Green Building Tour: Embassy Suites St. Louis - Downtown & The Laurel Apartments

  • 10 Jul 2012
  • 5:30 PM - 7:30 PM
  • Embassy Suites St. Louis – Downtown, 610 North 7th Street, St. Louis, MO 63101


  • For full-time students who do not currently hold USGBC-Missouri Gateway Chapter membership.
  • For individuals who do not hold a current USGBC-Missouri Gateway Chapter Membership
  • USGBC-Missouri Gateway Monthly Programs are free for Chapter Members!

Registration is closed

July 10 Program

Green Building Tour:  Embassy Suites St. Louis - Downtown & The Laurel Apartments

Built in two phases in 1906 and 1919 as the Grand Leader Department Store, the building covers an entire city block along St. Louis’ Washington Avenue corridor.  After nearly a century of use as a major headquarters and retail destination, the building sat vacant for a decade before being completely renovated and converted into an urban mixed-use facility with 205 residential apartments and 212 hotel guestrooms.  Over 95% of the building’s walls, floors, and roof were incorporated into the renovation, including the courtyard and stairs installed in the 1980’s renovation as part of the St. Louis Center Mall.  However the renovation removed one key element of the mall conversion, the 3-story connector bridge over Washington Ave., restoring the prominence of the streetscape and urban corridor.  

Being in the heart of downtown St. Louis, the building, renamed as The Laurel, is particularly well suited as a mixed-use renovation.  The adjacent MX development and the other development downtown creates a truly walkable neighborhood with access to employment, shopping, services, and entertainment, while the project provides public transportation access at nearly sixteen times the threshold set by LEED.  Other elements of a comprehensive transportation management plan include bicycle storage with access to bicycle route maps accessed through mobile devices, enhanced pedestrian elements in the streetscape, a car share program, and an on-site electric vehicle charging station.

The renovation of The Laurel has attempted to create a more sustainable building by improving the building envelope with additional insulation, new low-e insulated glazing, and a white roof to reduce the urban heat island effect.  Given the size and perimeter length of the building, the water loop serving individual heat pumps at each apartment or guestroom will efficiently transfer heat from areas requiring cooling to areas requiring heating.  Since the initial construction was at the turn of the last century, the renovation included extensive hazardous materials abatement through brownfield tax credits, and the new construction has attempted to keep this clean indoor environment with low-VOC paint and flooring systems, an exhaust system with pressurized corridors, and operable windows.  Hidden efforts to increase sustainability include high recycled content structural steel, light gauge metal framing and gypsum board systems, low-flow toilet and other plumbing fixtures, and refrigerant systems with low ozone depletion potential.

CONTINUING EDUCATION: Submitted for approval of 1 GBCI CE Hour and 1 AIA/CES CEH

WHEN: Tuesday, July 10, 2012, 5:30–6:15pm-Registration & Networking, 6:15–7:30pm-Presentation & Tours

WHERE: Embassy Suites St. Louis – Downtown, 610 North 7th Street, St. Louis, MO  63101 map

TRANSPORTATION: Traveling via Metrolink is encouraged; the building is located near the Convention Center Metrolink Stop. If driving, parking will be available for a discounted rate of $2/car at the 7th & St. Charles St. Louis Parking garage (Entrance and exit is on the 7th street side.) Cash or credit card will be accepted; discount passes for parking will be available at the event registration table. 

FEE:  Free for USGBC-Missouri Gateway and Full-time Students; $20 for Non-members

Click on the “Register” button on the left side of this page.

QUESTIONS? Contact USGBC-Missouri Gateway staff at or (314) 577-0225.

Thanks to Our Event Sponsors!

Bell Electric

BSI Constructors, Inc.

Embassy Suites

Pi Pizzeria

Trivers Associates