This Sunday’s N&O featured a piece on the Proximity Hotel in Greensboro, NC. Developer Dennis Quaintance is the man behind the hotel, which is the first hotel in the country to obtain a Platinum LEED rating. According to its website, the Hotel was built to use 40% less energy and 30% less water than a comparable hotel. Innovations include a unique elevator design which captures and reutilizes the system’s energy expenditure as well as 100 rooftop solar panels to generate hot water.
In stark contrast to the recent Town of Cary decision to forego LEED certification for its new fire department building, the Proximity Hotel has spent approximately 3% extra to obtain its certification. Developer Quaintance expects to make the money back, through a combination of energy efficiency and state and federal tax credits, as early as 2012.
If more developers calculate that they can make more money through the LEED program, expect to see more LEED certified buildings in the future. For now, however, two years after the Proximity Hotel first opened, there is only one other platinum hotel in the U.S.