16 Jan

The Club of the Future

How Green Will We Go?

The Club of the Future — Self Sustaining

In addition to the feel good or even community responsibility aspects of pursuing green building and operational practices, there are a few very compelling reasons we expect to see private clubs making major strides toward greater sustainability in the coming decade.  Namely:

  • Sheer acreage. Country and golf clubs cover a lot of ground.  Which means their impact on the environment — good or bad — is significant
  • Long-term value. “Generations of members buy into the long-term value clubs provide,” says Chambers Director of Architecture Ken Hart.  Sustainability is a long-term commitment to the environment, the community and a club’s members.  Hart anticipates a move toward a fully self-sustainable club
  • A holistic approach to wellness.  Clubs have become increasingly focused on overall member health and wellness.  From efforts to reduce negative impacts on local air and water supplies to the selection of whole and locally grown foods, clubs will continue to find ways to marry their operational efforts to their philosophical approaches to personal health
  • An evolution of the definition of “luxury.” “We expect the club community will experience a mental shift on the idea of luxury in the future,” says Chambers Managing Director Patricia Sampson.  Though responsible environmental practices aren’t relegated strictly to a notion of “luxury,” certainly those who seek (and can afford) luxury should expect — if not demand — them as a benefit of their commitment to their club as a primary fixture in their personal lives

In an effort to define and shape the ideal Club of the Future, Chambers has considered what sustainability will mean to clubs 10 and 20 years from now and its impact on membership and facilities.

Says Hart, “We think private clubs are going to champion the notion of maximizing the use of natural resources.”  Right now, he says, “the trend is to make sure you’re retrofitting your space to get the most out of your square footage.” Down the road, he expects clubs will be looking to make sure they’re using every club asset — including its natural resources —  to their best fiscal and environmental advantage.

“When members join a club,” says Sampson, “they’re looking for a certain lifestyle.” They want to socialize with like-minded people or may join around a specific commonality or interest, like golf or even religion.  As new generations come in, environmental consciousness will be part of that like mind, Sampson says.  “Younger people will demand that their clubs be more environmentally responsible and will look at those practices as natural components of a quality life.”

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