Hotel Verde The Greenest Hotel to be on the Continent; By Construction News

Situated on Michigan Street less Than 500 metres from the airports’ terminal in Cape Town is the Three Star Hotel Verde-soon to be the greenest hotel on the continent with 145 rooms earmarked for completion in March 2013, With the word, ‘Verde’ meaning “green,” in Italian – the contemporary hotel painted by Whiteheads (master painters since 1924) will see the domestic and international travellers to Cape Town International Airport leisure in a hotel boasting green technology not yet seen in Africa. Being built by Dematech (Pty) Ltd the Developer. focus is on sustainable construction as well as operation practices. The Hotel Verde will be energy efficient and environmentally friendly and will prove to overseas travellers that the City of Cape Town is a global leader in its fight to combat climate change and to use the planet’s natural resources more effectively,’ stated IWesgro CEO Nils Flaatlen. It will provide some unique experiences for visitors, thus once a week guests will enjoy ‘earth hour’ where all power will be fumed off in the public areas (except safety lighting and power to critical equipment) and a candle-lit dinner of pizza from the wood-burning oven served.

For fitness, a jogging (trail winding down through a water-wise fynbos garden as well as a gym with power-generating equipment will be available. All guests will be rewarded for their eco-friendly habits during their stay and will be given credit notes if they re-use their towels and not use their air-con. So far, Hotel Verde has been registered for the Leadership In Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System, an independent certification programme that provides guidelines for developing high-performance, sustainable buildings. This kind of programme awards varying levels of certification to buildings that meet LEED rating standards in five major categories; sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, material selection and indoor environmental quality. Furthermore, the hotels’ green friendly concepts include a geothermal-heating ventilation and air-conditioning system that will make use of a constant ground temperature of 19 Degrees to heat up the building in winter and keep it cool in summer. At first in large scale commercial in South Africa, the design and computer modelled Hotel Verde’s Groundloop Heat Exchanger (GHX) that is used by the building’s Geothermal Heat Pumps (GHP) was provided by Andrews, Hammock & Powell Inc, a US-based Consulting Engineering to heat and cool the building and its domestic water system. This GHX consist of over 7km of horizontally and vartically installed High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) piping and the majority is installed in deep {approximately 75 metres} boreholes drilled beneath the building’s underground parking garage. It allows the building to achieve unprecedented levels of energy efficiency as well as storing the ‘waste heat’ and “waste cool’ of the GHPs for later use when needed The GHPs and other equipment forming the heart of the hotel’s heating, ventallation and air-conditioning system is designed and supplied by Germany based Ago AG. Double-glazed, high-performance windows will be used throughout the building and solar heat gain and thermal insulation will be optimised. The roof and northern facing facade will incorporate photovoltaic panels for the generation of clean power with which the three about 17 metre-high turbines will assist. The panels on the northern facade will have the added benefit of providing shading to the windows below- These wind turbines are a key part of the renewable energy system design and the masts are an essential part of the entrance porte-cochere as the turbines selected are specifically designed with low noise, low operational maintenance in mind. This hybrid energy system allows the hotel to reduce their energy requirements even during the night or on overcast days.

Generally; the solar array to be installed will he designed to maximise the available roof space while keeping the layout aesthetically pleasing and during daylight hours, power generating photovoltaic cells will supplement the power usage of the hotel, reducing electricity usage from fossil fuel sources.

Greywater from the guestroom showers and bath tubs are to be fed into a greywater recycling system that will be used to feed all toilets in the building and this system operates on chemical free aerobic biological basis. All showers and washing basins in the hotel will be fitted with water-saving laps and shower heads. Only 9 of the 145 rooms will have bathtubs and all urinals in public toilets will be waterless. In addition, Velo Tank Manufacturers has manufactured a 37 000 litre water tank for the project that collects the rain water as well as drainage water to be recycled for the hotel’s gardens. The tank is made completely out of 316 Grade stainless steel which is one of the highest grades of stainless steel in prevenlfon of rust or corrosion taking place.

Velo Tanks also manufactures tanks for wine, soft drinks, brewery, chemical, olive oil, food, bakery, plastic industries and they are involved in the export markets such as Africa and the USA. Above all, incorporating dishwashing and laundry washing machines with the lowest available energy and water-usage consumption rates were carefully chosen and will be installed. Its water will be recycled making laundry facilities extremely efficient. Most of the areas throughout the hotel will be equipped with movement-sensor-controlled lighting. Free electric shuttles to and from the airport terminal building will be provided for guests as well as electric car shuttles to the city at a nominal fee.

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