The Shore Hotel on Ocean Avenue in Santa Monica, California, is not just a clever name. Designed by Gensler, the U-shaped building affords equal views of the Pacific Ocean — directly across the street — from all 164 guest rooms. It serves as a fitting reminder of the boutique hotel’s commitment to environmental stewardship. In the drought-ridden Golden State, this responsibility includes a strong focus on the conservation and use of water.
Originally occupied by two aging motels, the site plan recalls its former use with similarly shaped but new structures with greater connection between the two buildings via a triple-level glazed sky bridge. The resulting courtyard between the two buildings is occupied by the hotel’s pool, which functions as an outdoor communal living space and capitalizes on the Mediterranean climate of Southern California.
Despite the creature comforts of a private pool and newly constructed guest rooms, the hotel strives to be affordable and environmentally conscientious — and to offer a unique lodging experience among Santa Monica’s many boutique luxury hotels. The owners, however, were not interested in compromising design vision, design quality or operational performance to meet their goals. The project’s LEED Gold certification had to be achieved in conjunction with sleek design and the most comfortable experience possible.
Water Efficiency, Distribution and Application in Hotels
Considering U.S. Green Building Council LEED criteria and the region’s microclimate, the project team implemented conservation strategies including storm water management to capture and treat runoff, drought-resistant plantscaping and an 85 percent thermal efficiency rating for the property’s hot-water system. But what guests may not realize is that the conservancy measures extend to the bath fixtures in their rooms. Symmons Industries tailored a custom fixture solution to Gensler’s specifications to meet the sustainability goals.
Bathroom faucets in the home can attribute to more than 20 percent of a household’s water use, and, typically, fixtures in residential — and often commercial applications — dispense 2.2 gallons of water per minute (gpm). Multiply that figure by 164 guest rooms, and the potential volume of water usage increases significantly. To use this resource responsibly at the Shore Hotel, all fixtures had to be low-flow or limit the volume of water dispensed as much as possible.
How the Shore Hotel LEEDs With Symmons
Leveraging Symmons Design Studio, the design team was able to customize features to exacting standards. On-site prototyping and temporary installations in the home of the property-owners ensured that the desired outcome was achieved. Today, architects and designers can achieve this same outcome as well through the company’s Design Studio program.
Symmons products can help achieve LEED certification for hospitality under the USGBC Indoor Water Use Reduction LEED BD+C: Healthcare segment. For a 25 percent reduction in water use of the baseline flow rate one point is awarded and when there is a 30 percent reduction of the baseline flow rate two points are awarded. In the Shore Hotel restrooms, 1.75gpm faucets and 2.0gpm showers were installed throughout the hotel, effectively reducing private water use across all guest rooms by 40 percent.
Similar to teamwork, the aggregation of many factors over time helps certify architecture to LEED standards. Symmons Industries is a willing and effective partner on any design team with the contribution of products designed to last, to stand out and to exercise its customer-first culture.
Symmons — a U.S.-based family-owned company with a 75-year history — is committed to the delivery and experience of water from the inside of the building out. At its outset, the company was credited with designing the first pressure-balancing valve, which helps deliver water at a near-constant temperature despite pressure fluctuations in hot or cold supply lines. Throughout the course of its history, the company has remained committed to its customer-forward culture with the development of bath fixtures to deliver an optimally pleasant experience through its water controllers, mixing valves and accessories.