Chicago gets its first LEED Silver hotel
Pictured left to right: George Jordan, Hotel Felix general manager, Ginger Zee, NBC 5 environmental reporter and Josh Milberg, first deputy commissioner for the City of Chicago environmental department. Photo Credit: Hotel Felix Chicago

CHICAGO —

Hotel Felix, the first hotel in Chicago to receive LEED Silver certification, unveiled its certificate and plaque from the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) at a reception held Friday, April 1. Ginger Zee, NBC 5 Chicago environmental reporter, Josh Milberg, first deputy commissioner for the City of Chicago department of environment and Michael Daly, senior aide to U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) were in attendance.

Located in the Near North neighborhood near Michigan Ave., Hotel Felix opened in 2009 in a completely refurbished 1926 building once occupied by Hotel Wacker. According to George Jordan, general manager, many of the building products used were recycled from the previous facility. Chicago-based design firm Gettys also specified sustainable materials for use throughout the new hotel including low VOC lacquer, bamboo and cork flooring and FSC-certified millwork. In the hotel restaurant Elate, old crown moulding is used for wall paneling around the bar and the tables are crafted with wood from an old farmhouse in Texas.

Sustainable practices were also included in the hotel's interior landscaping. Carolyn Ascher, owner of Amlings Interior Landscape in Carol Stream, IL, says that natural bamboo planters were used and that many of the plants are reused at other places like the Brookfield Zoo, Brookfield, IL.

However, Hotel Felix's sustainable philosophy goes beyond its green materials. Sustainable living tips are featured on its blog happynaturally.com and Facebook page. Also, Jordan says that hotel employees are encouraged to used public transportation instead of driving.

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