This will be the first net-zero hotel in the United States

The brutalist architectural landmark Hotel Marcel New Haven, originally designed by Marcel Breuer, is now part of the Hilton Tapestry collection and is anticipated to be both the first net zero hotel and the first passive house certified hotel in the US. Slated to open this spring, here’s what we know…

Hotel Marcel rooftop view

Ignore the building site, for now, Hotel Marcel New Haven is set to make history. Listed on the State and National Register of Historic Places, the building that will shelter it, originally designed by Marcel Breuer, is a fitting destination for a new cutting-edge hotel that still nods to the building’s history. It reimagines the iconic historical building, celebrating its rich history while debuting an innovative eco-friendly travel destination. The eco-friendly hotel is the result of the innovative vision of lead architect, developer and owner Bruce Redman Becker, FAIA, LEED AP of Becker + Becker. He purchased the building, which originally opened in 1970 as the Armstrong Rubber Company Headquarters, and modernised it with sustainability as the key focus every step of the way. Becker + Becker, along with partner Dutch East Design, retained many design elements of the original building’s Brutalist architecture with board-formed concrete and granite tile and a focus on functionality, clean lines and geometric forms.

“We are all responsible for confronting the climate crisis, and that sense of obligation factored into every decision we made in creating Hotel Marcel New Haven,” said Becker. “The opening of this revolutionary hotel, which is giving new life to a New Haven landmark, is a momentous occasion for travellers, the industry and the planet. Guests will be ensured a terrific hotel experience and can relax knowing that both they, and the environment, are being cared for during their stay.”

exterior of brutalist architecture by Marcel Breuer, transformed into the Hotel Marcel New Haven , Hilton Tapestry Collection

Image credit: Hilton International

The revolutionary hotel will utilise renewable solar power sources on site to generate the electricity needed for its common areas, restaurant, laundry, meeting rooms and 165 guestrooms and suites. Set to debut this spring, the all-electric hotel will operate independent of fossil fuels, resulting in zero carbon emissions. It is also expected to be the first Passive House-certified hotel in the country and will be one of fewer than a dozen LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Platinum-certified hotels in the country. Additional features in the transformation of the building include a power-over-ethernet lighting system that reduces lighting energy use by more than 30 per cent; repurposed building materials throughout, such as light fixtures and carefully restored wood-panelled walls in suites that were once the Armstrong executive offices and conference rooms; and extensive upgrades to enhance interior temperature control and air quality, resulting in the building using significantly less energy per square foot than most hotels.

The green design of Hotel Marcel New Haven also improves guest comfort. Triple-glazed windows provide ultra-efficient insulation to keep guest room temperatures stable, while greatly reducing noise levels. Built-in motorised sheer and blackout window shades provide a better night’s sleep. Guests and travellers on the go also have the convenience of 12 Tesla Superchargers or universal level-two chargers for their electric vehicles.

Dining offerings at Hotel Marcel New Haven further demonstrate the hotel’s sustainable experience. The on-site American restaurant and lounge BLDG – pronounced ‘building’ – offers locally sourced menu items served alongside biodynamic and organic wines. BLDG’s kitchen, as well as the hotel’s laundry room, run on electricity instead of natural gas. The kitchen uses induction, an energy-efficient process that ensures a more precise and even heat. In addition to the restaurant and bar, Hotel Marcel New Haven features a grab-and-go station offering sustainable snacks as well as design-focused gifts and a water filling station.

“Hotel Marcel New Haven is a major milestone for the Tapestry Collection by Hilton brand as the first anticipated net-zero hotel in the U.S.,” said Jenna Hackett, global brand head, Tapestry Collection by Hilton. “Each Tapestry Collection property displays an original style and personality while also encouraging guests to explore local destinations. Hotel Marcel New Haven will connect travellers with the New Haven area while inspiring them to incorporate sustainability into every aspect of their stay. We look forward to celebrating this new and exciting chapter for this unique landmark with our guests.”

The development of this hotel is a key example of Hilton’s Travel with Purpose program, which is an Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) strategy to drive responsible travel and tourism globally. Hilton is focused on paving the way toward a net-zero future and remains committed to partnering with its owners to help minimise carbon footprints and redefine sustainable travel.

Main image credit: Hilton International