A couple of exciting new stories about two upcoming hotels suggest the travel industry is beginning to wake up to the potential of the circular economy for tourism.
In my most recent blog, I shared the story of Martin’s Hotels, winner of a 2017 EMAS award for its efforts to implement circular economy initiatives across its chains of properties in Belgium, and in particular for its innovative Ecobon loyalty scheme. This week I would like to add two more names to the emerging sector of circular economy hotels.
The Svart Hotel is being designed by Snøhetta at the foot of the Svartisen glacier, just inside the Arctic Circle in northern Norway. When it opens in 2021, it will be the world’s first Powerhouse hotel, and the first building to be built according to the energy positive Powerhouse standard in a Northern climate.
Powerhouse is a collaboration between Snøhetta, Entra, Skanska, the ZERO Emission Resource Organization and Asplan Viak. Buildings constructed according to this standard are designed so that over the course of a 60 year period they will generate more renewable energy than would be required not only to sustain their daily operations, but also to build, produce materials and demolish the building.
In the case of Svart, this means a hotel clad with Norwegian solar panels that themselves were produced with clean hydro energy. Furthermore the design of the hotel means that its yearly energy consumption will be approximately 85% less than a comparably sized modern hotel.
QO Amsterdam is set to open very soon – next month in fact. Like Svart, its design radically changes the way energy is used. Managed by IHG, it is set to be the first LEED Platinum hotel in Europe, with an intelligent, climate responsive exterior to the building that achieves energy savings of up to 65% by manipulating a series of moving thermal panels, responding to the seasons, the weather conditions and the presence or absence of guests.
This is an extract from my fortnightly blog for World Travel Market. To read the full post, click here.