Considering the life cycle of a building, from pre-building, through construction, to post-construction, focuses on minimizing the impact of the building from concept through disposal and how it affects the environment. This approach examines all of the potential impacts from “cradle to grave”, or if the materials are considered with no end of usefulness, “Cradle to Cradle”.
Every building impacts not only its owners and occupants, but also the community in which it resides and the site on which it is located. Sustainable design and construction principles help shift a building’s impact from negative to positive. A greener building has the potential to enhance the surrounding community, as well as minimize its site environmental footprint. Xanterra projects give consideration to not only our impact on our communities of operation, but also to potential ways to source materials from a 500-mile radius or less with a goal designed to reduce our environmental impact while increasing local economic development.
Xanterra believes that local sourcing is good for communities and good for the planet and will source as locally as feasible.
Application of sustainable design and construction principles includes efficient use of materials and reducing the amount of waste generated during the construction and operation of a building. The four “R’s” represent a hierarchy to address materials used in any green building project. All Xanterra projects address the following:
Remove: No greater positive impact will be achieved with respect to efficiency than by removing what is not needed—unnecessary materials, components, toxins, systems, energy consuming features or water consuming features.
Reduce: Do more with less. This includes material used or wasted during construction, waste generated during building operation and material remaining at the structure’s end-of-life. Can the functions of a design element be sized smaller, use less materials, energy, etc? Can the project have a smaller impact on the natural systems and habitat?
Reuse: The next best leverage point to minimize the overall impact of the built environment is to investigate and incorporate the reuse of existing materials. Asking the question, “Where can existing material, even waste, be reused?” will yield innovative solutions.
Recycle: A better option than sending waste to a landfill, but recycling will not be considered the primary tool for dealing with waste. When all other options have been explored, the construction team and facilities team should explore all recycling options, including the use of recycled content where possible.
The 4-R’s are fundamental to sustainable design and construction and directly correlate to our 2015 EcoLogix goal of having a company-wide landfill diversion rate of 50%. Xanterra will work with our construction project teams to support our culture of 4-R.
Maximizing the Guest Experience and Occupant Comfort
Through the built environment, we have an opportunity to improve the health, comfort, productivity, and well-being of building occupants. Sustainable design and construction emphasizes access to day-lighting, air quality, minimizing or eliminating exposure to all irritants1, stable and comfortable temperature conditions, and access to natural views. Projects will also integrate education opportunities into the design including features encouraging guests to participate in sustainable behaviors and actions.
Xanterra believes that sustainable design and construction provides an opportunity for guests to learn about new technologies and strategies and how to incorporate sustainability into their daily lives. Therefore, Xanterra will incorporate education elements in all of our projects.