Last year, Inhabitat covered the construction of the luxurious Bardessono Hotel in Napa Valley with its cornucopia of environmentally friendly measures — from automated thermostats and LED lighting to salvaged local materials and solar and geothermal renewable energy. This year, Bardessono was awarded LEED Platinum Certification, the highest standard of environmental design. Only three hotels in the world have achieved this certification.
On an interesting side note, Bardessono’s solar panels represent a real world compromise that even the most ambitious green building dreams are often subjected to. Approached by Bardessono, solar installer Premier Power initially designed a solar system with tilted rooftop panels for maximum energy output. However, rising material costs soon made the design unfeasible. Rather than scrapping solar altogether, Premier Power and Bardessono found a building-integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) solution that qualified for a 30% investment tax credit and allowed Bardessono to move forward.
The 200kw flat rooftop system provides half the property’s total energy usage, offsetting 21,000 gallons of oil and preventing 400,000 pounds of greenhouse gas emissions each year.