InterContinental Hotels Group has developed virtual plans for what could be the world’s first ever 100% ecologically-friendly hotel.
The solar powered ‘Innovation Hotel’ outlines the latest technology in energy and water conservation and recycling.
Among the ‘green’ features of the futuristic hotel:
– The forwarding of all unused non-perishable food to charities or food banks
– 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
– Recycled glass windows
– Furniture and fittings made entirely from recycled materials
– And household waste to provide heat and power
The first inkling a guest will get of the Innovation Hotel’s green attributes is the green roof – planted with low-maintenance plants – which improves the thermal performance of the hotel and helps keep it cool in warm weather and insulate it in winter.
The plants and thin layer of soil 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.
Natural lava stone signage at the entrance and on the lawns replaces traditional plastic and metal signs.
All the furniture in the reception is made from recycled material and all the paper used by the receptionists will also be recycled.
The decor is low emission paint, all the artwork produced by local artists to ensure a low carbon-footprint and there are recycling bins for guests to use.
All unused food from the kitchens is packaged and delivered to local charities or food banks to cut wastage. And left over scraps are composted to create a rich fertiliser for use on hotel plants and lawns.
In the bedroom all furniture and fittings including towels are made from recycled materials, mattresses consist of natural fibre such as horsehair, as will carpets. Bathrooms feature low-flow showerheads and dual flush toilets.
On the roof there will be up to four huge solar panels drawing energy from the sun to heat water and help cut back on non-renewable energy use.
Harvesting systems collect rainwater in tanks either on the roof or underground. In regions where there’s plenty of regular rain, harvesting is an effective and low-cost way of reducing demand on local water supplies. The hotel uses the rain water to flush toilets and water grounds, as well as for dishwashers and washing machines.
Oil produced from household waste can be used as bio-fuel instead of fossil fuels to generate heat and power.
Senior Vice President of Corporate Responsibility at IHG, David Jerome, said, ”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.”
IHG has a number of environmental initiatives in place at its 4,000 hotels around the world.
The InterContinental Thalasso Spa, Bora Bora, for example, has one of the world’s deepest underwater pipelines, feeding cold sea water to an eco-friendly air-conditioning system and The InterContinental Willard Washington is entirely powered by energy from wind farms.