Africa’s greenest hotel set to open in Cape Town in 2013
Going green and being sustainable are the only ways for companies to operate. We do not only owe it to our environment, but also to future generations who will inherit this planet from us. - Mario Delicio, Dematech director
Domestic and international travellers passing through Cape Town International Airport (CTIA) will soon be able to check in to what is said to be the Africa’s greenest hotel, Hotel Verde.
The 3-star Hotel Verde (meaning ‘green’ in Italian), is being developed by Cape Town-based developer, Dematech, and is located less than 500m from CTIA’s terminal building.
Hotel Verde will have 146 rooms, conference facilities, a restaurant, fitness centre, outdoor jogging trail, high-speed wireless Internet and secure underground parking.
But it’s the hotel’s ‘green’ credentials that are truly impressive. The focus is on sustainable construction and operational practices. Hotel Verde is pursuing green certification through a stringent programme called ‘Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design’, spearheaded by the US Green Building Council.
Among Hotel Verde’s many sustainable features are:
A geothermal-heating ventilation and air conditioning system that uses a constant ground temperature of 19°C to heat the building in winter and keep it cool in summer.
Three 17m-high wind turbines will assist with the generation of renewable power.
Free electric shuttles to and from the airport terminal building.
A grey water recycling system will allow water from guest room showers to be recycled using aerobic bacteria rather than chemicals. This recycled water will then be used to feed all toilets in the building.
Double-glazed, high-performance windows will optimise solar heat gain and thermal insulation.
Water will be recycled, making laundry facilities extremely efficient. Laundry dryers will use excess heat from the building to dry linen and table cloths via heat pumps.
The north-facing roof will be covered with a photovoltaic solar panel, helping to generate a large amount of power that will be stored in battery banks.
Sport equipment in the gym will be equipped with power-generating devices. The swimming pool will be heated by excess heat from the ventilation and air conditioning system.
The sustainable practices will also extend to hotel operations and will include community involvement and social upliftment schemes. Hotel Verde will generate an estimated 103 direct jobs and a further 247 indirect jobs.
Dematech director, Mario Delicio, believes that going green and being sustainable are the only ways for companies to operate. ‘We do not only owe it to our environment, but also to future generations who will inherit this planet from us,’ he said.
He added that South African companies are lagging somewhat behind their European counterparts when it comes to sustainability. ‘Companies in Europe are really striving towards being efficient, sustainable and using the resources we have on our planet very carefully. This trend is something the hotel industry cannot avoid and we have to go a similar route in South Africa,’ he said.
Delicio aims to open a chain of green hotels across Africa.