Spring 2009: Of Note

Conference Center aerial photo

green scene: The Emory Conference Center Hotel (current and future) keeps the environment in mind.

Courtesy Emory Conference Center Hotel

Eco-expansion at Emory Conference Center Hotel

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By Mary J. Loftus

Through the atrium’s large windows, visitors to the Emory Conference Center Hotel can look out on a lush wooded landscape, which seems reflected inside by neutral, soothing hues and nature-themed art.

Inspired by the architectural design of Frank Lloyd Wright, the conference center and hotel opened in 1995 and adjoins twenty-six acres of forest preserve on Emory’s campus. It is a member of the Green Hotels Association and is the only hotel in Georgia to carry certification from the nonprofit Green Seal.

The Emory Conference Center Hotel is nearing completion of an environmentally minded expansion, which will add 127 new guest rooms and 6,000 square feet of meeting space, and has been built to the standards of LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) silver, as designated by the U.S. Green Building Council. When the expansion opens on May 1, it will become the first LEED-certified conference center/hotel in the city of Atlanta.

The addition also offers a six-lane bowling alley, Wisteria Lanes, with retro décor, full bar, and game room, complete with Nintendo Wii bowling. Several outdoor patio areas are being added, including one with a fire pit.

Extensive renovations on the indoor pool, health club, dining room, and kitchen in the existing building are nearing completion. The Club Room has been converted into a Wright-styled bar and restaurant. The goal is LEED status for the entire complex, which requires construction waste minimization, water and energy efficiency, hazardous substances handling, and sustainable purchasing.

“As part of the Emory University campus, and because of our commitment to architecturally fitting into the beautiful wooded area that we occupy, it is only a natural progression to have a LEED-certified expansion that offers a sustainable design solution and respects our environment,” said Kathryn Johnson, general manager of the Emory Conference Center Hotel.

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