PROXIMITY HOTEL’S ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABLE PRACTICES
Proximity’s goal is to attain LEED Platinum Certification
Greensboro, NC, November 2007 – Proximity Hotel is following guidelines of t he 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. 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. It is likely that the Proximity Hotel will attain the USGBC’s highest rating, LEED Platinum, but that won’t be certain until early 2008. At minimum, it will attain the LEED Gold certification. At present there is only one LEED Gold certified hotel in the country and no LEED Platinum hotels.
Here is a sampling of the 70+ sustainable practices at Proximity Hotel:
- Uses 36.5% less energy than a conventional hotel by using ultra efficient materials and the latest construction technology.
- Utilizes the sun’s energy to heat hot water with 100 solar panels covering the 4,000 square feet of rooftop (enough hot water for a hundred homes).
- Restored 700 linear feet of stream 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.
- Installed North America's first Regenerative Drive model of the Otis' Gen2 elevator which reduces net energy usage by capturing the system’s energy and feeds it back into the building’s internal electrical grid.
- Takes advantage of abundant natural lighting with 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 90% of all regularly occupied spaces.
- Uses building materials with recycled content. For example, reinforced steel contains 90% post consumer recycled content, National Gypsum Wallboard 100%, asphalt 25% and staircase steel 50%. Concrete contains 4% fly ash, the mineral residue left after the combustion of coal that is diverted from landfills.
- Recycled 75% of construction waste, diverting it from landfills.
- Reduces water usage by 30% by installing high-efficiency Kohler plumbing fixtures.
- Improves air quality 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 from the hotel.
- Uses regional vendors and artists for materials to reduce transportation and packaging.
- Utilizes low-emitting volatile organic compound (VOC ) paints, adhesives, carpets, etc to reduce indoor air contamination.
- Uses guest-room shelving made of walnut SkyBlend, particleboard made from 100% post-industrial recycled wood pulp with no added formaldehyde.
- Offers bicycles for guests to ride on the nearby five-mile greenway.
- Uses tabletops in the Bistro made of salvaged, solid walnut trees that came down through sickness or storm and room service trays made of Plyboo (bamboo plywood).
- Installed newly-engineered variable speed hoods in the restaurant that use 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.
- Uses geothermal energy for the restaurant’s refrigeration equipment, instead of a standard water-cooled system, saving significant amounts of water.
- Will plant a green, vegetated rooftop 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.
- Becomes an “Education Center” for sustainable practices with tours for guests and outreach programs for students of all ages.