• Joey Amato

Pride Journey Ecotourism: Greensboro, NC


Greensboro, North Carolina is not only an LGBTQ-friendly destination, but it is also home to the first Green Hotel and Restaurant, Proximity Hotel and Print Works Bistro, that was awarded Platinum LEED Certification in the US. They use 34.2% less energy and 35.5% less water compared to similar Restaurant and Hotels.


Proximity Hotel is the first LEED Platinum “green hotel” and the building’s design and construction followed guidelines of the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System™, the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings. Developed by the U.S. Green Building Council, LEED gives building owners and operators the tools they need to have an immediate and measurable impact on their buildings’ performance. 


LEED promotes a whole-building approach to sustainability by recognizing performance in six key areas of human and environmental health: sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection, indoor environmental quality and innovation in design.


To earn LEED certification, a building project must meet certain prerequisites and performance benchmarks (“credits”) within each category. Projects are awarded Certified, Silver, Gold or Platinum certification depending on the number of credits they achieve. This comprehensive approach is the reason LEED-certified buildings have reduced operating costs, healthier and more productive occupants and conserve our natural resources.


Here are some of the property's Green features:

  • The building uses 39.2% less energy than a conventional hotel/restaurant by using ultra efficient materials and the latest construction technology.

  • The sun’s energy heats hot water with 100 solar panels covering the 4,000 square feet of rooftop (enough hot water for a hundred homes).

  • 700 linear feet of stream was restored by reducing erosion, planting local, adaptable plant species and rebuilding the buffers and banks. Approximately 700 cubic yards of soil was removed to create a floodplain bench. And 376 tons of boulders and 18 logs were used to maintain grade control, dissipate energy and assist in the creation and maintenance of riffles and pools.

  • The bistro bar is made of salvaged, solid walnut trees that came down through sickness or storm and room service trays made of Plyboo (bamboo plywood).

  • Newly-engineered variable speed hoods in the restaurant uses a series of sensors to set the power according to the kitchen’s needs and adjusts to a lower level of operation (typically 25% of their full capacity). The sensors also detect heat, smoke or other effluents and increase the fan speed to keep the air fresh.

  • Geothermal energy is used for the restaurant’s refrigeration equipment, instead of a standard water-cooled system, saving significant amounts of water.


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