In 2016, the hotel industry was expected to make approximately $550 billion (or £423 million) in revenue worldwide – but while many of us recognise the hospitality sector as being critical to the tourist economy, the effect hotels have on our environment is often a secondary concern.
In today’s post, we explore Earth-friendly design ideas, ranging from the initial hotel construction to the intricate interior details that will help to minimise the carbon footprint of the hotel industry in 2018 and beyond.
Modular buildings offer a greener, more cost-effective alternative to traditional construction methods. This eco-friendly edge is owed to a range of sustainable factors that make modular (or offsite) construction an effective approach in various different sectors – but, due to their suitability for creating multiple, identical components for one structure, they’re particularly perfect for hotel builds.
Not only can the modular units be recycled and refurbished time and time again, without having to be redesigned and rebuilt, but, because of the offsite environment in which they’re manufactured, they also create less material waste and use less energy (due to the energy-efficient systems featured in the controlled factory setting). Better yet, air and noise pollution are reduced, while traffic and public disruption are both minimised as a result of the manufacture and assembly taking place away from the building site.
As with the construction of virtually all other products and buildings, a hotel’s effect on the environment is directly influenced by the materials used in its creation. When it comes to hotel design, the materials you choose to use in the initial construction process are vital to reducing the negative environmental effects – in both the short and long term. By using green or locally sourced building materials, energy levels and transportation costs are therefore decreased – minimising your energy bill and CO2 emissions.
Wool and mud bricks are a crucial resource in the sustainable construction sector, as both serve as non-toxic materials that don’t require extra energy to be used in the fabrication process. Alongside brick, wood is a popular CO2-neutral solution used in eco-friendly hotel design. The strength, cost-effectiveness and CO2 absorption of timber makes it a highly versatile building material. However, to ensure a truly green outcome, it’s recommended that the wood you use is sourced from a responsibly managed forest, thus minimising the resulting deforestation effects.
Eco-friendly appliances and extras
Inside your hotel rooms, it’s worth investing in sustainable appliances that encourage your guests to reduce their carbon footprint by highlighting how easy it is to swap everyday items for eco-friendly alternatives.
Anything you can do to encourage your guests to put energy efficiency first during their stay will not only help the environment, but also reduce the cost of your bills in the long term. With this in mind, you may choose to introduce energy-saving televisions (approved by Energy Star, with an official stamp), install eco-friendly LED light bulbs, or incorporate solar-powered charging furniture around the room – in order to encourage guests to charge their phones the energy-efficient way. Put simply, there are options galore open to hotel designers looking to make this important change.
Taking on a green hotel build project isn’t as challenging as you may initially think, and, on top of the savings you can enjoy in the short term, modular construction is sure to save you money and go some way towards protecting our beautiful planet in the long run.