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Published May 1, 2008 09:39 AM

Proximity: A Very Green Hotel In North Carolina

The Proximity Hotel is proof that a hotel can be very green without sacrificing the comfort of its guests. The hotel is located in Greensboro, North Carolina, and it achieved a Gold LEED certification this year from the U.S. Green Building Council. The Proximity uses 36.5% less energy and 30% less water than a conventional hotel. It gets 60% of its hot water from 100 solar thermal panels on the roof. The hotel also boasts the first regenerative drive elevator, which recaptures energy as the elevator moves down.

The guest rooms take advantage of abundant natural lighting with large energy-efficient “operable” windows that measure 7’4” square.

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The hotel has 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.

The hotel used building materials with recycled content. For example, reinforced steel contains 90% post consumer recycled content , sheetrock 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.

During construction they restored 700 linear feet of stream by reducing erosion, planting local, adaptable plant species and rebuilding the buffers and banks. 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 full list of the hotels’ green features can be found on this page.

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