The U.S. Green Building Council awarded Jade Mountain in St. Lucia the coveted LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold certification, making it the first resort in the Caribbean to receive the certification.

The council monitors the way buildings are designed, constructed and operated through LEED, a third-party verification system for sustainable structures around the world.

The Jade Mountain resort in St. Lucia achieved LEED Gold certification.
The Jade Mountain resort in St. Lucia achieved LEED Gold certification.

"LEED certification is a tremendous tool for the hospitality industry," said Rick Fedrizzi, CEO and founding chairman of the council, "not only as a path to achieving operating efficiencies for property owners, but also as a way to let guests know that their accommodations have been designed to provide the most comfort and the least impact on the planet."

Nick Troubetzkoy, owner of Jade Mountain along with his wife Karolin, designed and built the resort which overlooks the Piton Mountains.

The design was a response "to almost every hotel I've ever visited, where I found myself disappointed by what I encountered," Troubetzkoy said.

One of the resort's unique design elements eliminates the exterior wall in every room; where a sliding-glass door might have been is simply an open-air view to St. Lucia's Pitons (the king bed has a canopy of mosquito netting for comfortable, bug-free sleeping). The intent, Troubetzkoy said, was "to give guests the feeling of entering a private space fully integrated into the island's ecology versus being boxed into a traditional hotel room breathing recirculated, machine-processed air."

The resort has its own rainwater-fed purification plant system and recycles treated sewage water to irrigate a nursery that houses tropical plants for landscaping.

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