The Crash Pad Hostel: Another LEED First For Chattanooga

In case you hadn’t heard, Chattanooga, Tenn., has got a little something green going on these days. The Chattanooga Airport has plans to install 3 MW solar power, and is home to an energy-efficient corporate flight center terminal that was the first such facility in the world to earn LEED Platinum certification earlier this year. Now, another LEED first for Chattanooga — the world’s first LEED Platinum hostel, The Crash Pad.

The name conjures up two images: nights spent on a friend’s couch, and that all-important foam pad used by rock-climbers as a fail-safe while bouldering. Both of those associations appear to be intentional, as The Crash Pad is not only an affordable place to spend the night in Chattanooga (rates run around $27/night for a “Super Bunk” in a classic hostel community-style room), but a place specifically designed with adventure travelers in mind. The stated mission of The Crash Pad is “to further establish Chattanooga as an ultimate outdoor destination by providing a base camp and community hub for adventurous travelers” such as climbers, cyclists, runners, and kayakers interested in exploring the nearby Appalachian Mountains.

Crash Pad outside

image via The Crash Pad

Those type of travelers will no doubt appreciate the many measures taken by the hostel’s owners to minimize the business’ impact on the natural environment. Inhabitat reports that the building, designed by Blythe Bailey and Taylor Bowers of River Street Architecture, makes use of reclaimed wood and bricks from structures that were already on the site prior to construction. A precast insulated concrete wall system, aided by a green roof, helps to ensure thermal efficiency in the building, while LED light fixtures help to keep electricity bills low. A solar panel array kicks in clean, green renewable energy to keep the lights on, and low-flow fixtures, along with a greywater filtration system, help to minimize the hostel’s water consumption.

Crash Pad inside

image via The Crash Pad

The Crash Pad is also one of 1,200 companies in 38 countries that are members of the 1% for the Planet Program, which encourages businesses to contribute 1% of sales to environmental groups around the world. Its furnishings and interior design feature work from a wide range of local businesses and craftspeople.

The hostel is currently one of four buildings in Chattanooga to hold LEED Platinum certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.


Susan DeFreitas has covered all manner of green technology for EarthTechling since 2009. She is a graduate of Prescott College for the Liberal Arts and the Environment, and has a background in marketing green businesses. Her work on green living has been featured in Yes! Magazine, the Utne Reader and Natural Home.

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