Introducing the Proximity Hotel in Greensboro, North Carolina–the world’s most environmentally friendly hotel. It is the first hotel anywhere to obtain the extremely difficult LEED PLATINUM green building standard for commercial buildings promulgated by the Green Building Council.
What did the hotel do to earn such a distinction? Consider:
- It recycled 87% of construction debris
- Over 40% of building materials were locally sourced, as was 90% of the furniture
- It used more than 20% recycled content.
- It provided natural lighting to 97% of the occupied space
- Its utilizes 41% percent less energy and 33% less water than other hotels of comparable size–the latter amounting to over 2 million gallons of water not used in its first year of operation.
- Elevators that generate electricity when they descend.
Proximity achieved environmental perfection without giving up one bit of lavish style or asking for sacrifices from its guests. It contains over 7000 square feet of entertainment space, an outdoor swimming pool, and fitness center. The guest rooms are over-sized and feature 50 square foot windows, high definition TV’s, Magi beds, and beautifully designed bathrooms. Hot water is generated through the use of solar power generated from the 100 solar panels covering the hotel’s 4000 square foot rooftop.
An adjacent restaurant, Print Works Bistro, shares the LEED platinum rating and uses fresh, locally grown food to create classic European bistro dishes. The dining room offers three walls’ worth of 7 foot high windows overlooking the hotel gardens. The restaurant employs sensor-controlled kitchen ventilation, uses geothermal energy to operate its refrigeration equipment, and used reclaimed walnut for its tabletops.
Want to see more of this water and energy conservation wonder? Check out the featured video on the sidebar, from National Geographic Traveler’s Intelligent Travel blog, which features a tour of the hotel (you can also see the video there if it’s no longer featured on our website.)
Seeing examples like this of what is possible with just a bit of green building design innovation is so encouraging, and it makes me hopeful of a better tomorrow where many of the world’s buildings co-habitate with the planet in a more sustainable manner.
So what is there to do in Greensboro to justify making a visit to such a work of environmental beauty? Beats me, but I’m sure their Convention and Visitors Bureau is a great place to start!