Monday, February 2, 2009

The Greenest Ecoresort In The World?

Image via Monterey Bay Shores

This month, February 2009, construction is scheduled to begin on the “greenest ecoresort in the world”. The resort is to be called Monterey Bay Shores and will be built in Monterey, California.

The site chosen for the resort is a 29-acre section of sand dune that has been destroyed by 60 years of mining. As part of a revitalization effort, the ecoresort will actively provide habitats for endangered species, boast 5 acres of living roofs and get 30% of its power from onsite solar and wind systems.

The developers claim that "every single detail of Monterey Bay Shores Ecoresort encompasses principles of sustainability and conservation," and that they've left no eco-stone unturned in pursuit of developing the most environmentally friendly resort ever created.

Here's what that means.

The Greenest Ecoresort's Eco-Checklist

-Six and a half of the 29 acres will be dedicated to providing a protected habitat for endangered species and rehabilitating the coastline.

-It will aim for LEED platinum certification

-It's been estimated that the resort will have 50 percent less of a carbon footprint than traditional structures, according to SNG, the resort's developers. How will it manage that? From SNG:

• Design: Designed in harmony with the site, the plans consider topography, orientation and scale of existing and restored dune formations
• Position: The property is set further back from the shoreline than required by local zoning to provide a buffer for habitat and natural coastal processes
• Materials & Construction: Maximum use of recycled building materials, onsite prefab construction and intelligent building operations
• Living Architecture: Five acres of living roofs which mitigate stormwater, and provide insulation and cooling, leave only 1.5 acres of non-native vegetative cover on the ecoresort
• Renewable Energy: Thirty percent of energy needs are provided by onsite renewable sources to power the building's functions – geothermal, wind and solar systems to be deployed
• Water Conservation: Unparalleled water conservation measures – onsite graywater recycling, complete stormwater management and rainwater capture for non potable uses (laundry and irrigation)
• Optimization of Natural Resources: Wind, light and moveable shades enable the ecoresort to utilize the natural advantages of the site

Also, there'll be an onsite sustainability learning center that offers classes, electric and biofueled transportation for guests, and a portion of the resort's profits will reportedly fund local environmental projects.

And, since it's in California, US residents won't have to fly to get there — perhaps the biggest setback for "eco" resorts on tropical islands and around the world.

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