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Proximity Hotel Assumes Role as One of the Greenest Hotels in Country

Exterior

Proximity Hotel seems to have found a way to deliver a comfortable, luxury-type experience and still be one of the greenest hotels in the country.  It was built to use roughly 36% less energy and 30% less water than a comparable hotel.  Proximity Hotel also heats over half the building’s water with roughly 4,000 sf of solar thermal panels on the roof.  In the video embedded below, Dennis Quaintance, Chief Design Officer of Proximity Hotel, mentions that the savings from the solar thermal investment is about $20k per year. He also talks about the hotel’s innovative elevator, which is the first Regenerative Drive Otis Gen2 elevator in North America — it captures energy while going down and uses it while going up.

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Deconstruction Grows in Popularity, Spawns New Businesses

In her Teardown Diary, Wall Street Journal columnist Nancy Keates forgoes the common practice of demolition and instead opts for "unbuilding."  Usually referred to as deconstruction, unbuilding is when you disassemble an old structure piece by piece and salvage the usable parts.  Ms. Keates found that the deconstruction of her home will cost about $4,000 more than straight demolition, but costs can vary project to project.

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Whitehead-Elniski Residence, Green Adaptive Reuse!

Roof

This is a refreshing story of a another innovative green home in Chicago.  Frances Whitehead and James Elniski recently had their green home featured in NY Times.  It’s a fantastic rendition of green adaptive reuse.  Check the images of the living rooftop and two twirling turbines (by Windside).  Those turbines cost about $40,000,including installation, and provide about $500 per year in savings.  Still, the owners don’t mind the payback of 80 years because their perspective is guided by the realities of a carbon cluttered world.  Drastic times require drastic actions?

This live/work residence has some of the following green features: cellulose insulation, geothermal heating and cooling, solar thermal hot water and cooling, photovoltaic panels, rainwater collection cisterns, and water-saving appliances and dual-flush toilets, etc.  Perhaps the greenest feature of all is that the building used to be a blighted, 3000 sf, brick warehouse on a chunk of land with a contaminated underground gasoline storage tank.  Ugh … removing USTs can be nasty, expensive, and fraught with administrative burdens, too. 

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