According to the World Travel & Tourism Council, the travel and tourism industry added US$8.8 trillion to the global combined Gross Domestic Product in 2018, making it the second-largest growing sector.
It is forecasted to grow with each coming year. Consider that against the worrying backdrop of climate change, and sustainability becomes more urgent than ever before.
Increasingly aware of greenwashing, more travellers now seek hotels and resorts that engage in rigorous sustainable practices, for instance, by looking for third-party certifications such as Earthcheck and the Cornell Hotel Sustainability Benchmarking Index.
Others such as Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) by the United States and Singapore’s BCA Green Mark rate green buildings.
As hotel developers keep pace with changing consumer habits and attitudes, it is timely for architects and designers to explore the sustainability practices available.
We look at the latest that could drive value, energy efficiency and guest comfort in the face of climate change.
RENEWABLE ENERGY VS FOSSIL FUELS
With the exponential growth of gadget use, consumers now value tech-friendly amenities such as free Wi-Fi and charging stations. These add to the energy burden of ventilation, air-conditioning and lighting that keep guests comfortable.
As the world faces up to the impact of fossil fuels on climate change, some hotels and resorts are incorporating renewable energy options and integrating them into the design early on.
Architect Yuji Yamazaki designed Kukadoo Maldives, which features 984 solar panels on the stepped roof of the main building. These solar panels, spanning 1,643m2 in total, allow the entire island with its 15 villas to run on solar power.
“Architects and designers should be able to demonstrate a cohesive design process that’s persuasive to the investors and reach a mutual understanding of the benefit of undertaking sustainable projects, both financially and ethically,” Yamazaki explains.
COMFORT WITH ENERGY CONSERVATION
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Annual Issue 2020