Proximity Hotel is a LEED Platinum "green hotel" and the building's design and construction followed guidelines of the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System,™ the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction, and operation of high performance green buildings. Developed by the U.S. Green Building Council, LEED gives building owners and operators the tools they need to have an immediate and measurable impact on their buildings’ performance. LEED promotes a whole-building approach to sustainability by recognizing performance in six key areas of human and environmental health: sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection, indoor environmental quality, and innovation in design. To earn LEED certification, a building project must meet certain prerequisites and performance benchmarks ("credits") within each category. (See a list of our LEED Credits.) Projects are awarded Certified, Silver, Gold, or Platinum certification depending on the number of credits they achieve. This comprehensive approach is the reason LEED-certified buildings have reduced operating costs, healthier and more productive occupants, and conserve our natural resources.
Here is a sampling of the 70+ sustainable practices at Proximity Hotel:
The building uses 39.2% less energy than a conventional hotel/restaurant by using ultra efficient materials and the latest construction technology.
The sun’s energy heats hot water with 100 solar panels covering the 4,000 square feet of rooftop (enough hot water for a hundred homes).
700 linear feet of stream was restored by reducing erosion, planting local, adaptable plant species and rebuilding the buffers and banks. Approximately 700 cubic yards of soil was removed to create a floodplain bench. And 376 tons of boulders and 18 logs were used to maintain grade control, dissipate energy and assist in the creation and maintenance of riffles and pools.
The bistro bar is made of salvaged, solid walnut trees that came down through sickness or storm and room service trays made of Plyboo (bamboo plywood).
Newly-engineered variable speed hoods in the restaurant uses a series of sensors to set the power according to the kitchen's needs and adjusts to a lower level of operation (typically 25% of their full capacity). The sensors also detect heat, smoke or other effluents and increase the fan speed to keep the air fresh.
Geothermal energy is used for the restaurant’s refrigeration equipment, instead of a standard water-cooled system, saving significant amounts of water.
North America's first Regenerative Drive model of the Otis Gen2 elevator reduces net energy usage by capturing the system’s energy and feeds it back into the building’s internal electrical grid.
Abundant natural lighting, including large energy-efficient “operable” windows (7’4” square windows in guest rooms), connects guests to the outdoors by achieving a direct line of sight to the outdoor environment for more than 97% of all regularly occupied spaces.
Building materials with recycled content include reinforced steel with 90% post consumer recycled content, National Gypsum Wallboard 100%, asphalt 25% and staircase steel 50%. Concrete contains 4% fly ash (224,000 pounds), the mineral residue left after the combustion of coal that is diverted from landfills.
87% of construction waste was recycled, diverting 1,535 tons of debris from landfills.
Water usage has been reduced by 33% by installing high-efficiency Kohler plumbing fixtures, saving two million gallons of water the first year.
Air quality improved by circulating large amounts of outside air into guestrooms (60 cubic feet per minute) and doing so in an energy efficient way by employing “energy recovery” technology where the outside air is tempered by the air being exhausted.
Regional vendors and artists were used for materials to reduce transportation and packaging.
Guestroom shelving and the bistro’s tabletops are made of walnut veneer, over a substrate of SkyBlend, a particleboard made from 100% post-industrial recycled wood pulp with no added formaldehyde.
A green, vegetated rooftop will be planted on the restaurant to reduce the “urban heat island effect.” In other words, the green roof reflects the heat, thus reducing the amount of energy needed for refrigeration and/or air conditioning. It also slows the rain runoff and insulates the rooftop, keeping the building cooler overall. Currently, we are trying out various plants on the roof in a test area.
“Education Center” for sustainable practices includes tours of our "green" hotel for guests, sustainable practices symposia, and outreach programs for students of all ages.
Bicycles are available for guests to ride on the nearby five-mile greenway.
We'd like to give special thanks to NC A&T University, Dr. Peter Rojeski and Superior Mechanical for helping us to get the LEED Platnumn status with the USGBC.
Solar Panels heat hot water
The restored stream
Chip Holton, our artist-in-residence, created original art for each guest room and the lobby. Since his temporary studio was next to Proximity, no packaging or shipping was utilized to transport the 500 pieces of art.
Most of our furniture was designed by our team and made locally.
Watch a candid discussion on April 9, 2010 about what it really means to go green between Robert Watson the father of LEED and Dennis Quaintance, the owner of the Proximity Hotel. Presented by the UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School.
"Taking the LEED in Green Initiatives for Hospitality and Gaming"
discussion on August 27, 2010
What did it take for Proximity to be named the highest rated "green initiatives" hotel through the
Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) program?
Presented in partnership with the Cornell Center for Hospitality Research and SAS Webcast Series