Versa Wallcovering

Kingsgate Marriott

Hotel Embraces Recycling as Part of Sustainability Program

Situated on the campus of the University of Cincinnati, the Kingsgate Marriott accentuates its interiors with the red and black colors of the school’s fighting Bearcats.  But the 206-room IACC certified Conference Hotel has gone green with its latest renovation of corridors and elevator lobbies.  Through a first-of-its kind program called Second-Look, the hotel reclaimed 2,100 yards of wallcovering and purchased 3,000 yards of recycled wallcovering.  Guestrooms are slated for the next phase of renovation in 2009, and the Marriott plans to once again reclaim wallcoverings and replace them with recycled wallcoverings.

“Recycling wallcovering was just the right thing to do,” said Susan Graves, Kingsgate Marriott general manager.  “It’s part of Green Marriott, our program that looks for ways to reduce, reuse and recycle.  Additionally we’re exploring offering green meeting packages and other ways to help the university reduce its overall environmental footprint.

The hotel removed vinyl wallcoverings from six floors using typical procedures, but placed the material in reclamation bins rather than dumpsters.  These were shipped to the Second-Look program to be recycled into new wallcoverings by Louisville-based Versa Designed Surfaces.  Marriott also worked with their distributor, D.L. Couch of New Castle, Indiana, to facilitate the process.  Introduced in early 2007, Second-Look has won sustainability awards at three international design shows and received Editor’s Choice awards from Architectural Record and Interiors & Sources magazines.

“The Second-Look program gave us everything we needed,” said Graves added.  “We wanted vinyl wallcovering for its durability and performance.  We wanted to recycle for its green benefits.” 

Marriott specified new vinyl wallcovering from the Second-Look program that includes 20% recycled content.  The textured pattern is standard to the recycled program, but was custom-colored to coordinate with the new wool carpeting.  The pattern’s tan and taupe background is speckled with earth tones to create a warm, welcoming backdrop that serves as counter-balance for sleek furnishings and a contemporary floorcoverings design.  The Type II, 20-ounce wallcovering is expected to last for 10 years or longer and can be recycled again through the Second-Look program.   

“We pride ourselves on providing the ultimate learning environment,” Graves explained.  “Located on a college campus, we provide an educational experience for school, business and community events.  But this renovation has been a learning experience for us.  It taught us that doing the right thing for the environment doesn’t have to be hard.”