North Carolina's Proximity Becomes First LEED Platinum Hotel

The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) has awarded the Proximity Hotel in Greensboro, N.C., LEED Platinum certification, its highest environmental rating. The AAA Four Diamond property, which opened in 2007, is the nation's first hotel to achieve Platinum status.

"When we started the design process four years ago, I would have never believed that we could use 41 percent less energy and 31 percent less water without one iota of compromise or luxury and with little additional costs," said Dennis Quaintance, CEO and chief design officer of Quaintance-Weaver Restaurants & Hotels, which owns Proximity.

In order to earn Platinum certification, Proximity had to accumulate 55 LEED points using an extensive checklist of USGBC requirements, which affected everything from the selection of building materials and the treatment of construction waste to choices about insulation, lighting, plumbing, and even parking. As a result, it features more than 70 energy and health enhancements, including 100 roof-mounted solar panels, which generate energy that's used to heat the hotel's water supply; North America's first regenerative drive elevators, which capture and recycle energy that's created by the elevators' motors; and oversized windows that provide natural light to over 97 percent of the facility's occupied space.

Additionally, the seven-story hotel—which features 147 rooms and 7,000 square feet of private event space—was built using over 40 percent locally-sourced materials, 90 percent locally-sourced furniture and over 20 percent recycled content.

"This facility is one that both the community and its guests can be proud of," said USGBC President, CEO, and Founding Chair Rick Fedrizzi. "Proximity is a showcase for high-performance, energy-efficient, healthy environment, and an inspiration for others."