Hotel Verde, by BON Hotels, is indeed ’Africa’s greenest hotel’, having just been awarded LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Platinum Certification, the premier mark of accomplishment in green building throughout the world.
The hotel is situated at Cape Town International Airport.
With this award Hotel Verde joins a select group of sustainable and innovative buildings, and is the only LEED Platinum New Construction project on the African continent.
The announcement was made few weeks ago and delighted owners Mario and Annemarie Delicio have seen a dream realised by sheer determination, along with the hard work of their committed team.
“Today is indeed one of the most beautiful days of my life and together with our Carbon Neutral Accommodation Experience, we will start a new chapter in the hospitality industry in Africa,” said Mario.
LEEd is the foremost program for buildings, homes and communities that are designed, constructed, maintained and operated for improved environmental and human health performance.
There are four levels of LEEdcertification – Certified, Silver, Gold and Platinum – the number of points a project earns determines the level of LEEdcertification that the project will receive. Each rating system is made up of a combination of credit categories with specific criteria that projects must satisfy and a variety of credits that projects can pursue to earn points.
“Our green consultants for the LEED submission, André Harms of Ecolution Consulting and Jutta Berns-Mumbi of Ecocentric, targeted a Gold certification and made us all believe that this was the highest realistic result, however, their ambitions were higher and they secretly worked hard leaving no stone unturned to attain Platinum, of which we are immensely proud,” comments Mario.
Hotel Verde, with access to alternative means of transportation, employed various strategies to minimize the impact on the surrounding ecosystems and water resources, whilst maximizing the use of open spaces.
The properties adjacent to Hotel Verde have all been restored and include a retention pond surrounded by a landscaped wetland, teeming with indigenous plants and birdlife.
Hotel Verde is harvesting and saving water on all fronts. Water-saving measures in place range from several significant high-tech systems to many small initiatives implemented throughout the hotel that all add up to a significant saving. The combined water-saving measures amount to a sizable estimated 37% of potable water saving.The largest water-saving initiative implemented in the design of Hotel Verde is the grey water recycling plant.
Every effort was made to use sustainable materials and resources and innovative design practices. Most notably, the hotel is built with concrete slabs containing recycled materials and using Cobiax Void Formers.
These are recycled plastic balls placed strategically within the concrete slabs to decrease the amount of concrete required. This method saved approximately 1279 tons of concrete, while maintaining structural integrity, but making it lighter to enable it to be supported by slender columns and transfer beams.