Tamarack Lodge Becomes First LEED Certified Lake Tahoe Building

Posted By: The Ski Channel on November 10, 2011 7:00 am

Heavenly Mountain Resort’s new Tamarack Lodge has been awarded Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification by the U.S. Green Building Council. The nearly 15,000 sq. ft. lodge was built as part of Heavenly’s major revitalization over the past eight years and is the first building at Lake Tahoe to be awarded the exclusive LEED status. The Lodge’s design will now serve as the blueprint for the construction of Northstar-at-Tahoe’s new on-mountain lodge and as a guide for future Vail Resorts development.

Tamarack Lodge’s LEED certification demonstrates the Resort’s ongoing commitment to green building.

“From the beginning of project planning, our objective was to create a spectacular on-mountain lodge that met or exceeded the environmental standards embodied by LEED’s green building principles. I am extremely proud of the dedication and commitment of our team,” said Pete Sonntag, vice president and general manager of Heavenly Mountain Resort. “Tamarack Lodge is so magnificent that these details might go unnoticed by our guests, but environmental protection is a pillar of Vail Resorts and crucial to delivering a sustainable and service-oriented experience every day.”

Soon after opening on December 17, 2011, Tamarack Lodge was deemed Lake Tahoe’s finest on-mountain restaurant, offering guests a combination of the highest-quality food in a comfortable, alpine-themed setting.                                                                                          Tamarack Lodge at Heavenly Mountain Resort (Photo courtesy of Heavenly)

“We’re proud that Heavenly has obtained LEED certification for its beautiful new lodge,” said Nancy Gibson, forest supervisor for the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit. “Environmental sustainability lies at the center of the Forest Service mission, and Heavenly is helping us to achieve that, while offering world-class recreational opportunities on national forest system lands.”

“Heavenly’s sustainable approach to improving their facilities is commendable and Tamarack Lodge is a beautiful project that signifies what the private sector is doing at Lake Tahoe to match public restoration efforts,” said Joanne Marchetta, executive director of the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, the country’s first bi-state environmental planning agency committed to protecting the Lake Tahoe region. “At Lake Tahoe, building green also means thinking blue and we appreciate the efforts of Vail Resorts and Heavenly staff to improve the visitor experience while maintaining the highest environmental standards.”

In order to achieve the Resort’s sustainable building goals, Heavenly worked with a LEED-certified commissioning engineer and design team to ensure the process was transparent and closely aligned with the US Green Building Council’s recommendations. The project features native and adaptive plant species in re-vegetation and landscaping to reduce water consumption. In addition, fifty-six tons of construction waste were diverted from local landfills and ten percent of the total building materials were sourced from recycled materials. Heavenly also utilized low-emitting sealants and paints to restrict the levels of volatile organic compounds.

In addition to being environmentally friendly, many of the green features bestow a practical benefit to both visitors and the Resort itself. For example, the roofing material of the Tamarack Lodge was chosen carefully to reduce heat island effect, a term used to describe an area that concentrates heat leading to increased energy needs and green house gas emissions.

Furthermore, many behind-the-scenes design features will allow for on-going energy and water savings making a lasting positive impact on the environment. Low-flush lavatories and other smart plumbing fixture designs will help Heavenly cut water consumption by 33 percent. Light timers and automatic control system will help reduce light pollution on the mountain and cut energy use in the future.

To read more about Tamarack Lodge and other initiatives at Heavenly Mountain Resort, visit www.skiheavenly.com.