From environmental certifications to recycling programs and efficient air conditioning, we take a look at structures that were built with sustainability as a priority
Among its many sustainable features, the Inn at Laurel Point in Victoria, B.C. has the added accolade of being the province’s first carbon neutral property.
The space recently underwent a multi-million dollar renovation—originally led by the legendary Arthur Erickson—featuring updates to the lobby, Aura Restaurant + Patio, meeting/events spaces and the garden area. The renovation was the dream and vision of the Inn at Laurel Point’s owners, Paul and Artie Arsens, who sadly passed before seeing the redesign completed.
When they first bought the hotel 30 years ago, only the Laurel Point wing existed, but Erickson along with his mentee John Graham, built the Erickson wing to add cohesion and contemporary design to the space. Now, 30 years later, Graham has brought the renovation full circle, making the latest renos an homage to the owners.
According to Graham, the new design was inspired by the Inn’s unique waterfront location, connecting Victoria’s inner and outer harbours. The "warm, relaxed and serene" architectural style reflects how hotel guests should feel during their stay.
“Guests will have the sensation of standing on the prow of a ship, and be greeted by sweeping views of the harbour and beyond from the moment they arrive,” says Graham.
Along with its modern, welcoming design, the Inn is also proudly a social enterprise, with a strong commitment to sustainability and community.
The property has net-zero air conditioning, meaning it utilizes hydrothermal technology to cool the rooms with ocean water instead of electricity. LED lights and low-flow fixtures help reduce electricity use by over 21 percent, further improving energy efficiency.
And it doesn’t end there. Unused bath products are donated to Soap for Hope, a program of Disaster Aid Canada; and worn-out sheets are turned into bandages to provide first aid in developing nations.
The Inn also has a seven-stream recycling program, where 77 percent of waste is kept out of landfills (compared to 40 percent at many other hotels). Since 2014, they have managed to cut landfill waste by more than half.