By Clint Williams

Want to stay at a verifiably green hotel for your next vacation? Soon you’ll be able to choose from among dozens of hotel and resort projects, in various stages of construction or remodeling, that have registered with the US Green Building Council, aiming to achieve silver, gold or platinum LEED certification.

But so far only a handful of resorts, hotels and lodges, 13 at last count, have completed the LEED certification process. These get-aways, which include upscale, urban hotels; trendy spas and woodsy lodges, have met the LEED standards, which requires that building projects consider the environment in how they locate their structures; choose materials with a lighter environmental impact; recycle or reduce construction waste, and conserve energy and water.

The 13 green pioneers:

Avalon Hotel and Spa — Portland, Ore., US (pictured)
GAIA Napa Valley — San Francisco, Calif., US
Kandalama Hotel — Damulla, Sri Lanka
Len Foote Hike Inn — Dawsonville, Ga., US
Orchard Garden Hotel — San Francisco, Calif., US
Snowmass Golf Clubhouse — Aspen, Colo., US
The Ambrose — Santa Monica, Calif., US
The John James Audubon Lodge & Camp — Charlotte, N.C., US
The Lodge and Spa at Callaway Gardens — Pine Mountain, Ga., US
University of Maryland Inn & Conference — Adelphi, Md., US
Vancouver Conference Center & Hotel — Vancouver, Wash., US
Palazzo — Las Vegas, Nevada, US
Unity Village Hotel – Kansas City, Missouri, US

**LEED certification of building projects differs from the certification by the Green Hotels Association. While LEED focuses on construction and energy consumption; the GRE, which also looks at energy conservation, more closely analyzes daily operations, giving points for hotels that use bulk soaps, low-toxic cleaners, natural pesticides and less food packaging.

Chart source: The US Green Building Council.

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