The Intercontinental Hotel in Times Square, NYC has barely been open for two years, but it's already making major green headlines. The hotel just received its official LEED certification, making it the nation's largest new-build hotel to achieve LEED status. With 36 floors packed with green features and two roof decks, including one with its own beehive, the Intercontinental is setting the standard for sustainable hotels throughout New York. Click through our photo gallery to see some of the building's best green highlights.
The Intercontinental has had their eye on the LEED prize from the very beginning. They chose to build on a previously developed site, where they recycled 75% of the construction debris and installed a new erosion-control plan to protect the city’s precious water system. Inside, the walls are covered in special air-quality improving paints and floor-to-ceiling windows that allow natural light to fill each room. High-efficiency ventilation systems keep air moving with the least amount of energy use, while LED bulbs shine throughout the hallways, conserving electricity.
The hotel also boasts two stellar roof decks covered with low-maintenance, all season plants that provide shade in the summer and insulation in the colder months. One of the rooftops recently became home to the first hotel roof beehive in the city! The hive is expected to produce 30 to 40 pounds of honey by September.
While the Intercontinental is certainly not shy about their accomplishments, they are also not exclusive about them. The hotel is sharing their wealth of green knowledge by launching their “Green Engage” online system that allows hotels from all over the world to input their data and receive reports and strategies to adjust their energy use and efficiency.