Tuesday, May 27, 2008

First Green Hotel in Chicago

When you travel to the Windy City, stay and sleep in a green hotel.

The InterContinental Chicago, on fabled Michigan Avenue, has received all kinds of awards for its eco-friendly initiatives and efficient use of energy.

It is the first Chicago hotel to receive an Energy Star award, from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and U.S. Department of Energy.

You usually see the Energy Star icon on household appliances that meet EPA requirements for energy efficiency. But not an entire hotel. This one does.

The award means the InterContinental Chicago is one of 25% of all the hotels in the USA that are certified environmentally-friendly. And, it is in the final stages of receiving LEED and Green Seal certification, two other hard-to-get ratings.

Part of the news here is that this isn't a brand new hotel, designed and built from the ground up to be eco-friendly. This is one of the most historic hotels of America, retro-fitted to be a modern energy star.

Originally built in 1929 as the Medinah Athletic Club, an exclusive luxury men's club, the InterContinental Chicago is one of Chicago's most elegant landmarks. It includes a historic, junior Olympic size pool, is recognized as one of the best indoor pools in the U.S. and is included in Chicago's major architectural tours.