- What are the benefits of applying LEED for hospitality spaces?
- What opportunities are unique to hospitality projects?
- What kind of hospitality projects can be certified through LEED?
- How does the LEED performance platform relate to hotels and venues?
- How does LEED address hospitality projects with multiple buildings on site?
- How many hospitality and public assembly projects are certified under LEED?
- What LEED resources are available for hospitality and venue project teams?
- Where can I find owner profiles and case studies on LEED for hospitality and venue projects?
- Who can I contact for more information on LEED for hospitality and venues?
- Is there a document I can download and send to my team?
What are the benefits of applying LEED for hospitality spaces?
Hotels and other hospitality venues have a significant opportunity to reduce negative environmental impacts associated with guest rooms, event space, and general facility use through measures such as energy and water efficiency, waste reduction and management, sustainable and local purchasing, and use of alternative transportation. Hotels and conference centers can also contribute to human health by providing healthy, comfortable, and productive indoor environments with improved indoor air quality, access to daylight and views, and occupant control of the lighting and thermal environment.
USGBC works to promote cost‐efficient and resource‐saving green building design, construction, and operations with the goal of protecting the global environment and human health. The LEED green building certification program provides the framework for building and operating hotels sustainably. Green buildings use on average 26% less energy, emit 33% less carbon dioxide, use 30% less indoor water, and send 50%‐75% less solid waste to landfills and incinerators. The opportunities for hospitality venues to integrate green building strategies into their design, construction, and daily operations makes business sense and can be an important part of a company’s commitment to sustainability.
What opportunities are unique to hospitality projects?
Due to features such as on‐site amenities, food and beverage operations, pool and laundry operations, convention facilities, frequent renovation cycles, and transient guest populations, hospitality properties and venues can present unique challenges and opportunities in certain areas of environmental performance. USGBC brought together a group of hospitality industry leaders to identify the areas of LEED that needed further attention considering hospitality‐specific circumstances.
Through its established committee structure, USGBC then formed the Hospitality Adaptations Working Group comprised of industry experts from USGBC member companies. This group worked with the LEED Steering Committee, USGBC staff, and the LEED Technical Advisory Groups to modify certain LEED credits to better capture the environmental impacts and opportunities associated with hospitality properties. The LEED credits produced by this process and the work of the Hospitality Adaptations Working Group can be found in:
- Regular Occupied Spaces
- Indoor Water Use
- Waste Diversion
- Low Emitting Materials
- IAQ Assessment
- Thermal Comfort
- Interior Lighting
See the LEED BD+C: Hospitality rating systems and corresponding guides for more details.
What kind of hospitality projects can be certified through LEED?
Hospitality and venue spaces such as hotels, motels, resorts, convention centers, stadiums/arenas and other public assembly spaces have several unique considerations that warrant a more specific LEED offering. LEED strategies for hospitality addressesnew construction and major renovations, new and existing commercial interiors, and existing building projects - giving project teams more solutions than ever.
Hospitality. Buildings dedicated to hotels, motels, inns or other businesses within the service industry that provide transitional or short-term lodging, with or without food.
Convention Centers. A large building or complex of many buildings that are designed to host major conventions, trade shows, meetings and special events. Convention centers are typically located in urban, walkable areas and are capable of hosting thousands of attendees. Convention centers have a variety of unique features such as large-scale commercial kitchens and extensive freight and shipping operations facilities.
Sports Venues. At the largest scale, sports venues include arenas and stadiums that serve as homes for professional sports teams and international sporting events, like the Olympics or the World Cup. Many communities and educational institutions also operate sports venues in support of competitive, recreational and intramural activities.
Performing Arts Centers. Multi-use spaces and facilities with seating and staging including theaters, concert venues, opera houses, music halls and more.
Community Centers & Public Assembly Spaces. These facilities host a range of services and activities for local communities that include group activities, educational opportunities, public service activities and much more.
How does the LEED performance platform relate to hotels and venues?
