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Gulf State Park Awards & Press: An International Model of Sustainable Eco-tourism.


Gulf State Park is setting new global benchmarks for resilient structural design and land development projects, having received numerous awards and certifications. The Lodge at Gulf State Park and the Interpretive Center are the first two commercial buildings in the world to achieve the FORTIFIED Commercial™ certification. The Lodge has also been awarded the Sustainable SITES Platinum Certification, breaking ground as the first Sustainable SITES project in Alabama, and the first SITES hospitality project in the world.

Recently recognized as Alabama’s first Living Building, the Gulf State Park Interpretive Center has achieved Petal Certification from the International Living Future Institute with 19 of the 20 imperatives of the Living Building Challenge! Performance measurements gathered for net positive water, energy, carbon and materials have catapulted this tiny building on the Gulf Coast of Alabama to join a handful of global leaders that are moving beyond the paradigm of “sustainability” and demonstrating the possibility of truly restorative development.

The LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) building rating system is being used to measure building performance in terms of water conservation, energy conservation, healthy indoor environments, and wise material use. The Lodge has achieved LEED Gold certification, the Interpretive Center received the LEED Platinum certification, and The Learning Campus, also at the Gulf State Park, has achieved the LEED Silver certification.

Gulf State Park Lodge

LEED Gold Certification | Sustainable SITES Platinum | FORTIFIED Commercial™

Gulf State Park Interpretive Center

LEED Platinum Certification | FORTIFIED Commercial™ | Living Building Petal Certification

Gulf State Park Learning Campus

LEED Silver Certification | FORTIFIED Commercial™

Gulf State Park Master Plan

Awards & Recognition

The Lodge at Gulf State Park

Best Green Project, 2019 Best Projects, ENR Southeast (2019)

First FORTIFIED Commercial™ Building

Hospitality Design Awards, Midscale Hotel (Finalist); Hospitality Design Magazine (2019) 

Gulf State Park Master Plan

Merit Award in Analysis & Planning, Boston Society of Landscape Architects (2019) 

GSP Interpretive Center

Living Building Challenge, Petal Certified, International Living Future Institute (2023)

First FORTIFIED Commercial™ Building

American Graphic Design Award, Graphic Design USA. (2018)

Other Recognition:

Community Partner Award, Partners for Environmental Progress (2019) 

Attraction of the Year, Alabama Tourism Department (2019) 

Project Merit for Natural Resources Management, Environmental Business Journal (2018)

Trip Advisor Hall of Fame Certificate of Excellence

In the News:

Landscape Architecture Magazine: Roll, Tide

Sustainable SITES Initiative: Gulf State Park Lodge: A SITES Platinum project maximizing “life per square foot”

Kendeda Fund Website: Living Building Project Caps Gulf State Park Sustainable Makeover

International Living Future Institute: The Gulf State Park Interpretive Center: A Southern Success Story Gulf State Park Lodge is a leader in environmentally friendly design

Alabama opens new ‘crown jewel’ and ‘cozy’ beachside hotel and convention center

Good Grit: Rethink, Reuse, and Relax

Sasaki: Park Enhancements Shift Perceptions of Alabama

NBC 15 News: Grand opening for multi-million dollar Lodge at Gulf State Park in Gulf Shores

CSI: Bio-based corrosion inhibitors: Building for resiliency in marine environments

AP News: The Lodge at Gulf State Park, A Hilton Hotel Returns to Alabama’s Gulf Coast

HospitalityNet: The Lodge at Gulf State Park, A Hilton Hotel Returns to Alabama’s Gulf Coast

AL. Dept. of Conservation & Natural Resources: Eagle Cottages at Gulf State Park Becomes Newest Member of National Geographic’s Unique Lodges of the World Program

“We are proud that two of Gulf State Park’s new enhancements are the first buildings in the world to receive designations as FORTIFIED Commercial™ structures,” said Chris Blankenship, commissioner, Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. “These designations represent the park’s commitment to be an international benchmark of environmental and economic sustainability through responsible design and construction. These beautiful facilities go beyond basic building code requirements to ensure that it will welcome and educate visitors to Alabama’s Gulf Coast for years to come.”

gulf state park lodge campus