MEDIA CONTACT-Holiday Inn West Columbia
Raven Yonemura
Director of Marketing, Holiday Inn & Suites Columbia- Airport
110 McSwain Drive West Columbia, SC 29169
Office: 803-391-4000
Cell: 803-760-9020

COLUMBIA, SC - (June 2, 2011) - The South Carolina Chapter of the US Green Building Council will honor the new eco-friendly Holiday Inn & Suites Columbia-Airport, Columbia's first Green Hotel, at the Fifth Annual Green Building Leadership Awards Program, held in conjunction with SustainSC2011, June 2-3 in Columbia. The award will be presented at the Duke Energy luncheon Thursday, June 2nd from 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. in the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center.

Holiday Inn & Suites Columbia-Airport will be presented with the Exemplary Project Award. An Exemplary Project is one characterized by unique environmental, social and economic success, as well as its ability to inspire others. It will also be judged by measurable sustainable attributes such as energy or water savings. Projects may include new building, retrofits, interior fitouts, or landscape design. Projects must be registered under USGBC's LEED certification program.

Awards are being made in two categories: Leadership and Exemplary Project. Leadership awards will honor individuals, firms or organizations that lead by example, or which have helped to transform markets by providing information, education, or data that shows the value of green building. Leadership awards will honor efforts "above and beyond" -not simply a job well done.

The South Carolina Chapter of the USGBC is honoring outstanding people, organizations and projects that have furthered the cause of green building in South Carolina. Nominees for the awards must have performed the work in the state, and honored projects must have been completed within the past three years.

The hotel opened on Earth Day, April 22, 2010 and is currently in review for LEED Gold certification by the US Green Building Council. Should the property obtain the gold level certification it will become the greenest and most energy efficient hotel in the state of South Carolina.

The four progressive levels of LEED certification are Platinum, Gold, Silver and Certified. Each of these ratings is achieved by gaining points in different categories of the LEED checklist. LEED focuses on 6 key areas of human and environmental health: Sustainable Sites, Water Efficiency, Energy & Atmosphere, Materials and Resources, Indoor Environmental Quality and Innovation in Design. Points in each of these areas are achieved through design decisions that will satisfy all or a percentage of sub-categories within the 6 key areas.