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August 7, 2012updated Jul 16, 2015

InterContinental New York Times Square Achieves LEED Certification

By Pardhasaradhi Gonuguntla

New York, New York – Reported by Elite Traveler, the private jet lifestyle magazine

After just two years of operation, InterContinental New York Times Square has been recognized by the U.S. Green Building Council as a LEED Certified property. This internationally acclaimed recognition is bestowed upon properties that were designed and built using strategies aimed at achieving high performance in key areas of sustainability such as sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality.

As the nation’s largest new-build hotel to achieve LEED status, InterContinental New York Times Square has maintained a commitment to the environment from the start by building on a previously developed site cleared of hazardous material to ensure a safe redevelopment process. During construction more than 75% of the debris was diverted from landfills for recycling and an erosion-control plan was implemented to protect New York City’s precious water system. Also included in the hotel’s eco-conscious design plan were two green rooftops that house low-maintenance and drought-tolerant plants to retain heat in the winter and absorb the heat of summer’s harsh sunlight. Most recently however, the 7th floor rooftop also became home to the property’s first rooftop beehive which is expected to produce is 30-40 pounds of locally sourced honey by September.

Inside, the hotel opted for a high-efficiency ventilation system and specialized paints and coatings to result in better air quality throughout. Floor-to-ceiling windows were also installed to allow for maximum amounts of natural lighting while the use of CFL and LED light bulbs provide excellent lighting quality while conserving electricity. The hotel’s Todd English restaurant, Ça Va Brasserie, was also recently recognized by the Green Restaurant Association for its dedication to the GRA’s Seven Environmental Categories which includes water efficiency, waste reduction, and sustainable food. The 2-Star Certified restaurant is one of only 65 Green Certified Restaurants in all of New York.

As a brand, InterContinental Hotels & Resorts (IHG) recently launched a new online sustainability system called “Green Engage,” assisting general managers across 4,000 hotels worldwide to manage hotel energy, water and waste consumption more effectively. The software allows hotels to input their onsite data, which generates reports comparing similar hotels around the world. The online lists for both new and current hotels show properties the specific actions they need to take to reduce their energy, water and waste. Every aspect of the hotel lifecycle is covered — from picking a responsible destination, selecting correct lighting and cleaning materials for the hotel, and providing staff training on sustainability. Return on investment, carbon reduction and potential impact on customers is calculated for each action item suggested. Through “Green Engage,” IHG will benefit by having a common environmental reporting and management system, while consumers will benefit by staying in hotels that are more environmentally friendly.

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