There's a new, state-of-the-art green spa that just opened its doors in Albany, New York. Complexions Spa & Salon, owned by Denise Dubois, received LEED Gold certification in May 2009, and the owner shared her excitement on her blog, A Green Spa. Denise tells an interesting story. Rather than pay someone else (i.e., the consultants) to obtain certification, as a small business owner, she recruited her family to help pick the right strategies and to document the points. And despite the daunting amount of paperwork required, she was able to get it done, making it an enormously rewarding experience.
Often, there are incentives available for green construction that are otherwise not available in the traditional realm. Complexions applied for and received a reduction of four interest points on part of her loan from the NYSERDA Loan Fund. Every little bit helps.
Although there are other LEED certified spas in the country, Complexions is said to be the first in the country to receive the level of LEED Gold. To get there, Denise used some of the following green materials and strategies: low-VOC paint and wallpaper, renewable cork flooring, energy efficient appliances, and everything else that goes with the certifiably green building. Over 75% of construction waste was diverted, and what's more, the owner estimates that although the new green spa is twice the size of her previous location, total energy costs are down by ~34%.
Photo credits: Complexions Spa & Salon.