Hotel Verde has been awarded the prestigious LEED® Platinum Green Building Certification (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) by the U.S Green Building Council.
Hotel Verde, by BON Hotels, is indeed ’Africa’s greenest hotel’, having just been awarded LEED® Platinum Certification, the premier mark of accomplishment in green building throughout the world. 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 on Friday, 23 May 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,” says 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 LEED certification – Certified, Silver, Gold and Platinum – the number of points a project earns determines the level of LEED certification 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.
Several strategies were used in the various aspects of design and construction of Hotel Verde, broken down by the six LEED categories:
LEED Category Hotel Verde Score Card
Sustainable Sites 19/26
Water Efficiency 9/10
Energy & Atmosphere 31/35
Materials & Resources 7/14
Indoor Environmental Quality 9/15
Innovation in Design 6/6
Hotel Verde, situated at Cape Town International Airport 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.
Advanced strategies were used to ensure better building energy performance and indoor environmental quality at Hotel Verde – from renewable energy and generation (photovoltaic panels on the roof and façade, energy-generating gym equipment, re-generative braking elevators), to energy efficiency in the passive building design (thermally and acoustically insulated structures and services, airtight windows, doors and entrances, shaded north-facing windows, natural ventilation and lighting), and active systems (systems to continuously optimize and report on energy efficiency, heating ventilation and air-conditioning systems, water-efficient equipment, motion-controlled lighting, demand control ventilation).
According to Andre Harms, Hotel Verde’s cutting-edge innovations and technologies demonstrate what can be done for a more sustainable future. In short, the Verde team has left no stone unturned when it comes to sourcing, building, furnishing and running this ground-breaking hotel.
Mario is immensely proud of everyone who has contributed to this achievement and attributes the LEED Platinum certification as recognition of the years of hard work and dedication of the entire professional team who have made Hotel Verde truly “Africa’s greenest hotel’.
“With each new LEED-certified building, we get one step closer to USGBC’s vision of a sustainable built environment within a generation,” says Rick Fedrizzi, President, CEO & Founding Chair, U.S Green Building Council. “As the newest member of the LEED family of green buildings, Hotel Verde is an important addition to the growing strength of the green building movement.”