Yacht charter firms go green

CLEARWATER, Fla. – The sailing vacations brands The Moorings, Sunsail, and Footloose Sailing Charters are developing a new LEED certified headquarters in Clearwater, Fla., they reported in a statement today.

Partnering with developers Hallmark Development of Florida, builders The Murray Company and architects Collman & Karsky, the healthy design, using recycled and low-toxicity materials, is expected to be the first building in Clearwater to receive the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification from the U.S. Green Building Council, according to the charter firms.

LEED scores buildings for innovation, recycling, materials, community impact, energy efficiency and water use. The $2.8 million building, which is due to open in May 2008, contains many green features, such as room lighting which turns off when not in use, tinted windows which maximize natural light block heat and low-flow faucets in the restrooms. Wall coverings, work stations and flooring are chosen for their low toxicity and high recycled or post consumer content. Proximity to public transport, bike racks and onsite showers encourage people not to drive, while fuel efficient cars benefit from priority parking.

“By its nature, sailing is a green vacation choice, and this development is an extension of our worldwide environmental policy, spearheaded by our largest base in the British Virgin Islands, with improvements in marina water quality, recycling of grey water and prevention of pollution during yacht maintenance,” said Lex Raas, president of the charter company.

The project is currently under review by the City of Clearwater, with the ground breaking ceremony to be announced later this month and the scheduled opening for May 2008. The company is aiming for gold level certification, the second-highest possible.

“We feel it is our role, as leaders of the yacht charter industry, to drive sustainable development for the benefit our employees as well as the 30- plus destinations in which we operate around the world, including The Moorings Power Yacht fleet, which features newly developed fuel efficient power catamarans,” added Raas.

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