LEED Platinum Hotel in Costa Rica: Olas Verdes

Olas Verdes, a Costa Rican boutique hotel in Playa Guiones, Nosara,has been awarded the highest designation for the international sustainable design and construction standard, LEED®(Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design)—LEED Platinum.

This makes Olas Verdes the first LEED Platinum hotel in Costa Rica and first LEED certified surf hotel in the world!
Olas Verdes Hotel was born out of the owners’ love for Costa Rica, its people and culture, as well as their passion for the local community of Nosara and their dedication to preserving the fragile ecosystems that make this rural beach town so unique.
Integrating the spirit and allure of the country into the design and guest experience at Olas Verdes was essential for the team. “The owners of Olas Verdes were eager to go the extra mile from day one to raise the bar for sustainable tourism.” said Carl Kish, project manager.

Water conservation was of the utmost priority for the owners since Nosara was in a five-year drought, which is why Olas Verdes installed 14,000 liters of underground rainwater storage. Each suite uses ultra low-flow water fixtures and the property’s greywater is treated in a chemical-free wastewater treatment system. The water is then recycled for irrigating the native vegetation that was diligently sourced. The property seamlessly blends with the adjoining Ostional Wildlife Refuge, providing additional habitat for Howler Monkeys, various species of birds, and other tropical fauna who frequent the hotel grounds.

image_leed_certified_beach_hotel_in_nosara_costa_ricaThe facilities utilized passive solar design to minimize solar heat gain and maximize natural ventilation, taking into consideration the sun angles and wind patterns, to naturally cool and light the buildings as much as possible, which maximizes guest comfort while minimizing energy use.

A combination of solar water heating systems, rooftop solar panels, and battery storage, meet over 20% of the hotel’s annual energy demand with renewable energy. Topped with energy efficient appliances, HVAC system, Big Ass Fans®, and a combination of CFL and LED lighting along with timers and motion sensors further minimize grid-energy use. This, along with an energy monitoring and HVAC control system, makes Olas Verdes Hotel 40% more efficient than the baseline building performance rating based on the ASHRAE standard.

Olas Verdes offers 17 suites across five buildings, each representing a different region of Costa Rica featuring authentic decor from local artisans in their respective province. The hotel partnered with the Nosara Recycling Center to collect specific types of glass bottles for different colors in the countertops, backsplashes, and two large mosaics handcrafted by local artisans. Recycled plastics collected in Costa Rica were repurposed into the restaurant deck and yoga platform.

The hotel’s saltwater pool is shaped like two breaking waves not only as an ode to the hotel’s name, “Green Waves”, but also to navigate around the large Jobo trees that would have been removed otherwise. All the roofing and overhangs were custom trimmed and positioned to go around the trees on the property. These initiatives altogether saved over 90% of the existing trees on the property.

sustainable practices

Overcoming these sustainability challenges to achieve LEED Platinum in a rural and outlying part of Costa Rica was

tremendously difficult, but the Olas Verdes team feels it was completely worth it. Guests value the amazing experience without compromising the needs of the local community or environment.

A stay at Olas Verdes is a guarantee that your trip is contributing to community development programs and to the preservation of the local environment. Olas Verdes Hotel hosts local schools for educational seminars, coordinates voluntourism efforts with local nonprofits, and supports community-wide conservation efforts such as the Blue Flag Program, which registers Playa Guiones nationally as an ecologically friendly beach town.

If you want to learn more about Olas Verdes, their LEED Platinum certification, and sustainable tourism best practices, please visit their website at www.olasverdeshotel.com or contact info@olasverdeshotel.com.