Wen-I Chang Developing an Environmentally Sustainable Hotel

133 Room Gaia Napa Valley

. October 14, 2008

AMERICAN CANYON, CA, October 12, 2006. Imagine a hotel with the sound of birds chirping on a green roof, lush gardens and koi swimming in a lagoon. Designed to appeal to eco-tourists who want luxury and comfort, Napa Valley's first environmentally sustainable hotel, Gaia Napa Valley, will open in mid October. Estimated value of the project is $20 million.

Cutting-edge, environmentally friendly technology was used in its construction and will be applied in the daily operations. Gaia Napa Valley will offer the ultimate experience of harmony with nature. It received the highest LEED certification in the hospitality Industry in the United States.

The lagoon with its own eco-system, is surrounded by a lush garden with perma culture landscaping on four acres in American Canyon, the gateway to the Napa Valley wine country, one of the most highly desirable destinations in California.

The 133-room hotel will use solar power, water-saving techniques and certified wood, harvested with the long-term health of forests in mind. A mural by world-renowned artist Yuan Lee reflects on the spirit, beauty and resources of nature in the Napa Valley and surrounding areas.

Gaia Napa Valley is anticipating several major conferences in its business center. The center has five rooms and nearly 5,000 square feet of convertible space for meetings and conferences. There is also a 3,000 square foot Grand Ballroom. Complimentary hi-speed wireless Internet is accessible in all guest rooms, meeting rooms and common areas.

Owner developer is Wen-I Chang of South San Francisco. An entrepreneur with a societal mission, Chang is committed to transforming the public awareness of ecology into the design and operations of a portfolio of green hotels. He is launching an innovative hotel system that will revolutionize current industry practices. Even though he has successfully developed hotels under Holiday Inn and Hilton brands, Chang wants to make a difference by combining the virtues of green with the green of money to promote his cause. He is the author of Hotel Investment & Development and Global Brain Awaken.

Some of the reasons Gaia Napa Valley is different from other hotels -- even luxury hotels:

Collaborators on the project included architects, engineers and consultants with expertise in:

-- Perma culture

-- Water management

-- Recycled and sustainable materials

-- Alternative energy sources

-- Passive solar design

-- Energy efficiency

-- Thermal comfort

-- Day lighting

It has received the highest LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification in the hospitality industry in the United States. Heat and cold are regulated naturally. During cool times of the year, the hotel will be passively heated by direct solar radiation. On overcast or cold days, active thermal conditioning will be supplied by radiant hydronic heating embedded in the floor slab. Rooms are lighted with Solatubes, tubular skylights that capture sunlight from the rooftop, direct it down a shaft and diffuse it throughout the interior space.

"GREEN" Features:

-- Use of recycled materials wherever possible in hotel and construction

-- Chemical-free landscaping

-- Energy efficient heating, ventilating and air-conditioning system uses 15% less energy

-- Water conservation features

-- Solar panels for energy generation

-- Cooling system features zero use of chlorofluorocarbons

-- All wood used in construction certified as new growth wood

-- Specialty zero energy lighting throughout the hotel and public areas

-- Air quality maximized through low emission paints and adhesives

-- And many other features endorsed by Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (www.usgbc.org/LEED/)

Architects are Todd Jersey and Mickey Muenning. Covenant Construction in Clovis is the builder.

The name Gaia refers to Mother Earth in Greek mythology. The hotel is independently owned, not a franchise. It is managed by Marin Management, Inc., which has provided support services for the hospitality industry since 1990.

The hotel will have a gourmet restaurant with a Bistro atmosphere offering a Mediterranean fusion cuisine. A full service treatment spa salon and banquet and catering services are also planned.

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