An Historic Rebuild
During construction, we preserved as much of the historic building elements as possible, like the gorgeous heart of pine floors.
Conservation is Key
From the lightbulbs to the energy management system we use, our efforts focus on efficiency without sacrificing comfort.
Not only do we participate in Durham’s recycling program, but we also recycle water and use a rain cistern for irrigation.
From our fresh roasted coffee to our crispy bacon, we believe in sourcing delicious, local products for our guests to experience.
We are committed to environmentally responsible building and living. Adaptive reuse of a historic structure is the ultimate form of recycling. Below is a list of some of the green technologies we have incorporated during construction.
10,000 Gallon Rain Water Cistern
Hidden beneath our curved driveway is a 10,000 gallon rain water cistern. It collects the rain water from more than half of the roof, which we then use for irrigation and outdoor watering. It’s a great way to significantly reduce our water needs, while minimizing storm water runoff from our site.
The rain garden in the front yard collects rain water from two downspouts. It is recessed in the ground, uses a special blend of dirt that is 50% sand, and is filled with drought-tolerant plants. When it rains, it fills with storm water and slowly drains, irrigating the plants and filtering the water that seeps into the ground. This is another way to prevent storm water run-off, and control rain water on-site.
Pervious concrete is a recent development that is a concrete (not gravel or asphalt) that permits water to flow through it. This protects the 60-80 year old oak trees that surround the parking lot, allowing the roots to get needed air and water directly. Like the rain garden, it also catches and filters rain water. Though we have added a parking lot to the site, our rain water capture efforts have significantly reduced runoff from the site compared to when the Home was operating.
During 2007 and 2008, North Carolina experienced an exceptional drought. To allow our plants to survive, if that should happen again, we have chosen native and drought-tolerant plants for our landscaping. This also reduces our day-to-day need for water, allowing us to meet our needs with the water captured in our rain water cistern.
Gray Water System
One of our most advanced and extensive environmental features is a gray water system that allows captured drain water to be filtered and recycled within the building. In our case, the laundry water is filtered and used to flush the toilets – this is why the toilet water is blue. Between our commercial washing machine and our extremely high efficiency toilets, the water from every load of laundry is enough for 43 toilet flushes. More than a third of the water used in the average American home results from flushing toilets, but we don’t use the city water supply very often for that activity!
We use low-flow faucets and shower heads, as well as ultra high efficiency Niagara Flapperless toilets (1.28 gpf). Our hot water boiler is 98% efficient and is variable drive, which means if there is a low demand for hot water, only one burner will heat the water, but if there is a large demand, up to 4 burners will light to provide the needed hot water.
LED lights have an extremely long life (on the order of years), and produce no hazardous materials when discarded. They also use approximately five times less energy than conventional bulbs. All bulbs throughout the Inn are LED.
Total Energy Management System
Each guest room has a fully integrated energy management system. The thermostat has an infrared sensor that detects when the room is occupied. There is also a sensor on the door. If a guest leaves the room, and the infrared sensor doesn’t detect any remaining people, after thirty minutes the power will be shut off to most of the room. Of course, there will always be power to the switch for the light, as well as the outlet provided for charging laptops / cell phones, etc. The thermostats also allow the temperature to fluctuate slightly, which saves a tremendous amount of energy. We save up to 30% of our energy costs with this system.
Whenever possible, we buy locally-grown and produced products.
Durham has an active recycling program in which we participate fully.
- Reclaimed Water for Irrigation 100%
- Sand / Soil Blend to Prevent Runoff 50%
- Efficiency of our Water Boiler 98%
- Reduced Energy Costs 30%