upstate New York. While deflecting solar gain (and thus keeping the hotel cooler during the summer months, using less AC), this roof will do its bit to help cool down the city in general, which is known as a poster child for the notorious Urban Heat Island effect associated with cities heavy on the hardscape. Another bonus for the Big Apple: the Hilton’s green roof system will help to pull pollutants from the air by absorbing them and releasing oxygen, in that friendly manner of plants everywhere.
The hotel’s new combined heat and power (cogeneration) system is believed to be the largest in New York City. Using natural gas, it kicks out both electricity and hot water for the hotel’s nearly 2,000 rooms and common areas, which suck up more than 23 million kilowatt hours of electricity every year. The new system accounts for around half of that, along with more than 40 percent of the steam used for heating and hot water in the building, reducing the Hilton New York’s carbon footprint by more than 30 percent. (That’s the equivalent of taking more than 6,000 mid-sized sedans off the roads.)
Other green features of the Hilton New York include its use of LightStay, Hilton’s system for improving sustainability performance, as well as its partnerships with eco-minded programs like Global Soap Project (which makes use of discarded soap bars from hotel and distributes them across the developing world) and Good360 (which matches deserving non-profits with corporate sponsors). More on the Hilton’s recent eco-upgrade is available online.