MILLENNIUM KNICKERBOCKER HOTEL, Chicago
ARCHITECT: Gibson/Darr Architecture and Consulting, Chicago, (312) 467-9790
INTERIOR DESIGNER: Jinnie Kim Design, Brookline, Mass.
Because the Millennium Knickerbocker Hotel is on the list of Historic Hotels of America (HHA), which has its own sustainability policies, a challenge presented itself during the hotel’s renovation. “Our challenge in updating the restrooms was to utilize the original restroom space to its fullest extent and use the most water-efficient, space-saving toilets, which meant an in-wall carrier system,” explains Carl Darr, principal of Gibson/Darr Architecture and Consulting, which managed the project design, including the mechanical, electrical, plumbing and fire-protection components.
The HHA sustainability policies recognize that historic preservation can—and should—be an important component of any effort to promote sustainable development, including saving water. Darr also had to adhere to the Millennium Knickerbocker Hotel’s corporate water-savings policy: Rooms must be equipped with showerheads, faucets and toilets that conserve water.
Darr and his team addressed the challenges of space and water conservation by replacing more than 300 floor-mounted toilets with Geberit Concealed Tank and Carrier Systems, Geberit Dual-Flush Actuators and Duravit Darling wall-mounted toilets. The Geberit system’s water-saving capability meets and exceeds the guidelines of 0.8 gpf or 1.6 gpf. “We chose Geberit’s in-wall system because of the product availability and technical support,” Darr explains. “Installation of the UP300/UP320 was easy because we could run the pipe horizontally at the right slope and not have to drill new holes in the floor, especially important in a renovation.”
The Duravit Darling wall-mounted toilet was chosen because of its contemporary design, versatility, coordination ease and budget-minded pricing.
CONCEALED TANK AND CARRIER SYSTEMS AND DUAL-FLUSH ACTUATOR MANUFACTURER: Geberit
WALL-MOUNTED TOILET MANUFACTURER: Duravit
The Millennium Knickerbocker Hotel in the heart of downtown Chicago is rich in tradition and exudes timeless elegance and luxury. Opening its doors on May 16, 1927, the hotel was designed in an eclectic style. Today, after renovations, the 186,000-square-foot, 14-floor hotel offers the glamour and allure of the roaring ’20s combined with modern amenities, the latest technology, and highest standards of hospitality and eco-friendliness.
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