Thursday, January 28, 2010

Gaia Anderson One Point Shy of LEED Gold

According to an article in the Anderson Valley Post, the Gaia Anderson Hotel, Restaurant & Spa recently learned that it fell one point short of achieving Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold from the U.S. Green Building Council. The property will have to "settle" for LEED Silver. Gaia Anderson's sister property, the Gaia Napa Valley Hotel & Spa, was the first hotel in the United States to earn LEED Gold status.

Wen-I Chang, the developer of the Gaia Anderson property and someone I have had the privilege of meeting several times, said he was shooting for LEED Gold. Why did the developer fall short of the Gold designation? According to the article, Chang's primary investor, the Far East Bank, pulled $1.5 million intended for an array of solar panels atop the Gaia Anderson property. Far East Bank also withdrew its financing for a third Gaia hotel planned for Merced, Calif.

Chang certainly has nothing to be ashamed of. LEED Silver is a great achievement. And, there still may be LEED Gold on the horizon, according to the article. Wen may add the solar panels later and then shoot for LEED Gold for Existing Buildings.

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