Runner-up in Energy Efficiency & Carbon Management Award – By Mail&Guardian

Hotel Verde is scheduled for completion in August 2013. Travellers arriving at Cape Town International Airport will soon be able to check in to what will be Africa’s most environmentally friendly hotel, aptly named after the Italian word for green. Situated close to the airport, Hotel Verde is scheduled for completion in August 2013.

It incorporates some of the most advanced environmentally friendly technologies, operating processes and products to reduce energy consumption and emissions. From wind turbines to CO2 monitoring, water management and passive measures to reduce heat-load and energy losses, the hotel is pursuing green certification through a stringent programme called Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, spearheaded by the US green building council.

Elevators will run on a regenerative drive, allowing about 30% of the energy input to be recaptured and fed back into the building, said the hotel’s sustainability consultant Andre Harms. “Double-glazed windows with spectrally selective glass will minimise heat entering the hotel, reducing the need for air-conditioning. And instead of standard air-conditioning systems we’re using ground-source heat pumps in geothermal boreholes.”Three wind turbines will be installed at the reception entrance. “We’re also mounting solar panels on the north fa├žade of the building, not only to generate electricity but to create shading for the windows that get the most sun,” Harms said.

As well as multiple passive measures to reduce heat-load and losses, the hotel will use energy-efficient technology such as occupancy sensors, keycard readers, micro-switches and the monitoring of the management systems in intelligent buildings. To achieve a target of 37% reduction in potable water use, a sophisticated grey-water recycling system is installed to supply toilet water. “We will be capturing and filtering rainwater to use for irrigation, the car wash, landscape rinsing, and water from rinse cycles of washing machines will be reused for the next load,” said Harms.

The Greening the Future judges said the project was setting a new benchmark that could be scaled up in the tourism and hospitality industry.