(Photo: NYLO in Las Colinas. A new, LEED Certified NYLO Hotel will open in Dallas in August)     

By Rita Cook     

When the NYLO Dallas South Side Hotel on South Lamar in opens its doors in August, while the property won’t be the first of the NYLO brand in the Dallas area, it will be the first LEED certified of its brand in the metroplex.

NYLO Dallas South Side will be NYLO’s first conversion property too. 

Set to open in August, NYLO Dallas South Side Hotel sits between South Side on Lamar and Gilley’s Dallas Live, three blocks from the Dallas Convention Center, one block from the DART Cedars Rail station and minutes from both the Dallas Central Business District and the Dallas Arts District.

“Once the hotel achieves LEED certification, which it is currently pursuing under the Gold level of the LEED 2009 NC Rating System, it will show the team’s dedication to undergoing a very stringent review process in order to achieve a highly respected third-party verification of the hotel’s commitment to sustainability,” says Mike Mueller, President and CEO of NYLO Hotels.

(Photo: A rendering of the external facade of the coming South Dallas NYLO)

Most of the existing building is being reused for the new hotel, and while Mueller is completely onboard the project he gives credit for making the LEED decision to Matthews Southwest, the project’s developer.

“Their decision to build a LEED certified hotel definitely played a role in our strong desire to become involved with this project,” says Mueller. “All of our NYLO hotels are environmentally friendly and this is taking it to the highest possible level as a LEED certified Gold, which is about as environmentally friendly as a hotel can be and there are very few of them.”

The reasons that NYLO seeks to be environmentally friendly is a combination of factors, but Mueller says mainly it gives a competitive advantage over other hotel brands and he also believes it is just the right thing to do.

“The fact that this hotel is a conversion of an existing structure that was vacant and non-productive and the location, made this project an ideal candidate for LEED certification. The architect, 5G Studios of Dallas, has experience in LEED certified projects and they have led the analysis and been creative in finding ways to be green,” he adds.

Matthews Southwest actually purchased the building as a shell, so construction has involved very little demolition.  The exterior of the building is being restored to its original character; granite cladding at the ground level, which is not original to the building, will be reused as crushed granite around the site’s landscaping.  Since the building’s historical status does not allow the windows to be replaced, low-E film is being added to all of the building’s existing windows.  The roof structure will remain, but the existing roofing will be replaced with a well-insulated high albedo roof.  An elevated platform is also being constructed over most of the roof for a rooftop deck and bar that will include the 2,700 square foot addition with conditioned space, 5,000 square feet of exterior gathering space, and a pool.  A new 3,900 gallon cistern adjacent to the building will collect rainwater from the roof and provide water for all of the landscape’s irrigation needs.

As for the interior much of it is being preserved as well; existing finishes and new finishes will work together to create a modern and also vintage aesthetic that will show respect for the history of the building.  The existing interior finish of the exterior walls, a combination of exposed brick and plaster, is also being preserved.  The underside of the floor slabs will be left exposed, much of the existing concrete floor will be touched up and sealed, and the concrete columns will be left exposed. 

“The project is an adaptive reuse of a 100-year old five-story building that sat vacant for more than a decade,” Mueller explains. 

Due to the building’s historical status, the team also had limited opportunities to improve the efficiency of the existing envelope, but modifications were made where possible.  The low-E film for example, drastically reduces solar heat gain for the existing windows, and the new roof and addition will be highly efficient.  While the exterior walls will not be modified, the brick walls contribute towards energy efficiency through the brick’s thermal mass properties.  The mechanical system for most of the building will be an efficient water heat pump system, which borrows chilled water from the adjacent South Side on Lamar.  The hot water heating system will be highly efficient, and the lighting will be efficient as well. 

Also of interest is the planned water conservation at the hotel so the site and roof vegetation will be irrigated with rainwater collected in a cistern adjacent to the building so that potable water will only be used for interior water needs.  The staff restrooms will utilize a reclaimed water system to capture graywater from the sinks and from the showers, which drain from plumbing in the cavity wall above, then will use that water to flush the toilets in those restrooms. 

All paints, coatings, adhesives, and sealants applied onsite and used inside the building envelope will be low-emitting, all carpet will be Green Label Plus as certified by the Carpet and Rug Institute, and all composite wood products will have no added urea-formaldehyde.  About 99% of the regularly occupied spaces in the hotel will have access to outdoor views, and the low-E coatings have visible transmittance values of at least 50% so as to maintain a useful level of daylighting for occupants through existing windows.

“First and foremost we want people to walk away from our hotels having enjoyed their stay and the design, ambiance and service at NYLO,” Mueller concludes. “If they also notice the efforts we go to for the environment, that’s great and we hope that more and more people will realize that it’s smart to try to support businesses that are earth friendly.”

Sign up for the weekly Green Source DFW Newsletter to stay up to date on everything green in North Texas, the latest news and events. Rita Cook is a freelance writer who has worked as a special Contributor to The Dallas Morning News and other major publications.