Hotel Verde Takes Off
Part of the BON Hotels Group, Hotel Verde is situated just 400m from Cape Town International Airport and is designed to meet the specific requirements of travellers on their way in and out of the city. But, what makes it unique is the length to which the team have gone to minimise the hotel’s carbon footprint, from (under) the ground up.
Sustainable building and running
André Harms, Hotel Verde’s Sustainability Consultant, states that “We had the opportunity to change the status quo here. We looked at different ways of doing everything, right from the word go.”
This includes various methods of “dematerialisation”. The hotel is built with concrete slabs containing cobiax void formers. These are hollow spheres made from recycled polypropylene that displace concrete while maintaining structural integrity. By placing these cobiax void formers strategically approximately 1279 tons of concrete was saved.
In order to bypass the need for standard air-conditioning systems, traditionally one of the biggest energy consumers, Hotel Verde uses a geothermal field coupled to energy efficient heat pumps. The geothermal field consists of 100 boreholes drilled approximately 65 metres into the ground, where the temperature is a consistent 19 degrees. A complex network of pumps and piping specifically designed for Hotel Verde uses the Earth as a heat source in winter and “heat sink” in summer, boosting efficiency and dramatically reducing operational costs.
Hotel Verde also boasts photovoltaic panels, wind turbines and a sophisticated grey water recycling plant that will contribute to a reduced water consumption of 37%.
Natural, fresh, optimum temperature airflow is fed into every one of the 145 rooms and will reduce the need to use the air conditioner.
Guests are encouraged to embrace the Hotel’s greening philosophy and are offered rewards for sustainable practices during their stay. As General Manager of the hotel, Samantha Annandale explains, “We want to educate guests as well as encourage them to minimise their impact on the environment. We have come up with fun, subtle ways to do that, which will hopefully become second nature that guests then take home with them.”
Hotel Verde’s dining experience focuses on health and wellness with all food being seasonal, sourced and produced locally, featuring lots of raw and organic foods.
The fully equipped hotel gym is the first in Africa to have power-generating equipment. These machines push power back into the hotel as you work out, showing the amount of energy you are generating.
The surrounding wetlands feature an outdoor eco-trail for all those guests who prefer to exercise in the open air. This trail meanders through the grounds, leading to a selection of hi-tech, outdoor gym equipment.
110% Green would like to congratulate the Hotel Verde team on their hard work! We look forward to seeing the Hotel grow to becoming a popular feature on the Cape’s tourism map.
All photos by Paul Karnstedt