A solar powered ‘Innovation Hotel’ launched by the InterContinental Hotels Group outlines the latest technology in energy and water conservation and recycling.
Features of the futuristic hotel include solar panels on the roof to heat water, a rainwater harvesting system to supply water to toilets, a roof garden rich in shrubbery to provide extra insulation, windpower to generate electricity for the hotel, forwarding all unused non-perishable food to charities or food banks, recycled glass windows, furniture and fittings made entirely from recycled materials and household waste to provide heat and power.
Hotel chiefs say the Innovation Hotel's features could be earmarked as standard across all IHG brands within the next few years. The virtual property has been put on the company website to get guests views on its features.
David Jerome, senior vice president of Corporate Social Responsibility at IHG said, ''People who do their bit for the environment when they're at home are likely to be interested in doing the same when they're staying in a hotel.”
The ‘green’ roof covered in low maintenance plants aims to improve the thermal performance of the hotel – keeping it cool in warm weather and insulated in the winter. The plants and thin layer of soil also work like a sound barrier, particularly when they're wet, helping to reduce noise pollution.
Other environmental benefits include improvements to air quality, biodiversity and storm water run off.
Harvesting systems collect rainwater in tanks either on the roof or underground.
In regions with plentiful regular rain, harvesting is an effective and low cost way of reducing demand on local water supplies. The hotel would use the rain water to flush toilets and water grounds, as well as for dishwashers and washing machines. On the roof will also be up to four solar panels for heating water.
In the bedrooms all furniture and fittings including towels will be made from recycled materials, mattresses consist of natural fibre such as horsehair, as will carpets.
Oil produced from household waste can be used as bio-fuel instead of fossil fuels to generate heat and power.
Jerome added, “We have some excellent examples of responsible tourism already underway in our hotels. Now we’re looking at setting company wide goals for our business to deliver real benefits to the environment, based on clear understanding of where we can make a difference and on guests’ needs.”
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