The LEED v4.1 O+M rating system offers a unique performance-based pathway to certify your existing buildings and interior spaces. This new rating system uses Arc, a state‐of‐the‐art platform designed to collect, manage and benchmark your building across five performance categories: energy, water, waste, transportation, and human experience.
What does this mean for the hospitality sector? LEED O+M: Existing Buildings and LEED O+M: Existing Interiors can be used to compare and benchmark hotels and venues with other similar facilities from around the world. See the LEED v4.1 O+M Beta Guide for more details on properly setting up the project’s building settings which ensure it is being compared to similar facilities and weighted per the LEED v4.1 O+M requirements. How to conduct surveys for visitors and guests is also included.
Within the Arc platform, the portfolio feature allows owners and operators to continuously monitor their performance at any given time and make informed choices to optimize the project’s performance based on real-time data and analytics. The Arc platform can also be used to help inform which projects formally certify and recertify under LEED.
How does LEED address hospitality projects with multiple buildings on site?
Properties such as resorts and entertainment districts typically include multiple different buildings onsite in pursuit of LEED. Project teams have a variety of options using existing LEED guidance which confirms the LEED project boundary may include other buildings. If another building or structure within the LEED project boundary is ineligible for LEED certification, it may be either included or not included in the certification at the project team’s discretion.
If another building within the LEED project boundary is eligible for LEED certification, it too may be either included or not included in the certification. If included, the project must use the LEED campus certification process which allows projects that are on a shared site under the control of a single entity to develop campus-appropriate documentation and capture economies of scale in the certification. Learn more here.
Of special note is the allowance for hotels, resorts, and resort properties as defined by ENERGY STAR, to treat multiple, physically distinct structures as a single building for LEED purposes. For new construction projects, each structure in the application must contain less than 25,000 sq. ft. of gross floor area.
How many hospitality and public assembly projects are certified under LEED?
As of December 2023, there are over 3,700 LEED‐certified and registered lodging and hotel projects representing 1.46 billion sq.ft or 135 million sq.m of built spaces. LEED-certified and registered public assembly spaces such as convention centers, stadiums, and community centers represent over 5,650 projects and 876 million sq.ft or 81 million sq.m.
What LEED resources are available for hospitality and venue project teams?
There are a variety of technical resources and educational courses available to help teams apply LEED to their projects. This includes but is not limited to the following:
USGBC Market Sector Reports
LEED for Hospitality Rating Systems and Reference Guides
- LEEDv4.1 BD+C: Hospitality and LEEDv4.1 BD+C guide
- LEEDv4.1 ID+C: Hospitality and LEEDv4.1 ID+C guide
- LEEDv4 O+M: Hospitality and LEEDv4 O+M Reference Guide
- LEEDv4.1 Ask the Experts: LEED and Hospitality
- Case Study: TCF Center Detroit Convention Center
- A Zero Waste Super Bowl and The First LEED v4.1 O+M Platinum Sports Stadium - Sustainability at U.S. Bank Stadium
- Sustainable Hospitality: Case Studies from Green Key Hotels in Qatar
Articles and Briefs
- Green Hotels: Getting Back to Business
- Green travel roundup: LEED-certified places to see
- Hotels worldwide are going green with LEED
- LEED Link: Find a LEED Stadium Near You
- LEED in College Sports
- Zero waste sports stadiums are already in play
Where can I find owner profiles and case studies on LEED for hospitality and venue projects?
View non-confidential LEED registered and certified projects in the USGBC project directory by entering key terms in the search bar. You can also filter by region and rating system type to get more specific results.
Check out similar project profiles at:
- Charlotte Convention Center, NC
- Saranac Waterfront Lodge- Saranac Lake, NY
- Hotel Verde – Cape Town, South Africa
- Parco Leonardo – Roma, Italy
- SLEEEP.1 – Hong Kong, China
- Nationals Stadium - Washington DC
- Bentley University Arena – Waltham, MA
- EXPO 2020 DUBAI - Thematic Districts
Who can I contact for more information on LEED for hospitality and venues?
For more information about LEED in the hospitality sector, contact us.
Is there a document I can download and send to my team?
Yes! Click the link below.