Image source: Ambrose Hotel
The Ambrose Hotel, in Santa Monica, CA, was just awarded the first Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) for Existing Buildings (LEED-EB) Certification by the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) for a hotel - this the first-ever US hotel to earn such a distinction.Just how did the Ambrose earn the Silver Rating? Serving organic continental breakfasts, offering bio-diesel fueled taxis and hybrid limousine services. For employees, the hotel provides complimentary bus passes and bike lockers, as well as a shower in the hotel so employees can cleanup before work, and even pays for employees to take volunteer opportunities. The hotel also attaches a "green meeting planner" to any email sent to groups requesting rental of their 3,562 sq.ft. space. The hotel also composts, use green-cleaning products in all hotel rooms, and a long list of environmental initiatives. Its no surprise then that the hotel has won several green awards for its work in the hotel and with the community.
The LEED program is a rigorous, national 'green building' certification program wherein a property applying to the program is ranked based on the different green attributes of their building. For a sample checklist of what an existing building is ranked on, check this out. To find other LEED certified projects in your area, try their online search tool. THe LEED program offers certifications for "neighborhood development, schools, homes, healthcare, retail, core & shell, commercial interiors, new construction and existing buildings."
The USGBC also has local chapter meetings where any architect, designer or even just green building enthusiast can attend and network on green plans for their community.
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