The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe on the Northstar-at-Tahoe Resort near North Lake Tahoe has officially been awarded LEED certification from the U.S. Green Business Council,...

The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe on the Northstar-at-Tahoe Resort near North Lake Tahoe has officially been awarded LEED certification from the U.S. Green Business Council, becoming the first-ever LEED-certified Ritz-Carlton resort.

LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is an internationally recognized green-building certification system, providing third-party verification that a building or community was designed and built using strategies aimed at improving performance across all the metrics that matter most: energy savings, water efficiency, CO2 emissions reduction, improved indoor environmental quality, and stewardship of resources and sensitivity to their impacts.

Developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), LEED provides building owners and operators a concise framework for identifying and implementing practical and measurable green-building design, construction, operations and maintenance solutions.

“Hornberger [and] Worstell is pleased to have led the design effort for this unique mountain hotel – one of the few resorts in the United States to achieve LEED-certified status,” says Mark Hornberger, principal for San Francisco-based Hornberger + Worsell, design architects for the project.

“This project is truly unique and treats guests from all over the world to a pristine mountain environment with a resort operation that is in lock-step with its surroundings,” says David Schaffer, principal and director of sustainability for OZ Architecture, architects of record for the project.

“The resort has a grand scale reflecting the mountain, but there is a very natural feel to each space,” adds Schaffer. “I think guests appreciate the respect for the environment embodied in this resort.”

In addition, Beaudin Ganze Consulting Engineers designed the mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems, while Terrasan directed the landscape design.

The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe near North Lake Tahoe has become the first-ever Ritz-Carlton resort to be certified under the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification system

LEED-recognized features of The Ritz-Carlton Highlands, Lake Tahoe include:

● Recycling/re-use of construction waste – 16,000 tons to date, which is 88 per cent of all construction waste for the project;

● Reduced building footprint – 66 per cent of site is provided as open space;

● Daylight and views are provided to 75 per cent of the building;

● On-site re-use of rock for retaining walls (included in the quantities enumerated above);

● On-site re-use of trees for mulch (included in the quantities above);

● Use of recycled materials – $5 million value, or 9 per cent of all materials used;

● Use of local materials – 63 per cent were extracted locally, 31 per cent were manufactured locally;

● Doing a “Green Cleaning” program;

● Construction erosion and sediment control;

● Off-site parking program (reduces miles driven);

● Bike racks and lockers for employees are provided;

● Stormwater retention management – no net increased run-off and stormwater treatment;

● Heat island effect is minimized by providing shade and light-colored paving;

● Water-efficient landscaping, reduced by 50 per cent from a typical development;

● Meets energy standard ASHRAE 90.1;

● Verification of mechanical-system performance;

● Reduced CFCs (chlorofluorocarbons) in heating, ventilation and air-conditioning equipment;

● Space for recycling is provided;

● Meets ventilation standard ASHRAE 62.1;

● It is a non-smoking facility;

● Carbon Dioxide (CO2) monitoring for improved air quality;

● Use of low-VOC (volatile organic compounds) materials;

Operable windows are provided for reduced energy consumption and increased user comfort; and

Multiple thermostats are provided for increased user control and comfort.

For more information about The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe, visit To book hotel reservations please contact your travel professional or Ritz-Carlton worldwide reservations at 800-241-3333.

The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe is the first new-build resort to open in the Lake Tahoe area in decades. Located mid-mountain on the Northstar-at-Tahoe Resort, the Northern California contemporary mountain retreat opened on December 9, 2009 and features slope-side ski-in, ski-out access in winter and mountain concierge services for golfing, mountain biking and hiking in the summer.

The hotel’s restaurant Manzanita was created by San Francisco chef Traci Des Jardins and features her seasonal French-inspired California cuisine. The Highlands Spa is a 17,000 square foot spa and fitness center with treatments and therapies themed around water and the woods.

Guests are given preferred tee times and access to Old Greenwood and Gray’s Crossing Golf Courses in the nearby historic town of Truckee. An inter-mountain gondola connects guests between the nearby Village-at-Northstar and The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe resort, which is a 10-minute drive from the North Shore of Lake Tahoe.

The year-round destination resort includes 170 guest rooms, 23 private Ritz-Carlton residences and 25 Ritz-Carlton Destination Club fractional-ownership residences.