If you've driven through New Haven, or stopped at the IKEA, you've undoubtedly noticed one of the coolest looking buildings in our state. We always called it the Lego building, because it looked like two square Lego blocks being snapped together with a 2 floor gap in between the blocks. I always knew it as the Pirelli Building for most of my life, but it's sat vacant for almost 20 years. That's about to change.

According to cnn.com, the former Pirelli building at 500 Sargent Drive in New Haven is currently being transformed into a 165 room Hilton-branded boutique hotel. And according to the building's owner, Westport's Becker & Becker, by the end of this Winter and into the first quarter of 2022, the newly branded Hotel Marcel will probably become the first net-zero hotel in the United States.

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What is a net-zero hotel? The entire premises of the Hotel Marcel will run independently off fossil fuels powered by energy generated onsite. This independent sustainability will be achieved by utilizing solar panels on the hotel's roof and parking lot, which will provide 100% of the electricity used for lighting, heating, cooling, and electric car charging stations. Hotel Marcel will also utilize recycled local construction materials, LEED Platinum Certification, triple-glazed windows, VRF air-source heat pumps, and thermal insulation technology to become the first Passive House certified Hotel in the United States.

Originally designed and built by Marcel Breuer in 1970 for Armstrong Rubber, the famous gap in the building was intentional. According to cnn.com, Breuer designed the signature two-floor gap to allow noise-dampening for the Armstrong execs on the top floors, from the racket generated from the research and development labs on the bottom floors.

The new Hotel Marcel will open its doors to the public sometime in early 2022.

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