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Green architecture – Bardessono luxury resort in Napa, CA

By Damir Beciri
11 February 2010

bardessono-3Bardessono, a 62-room boutique luxury inn and spa in Yountville, California, received the LEED Platinum certification. Destination design firm WATG provided complete architectural design services for the project. Bardessono, located on a 4.9-acre site in the heart of Napa Valley, was developed by Phil Sherburne, who also developed Willows Lodge in the Seattle area and Inn of the Spanish Garden in Santa Barbara, California.

“Bardessono was designed to meld into the quiet surroundings of Yountville yet stand out as a true destination resort,” said Susan Frieson, WATG associate and lead architect on the project. “Through a dedicated collaborative effort of designers, engineers and contractors-as well as a developer committed to the highest level of environmental sustainability and energy-efficient design-we were able to create a wonderfully successful project. To have achieved Platinum certification is the icing on the cake!”

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The inn includes a spa with four treatment rooms, a 75-foot-long rooftop infinity pool, a fine-dining restaurant, and meeting space. The design reflects a blending of the Valley’s agrarian character, the high refinement associated with its wines, and the indoor/outdoor character of local living. Cello-Maudru was the general contractor and Ecotope was the mechanical engineers.

Bardessono uses solar and geothermal energy, sophisticated energy management systems, sustainable building materials, and organic landscape management practices. Seventy-two 91.5m (300 feet) deep geothermal wells are used to heat and cool guestrooms and to provide hot water. Buildings’ flat roofs, hidden from view by parapets, are equipped with 940 solar panels which produce 200 KW of power.

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More than 93 percent of building waste was recycled. Paving stones and sand are used for the entrance road, in order to allow water to seep into the soil. The stone featured on both the exterior and interior of the building was recycled from the stone blocks of an old wine cellar on the property. All of the wood visible on the exterior and interior of the buildings was milled from salvaged trees, including Monterey Cypress, Orchard Walnut, Redwood and Elm.

The exterior Venetian blinds are automatically-controlled in order to let the sun and heat in early in the day and out later in the day. The glass used for windows is Low-E glass, designed to take advantage of natural light while controlling glare and heat gain.

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Fluorescent bulbs and light-emitting diodes are used to save energy meant for lightning. Everything electric in the rooms is connected to a system which uses motion-detectors which shut them off when a guest leaves the room. When guests return and put their key in the door, the current goes back on.

With a goal of contributing as little as possible to the waste stream, the Bardessono composts all kitchen and garden vegetable and plant waste in an “Earth Tub”. In order to lessen the water consumption, they installed dual-flush toilets and low-flow fixtures. Instead bottled water, the spa serves filtered water. The landscaping is drought-resistant and outdoor watering is done by underground emitters. The irrigation through Yountville’s water system is done by reusing treated gray and black water.

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