The Greenest Hotel in America

The Proximity Hotel - Greensboro, NC

And can you believe… it’s in Greensboro, North Carolina?


A Platinum LEED certification ain’t easy to come by, but The Proximity Hotel in North Carolina is doing it and doing it and doing it again.

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 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.

This is what a Platinum LEED Hotel Looks Like

This building right here… well, it uses 41% 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). This heats around 60% of the water for both the hotel and restaurant.

700 linear feet of stream was restored 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 and assist in the creation 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).

You still with me?

One of The Greenest Hotels in America

Newly-engineered variable speed hoods in the restaurant use a series of sensors to set the power according to the kitchen’s needs and adjusts to a lower level of operation.

Geothermal energy is used for the restaurant’s refrigeration equipment, instead of a standard water-cooled system, saving significant amounts of water.

Oh, this isn’t greenwashing. Hallelujah! No, no, no. It’s Platinum LEED hotel certification, baby, Platinum, baby. And how cool is this next part? 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!


Water usage has been reduced by 33% by installing high-efficiency Kohler plumbing fixtures, saving two million gallons of water the first year. We heart Kohler.

And… regional vendors and artists were used for materials to reduce transportation and packaging. Oh, and low-emitting volatile organic compound (VOC) paints, adhesives, carpets, etc reduces indoor air contamination.

Abundant natural lighting, including large energy-efficient “operable” windows, connect guests to the outdoors by achieving a direct line of sight 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%. 87% of construction waste was also recycled, diverting 1,535 tons of debris from landfills.

Is the Platinum part still not sinking in??

The Proximity Pool

A green, vegetated rooftop is also going to 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, they’re trying out various plants on the roof in a test are and… bicycles are available for guests to ride on the nearby five-mile greenway.

THIS is what we’re talking about… what’s taking the rest of these deadbeats so long?


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