Touted as Africa’s “greenest hotel’; the Hotel Verde near Cape Town International Airport is due to open in May. Construction began a year ago with a team of contractors and experts dedicated to transforming what was initially just a business proposition into a showcase for some of the most advanced environmentally conscious technological installations as well as construction and operation practices in the world. Mario and Annemarie Delicio of Dematech are the owners behind Hotel Verde and they have appointed Guy Stehlik’s Bon Hotels to manage it.
“We have a responsibility as a company, as an employer and as a visitor on this planet to live as sustainably as possible. This is the only way we can survive long-term and hand over to our children in a responsible manner,” Delicio says. And the team at Hotel Verde have gone to the greatest extent yet seen on the continent — from locally sourced suppliers to sustainable practices on the building site to multiple ways in which they can generate their own electricity and reduce waste to almost zero.
“We have an advantage because we are starting from scratch. We could go from choosing recycled bricks and insulation, to installing a geothermal field, coupled to ground-source heat pumps. When you build new you can plan much more than if you retrofit an existing building’: Andre Harms, sustainability manager and founder of Ecolution Consulting, is a trained mechanical engineer and the brains behind some of the more technical aspects of the building. Having spent 15 months at the South African Research Centre in Antarctica, he knows what it is to value everyday resources and is applying this dedication to each facet of the project. “We have the opportunity to change the status quo here,” he says. “We have looked at different ways of doing everything, right from the word go:’ This includes the photovoltaic (solar) panels positioned to provide shade as well as power. “They are mounted on the north facade of the building so as to not only generate electricity but create shading for the windows that get the most sun:’ Hotel & Restaurant will be following developments at the hotel closely.