Determining Occupancy: Hotel Edition

I was recently asked how to determine occupancy for hotel rooms, found a credit interpretation ruling that included an acceptable formula, and decided to share it with you here! A CIR dated 5/13/2007 for a LEED-NCv2.1 project essentially stated that you would count all of the employees as full-time equivalent (FTE) occupants, and that you could use a multiplier for the persons/hotel room to determine a transient occupancy for the building.

The design team proposed that you would take the number of hotel rooms and multiply that by an average number of guests per occupied room of 2 people/room. Then multiply that number by the average room occupancy per night, which according to the American Hotel & Lodging Association is 63.1% for 2007. That leaves us with the following:

Hotel Rooms * 2 Guests/Room * .631 Occupancy Average = Transient Occupants

So for a hotel with 100 rooms you would get a result of 126.2, which after rounding leaves us with a transient occupancy of 127 for the hotel. Add to that the number of employees provided by the owner and you have your peak loading. Determining the number of FTEs is unfortunately up to you, as I would suspect this number varies greatly depending on whether the property is full or limited service, budget or luxury, etc. If anyone has any advice for FTE rules of thumb for hotels please share!

BONUS! Another CIR dated 9.14.2006 discussed the fact that hotel guests could reasonably be excluded from the bicycle rack requirements due to the serious doubt that anyone will be traveling from city to city overnight via bike.

Prove them wrong, naked hippie cyclist!

Hippie Cyclist

Determining Occupancy - The Original
Determining Occupancy - Residential Edition


Unknown said...

It's not clear how to classify hotel guests under credit WE3 for water fixture usage. Do they count as 'Student/Visitor' or as 'Resident'. This is important because the usage is so different between the two types - S/V assumes very little water (including no shower). Any ideas?

joelmckellar said...

The new LEED 2009 reference guides feature expanded default occupancy counts (probably the most useful update in the guide) that include hotel guests.

For hotels, they for one FTE per 1,500 square feet and one transient per 700 sf.

Unknown said...

Thanks for the response. Unfortunately, I am working on a v2.2 project so am not sure if the new guidelines apply.

joelmckellar said...

I see where you're coming from, but I would think you could still use those numbers, as there's no reason they shouldn't apply retroactively. It might be worth an email to your certification assistant.

Anonymous said...

Hi There,

What have you seen regarding occupancy calcs and convention centers? We have about 80 FTE's and over 50,000 visitors annually!

Any information on how this affects our project is appreciated!

Liz Bowen said...

To clarify, the appendix in the LEED 2009 Reference Guide is Default values for Core and Shell. Tenants that know tenant occupancy must use actual numbers as long as the gross square foot per employee is not greater than the default occupancy count table.

You can also use a comparable buildings actual occupancy.

BTW- there is no catagory for Convention Centers- My opinion is that restaurant values would be the closest match

Employees 435 sf/ occupant
Transients 95 sf/ occupant