Great River Energy, Proximity Hotel Awarded LEED Platinum Ratings

Great River Energy, Proximity Hotel Awarded LEED Platinum Ratings

The Great River Energy company's new headquarters is the first building in Minnesota to earn LEED Platinum status, and the Proximity Hotel and Print Works Bistro in North Carolina are the first businesses in the hospitality industry to achieve the U.S. Green Building Council’s highest rating.

GRE's new headquarters — a four-story, 166,000-square-foot building in Maple Grove, Minn. — is expected to use 50 percent less energy overall, 40 percent less electricity for lighting, and 90 percent less water than a conventionally built structure of the same size.

The building includes an in-lake geothermal HVAC system, in-floor displacement ventilation, daylight harvesting, 72 kilowatts of on-site solar panels and a 166-foot-high, 200-kilowatt wind turbine, according to the U.S. Green Building Council. The solar installation and the turbine are expected to provide as much as 15 percent of the electricity for the building.

Great River Energy's New Headquarters
During the 17-month building project by architect Perkins+Will and McGough Construction, more than 90 percent of the construction waste was recycled. The green building is expected to save almost $90,000 in annual energy costs with payback in seven years, the energy company said.

The 147-room luxury Proximity Hotel in Greensboro, built and operated by Quaintance-Weaver Restaurants and Hotels, uses 41 percent less energy and 33 percent less water than a conventionally built hotel of comparable size and is expected to save an estimated 2 million gallons of water a year.

An array of 100 solar panels covering 4,000 square feet of the hotel's roof heats 60 percent of the water for the hotel and the restaurant, the company said. A vegetated green roof on the top of the restaurant will reduce the urban heat island effect of that part of the structure. It's also expected to help keep the restaurant warm during the winter and cool during the summer.
The Proximity Hotel
Eighty percent of the construction debris, some 1,535 tons of material, was recycled during the building project that concluded in late 2007.

The awarding of platinum status to the two buildings is the latest of several firsts this year involving the USGBC's highest designation. In May, the Christman Company's renovated national headquarters in Lansing, Mich., earned unprecedented double platinum status in two categories: commercial interiors and core and shell.

USGBC President, CEO and founding Chairman Rick Fedrizzi praised the energy and hotel companies for their efforts in green construction.

"The Great River Energy headquarters' Platinum certification demonstrates tremendous green building leadership," Fedrizzi said in a statement.

Fedrizzi also said the hotel is a "showcase for high-performance, energy efficient, healthy environment and an inspiration for others." 

The energy company received its LEED platinum seal in September and the USGBC announced the designation on October 1. The hotel and restaurant will receive its LEED plaque in a ceremony at the hotel on November 10.