UNITY VILLAGE, MO.—The Unity Village Hotel and Conference Center, opened January 2007, recently received LEED Silver certification from the United States Green Building Council (USGBC). The hotel is the first lodging property in the Midwest to receive LEED certification and the sixth in the United States. LEED stands for “Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design.” LEED-certified buildings conserve natural resources, reduce operating costs and foster healthier and more productive occupants.
“Unity sought LEED certification for the Unity Village Hotel and Conference Center to reflect our deep concern for the environment as well as the well-being and comfort of our guests,” said Charlotte Shelton, Unity president and CEO. “Unity believes in being a good steward of all of our resources, including the beautiful natural setting we enjoy here at Unity Village. We also believe in being a good servant to all of those who come here for rest and renewal.”
USGBC sets the nationally accepted benchmarks for the design, construction and operation of high-performance green buildings. Their LEED certification process provides independent third-party verification that a building project meets the highest performance standards. LEED certification occurs after a review based on 69 points, which are awarded in five categories: sustainable sites, energy efficiency, materials and resources, energy and atmosphere, and indoor environmental quality.
The Unity Village Hotel and Conference Center was designed by Gould Evans of Kansas City, and built by McCownGordon Construction, to be environmentally efficient and conscientious through its construction and operation. Highlights of the green design include energy-efficient heating and cooling systems; recyclable, nontoxic building materials; environmentally friendly housekeeping practices; water conservation; indoor air quality enhancements; abundant natural lighting; and low-maintenance landscaping with indigenous plantings.
Attention to Indoor Air Quality
During construction, debris was recycled. To protect air quality during construction and in the future, off-gassing was reduced. (Off-gassing refers to the volatile chemicals that are released into the air from paint, stains, varnish, carpet, insulation and flooring.) To further protect indoor air quality, the facility is 100 percent smoke free.
The Unity Village Hotel and Conference Center is located on the grounds of Unity Village, a National Historic Register site located 15 miles southeast of Kansas City. This is the first new building to be constructed at Unity Village since 1989. It features 49 double-occupancy hotel rooms and a multipurpose meeting and conference center. The building was designed to match the historic Mediterranean architecture of Unity Village, including a clay tile roof consisting of more than 85,000 individual tiles that are Energy Star-rated for efficiency.
The building utilizes a ground-source heat pump system for heating and cooling. Thirty-seven ground wells were drilled to a depth of 350 feet. The system uses the Earth’s temperature to heat and cool the building. This is the most energy-efficient way to heat and cool a building, and it is longer lasting than traditional heating and cooling systems. Water efficiency is a key component of the building, with dual-flush toilets, low-volume showerheads, rain gardens and bioswales to purify stormwater runoff. Green cleaning products are used throughout.
Go to the Unity Village Hotel and Conference Center.