Designing Hotels to Be Eco-Friendly

As our society is developing greater environmental responsibility, tourists and business travelers are onboarding a desire to be more eco-friendly in their travels. This includes using eco-friendly hotels. 

Consequently, the hospitality industry is meeting this challenge by constructing more sustainable hotels — and the need for sustainable hotel architecture is growing rapidly. 

When we design hotels for sustainability, we must still focus on the three basics of architecture:

  • Suitability for use

  • Permanence of structure and construction

  • Aesthetic expression of experience

However, in a fast-evolving society, we must also be mindful of the latest trends in sustainable hotel architecture — and here are a few key trends that we can expect to see reflected in eco-friendly hotel architecture.

Sustainable construction

Whether renovating existing hotels or building new ones, sustainability is a bedrock of construction. This means we must:

  • Design buildings to use less energy

  • Construct hotels using local resources and natural materials where possible

  • Include efficient waste management processes

  • Reduce waste during the construction phase

  • Ensure that the design maximizes green initiatives and construction methods

Creativity in sustainable construction

We are witnessing an upswing in creative thinking when designing sustainable hotels. Green-thinking helps us unlock barriers to creativity, and we can expect greater use of smart space planning, moving glass walls, permaculture design features, and vertical gardens.

Green materials

New and innovative materials solutions will improve our options to create eco-friendly buildings, inside and out. We can expect to see more natural and recycled materials used in construction, including glass, cork, and bamboo.

An emphasis on water conservation

There will be more recycling of water used within hotels, and points at which water is used will benefit from water conservation tools such as low-flow fixtures and sensor-managed toilet flushes.

Low-energy lighting will be augmented by natural light

Low-energy lighting systems will help to conserve energy, as will innovative use of glass. By designing effectively, we can give sustainable hotels the sense of bringing the outside in, improve airflow, humidity, and temperature, and reduce energy use.

Renewable energy sources

Electricity supply will shift toward renewable sources, either by incorporating additions to building design such as solar panels or by tapping into community renewable energy programs.

Multi-function roof gardens

Roof gardens will no longer only be places for guests to relax. They will be designed to improve the efficiency of a building, capturing water to be used more effectively. They will also incorporate vegetable gardens, which produce quality fruit and vegetables for the kitchen to use, and thereby reduce fuel used to receive or source food supplies.

Greater automation

Often, the details that are included in hotel design can make some of the biggest eco-friendly impacts. We can expect more provision of charging points for electric vehicles, and automation of lights, heating, and appliances such as televisions.

Sustainability: An imperative for hotel architecture

As people continue to shift their thinking toward conservation and green issues, we will see a bigger desire by travelers to use eco-friendly hotels. Hoteliers are responding to this evolution in environmental awareness by shifting toward a sustainable hotel model.

Architects of sustainable hotels must remain aware of the evolution of trends, and incorporate the latest technology, materials, and methods into their hotel design. In addition, we must also consider not only the finished product itself, but eco-friendly and sustainable practices during the construction phase, as we seek to introduce more green space and natural light, and reduce energy consumption, carbon footprints, and waste.

We’d love to hear your thoughts. What will shape sustainable hotels in the future? To share your ideas, contact ACB Consulting.

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