As a planet, in the next 20 years we are expected to reach our peak capacity in regards to oil consumption. Although, as demand for oil appears to increase year upon year, the global production of oil appears to decrease.
As a result of this growing problem, this directly impacts the way hotels will be constructed in the future, and how eco-friendly practices can benefit current hotels in terms of their cost-efficiencies.
During the construction of new hotels, fossil fuels are used heavily and crude oils power most if not all of the machine that are used within this process. The reason for this, is that without them, the construction process would not be able to function in its current form. This is, however, having a detrimental impact on greenhouse gas emissions. Within the UK, 50% of carbon emissions are accounted for by the construction industry and machinery within the production process.
However, as major cities increasingly become more urbanised, attitudes are beginning to change. This has encouraged the growth of eco-friendly practices within the construction and upkeep of hotels, and although in the US this market has estimated revenues of $245bn, UK firms could also be taking advantage of these environmentally friendly practices.
Providers of skips for hire and waste management solutions for recyclable materials, Reconomy can help to determine how eco-friendly practices can be implemented and used in the long-term, within the construction of hotels and once they are built, to help combat climate change.
Building a hotel that is eco-friendly
Core principles have to be established during the construction of a hotel so that it is benefiting the external environment.
- What needs to be established, is whether energy is being wasted during construction. During the production process machines can more than often be overused. This leads to energy that is wasted that can never be used again. So that a motor isn’t overworked, electric vehicles or machines with hybrid-engines should be used so that when a motor is overworked – electric engines can help power and support the overall load.
- Once the building of the hotel is complete, what energy is being generated within it, and is it being wasted?
- Furthermore, assess whether materials for the construction of the hotel have been locally sourced – if they haven’t, a decision has to be made on whether they can be recycled in the future.
Within the roofing of a hotel, recycled paper can be used as opposed to new insulation that has been produced and purchased for the roof. By using cheap and practical alternatives – insulation that is produced for individual roofs will be more cost effective when using pre-existing materials. By using timbers that are sourced from sustainably managed forests within the local areas, this avoids when to chop down trees that will not be replanted.
Ecological hotel structures
Based on how to make the most of a hotel structure, these eco-friendly techniques can ensure that a hotel is energy-efficient, helping to save cost, within its design.
- Drainage systems and water filtration. When biological waste is treated safely, water can be re-used within a hotel. Rainwater can also be utilised and collected into specific drains that recycle it, so it can be used instead of water from the tap and used in outdoor spaces such as gardens and courtyard spaces for plants
- Low-energy lighting. Low energy lighting can last twice as long as regular lightbulbs, which accounts for an energy saving of 100%.
- Solar energy panels. Solar energy is fast becoming a cheaper alternative as opposed to other forms of commercial power. When using them within a hotel’s power supply, this can account for a significant saving in energy costs. A hotel also covers a large surface area, which means that many solar panels can be used, maximising the amount of electricity that can be generated in this energy efficient way.
How to benefit from eco-friendly construction
Accounting for 80% of a hotel’s overall running costs, operating a maintaining the day to day running of a hotel can become expensive. Reducing the total running costs of a hotel by one third, green initiatives can help reduce these costs to 53.3% of overall costs.
When considering a hotel’s architectural design, daylight should always be considered as a factor. This is because daylight helps to save on artificial lighting costs. Furthermore, it is considered by many that the ‘indoor environment quality’ of a hotel can be improved when natural light is abundant – this is because it creates the illusion of more space within a more natural feeling environment, benefitting the health of occupants that are present within the building.
Once the construction of a hotel has started, long lasting materials that can be recycled should always be considered. This means that fewer new materials will be used during construction, helping to reduce the overall cost of the build – and less energy is consumed in order to produce the new structure.
To slow down the rate of climate change, construction firms and those who implement the designs of hotels, will have to use these techniques and materials within their construction processes. By producing hotels that are greener, more environmentally efficient and conceptualised with the long-term future of the planet in mind, this will ensure that they are constructed in a sustainable way for generations to come.