It is awards season again. Two announcements this past week highlighted examples of sustainability in both design and operations. First, finalists have been announced for HX: The Hotel Experience’s 36th annual Gold Key Awards for Excellence in Hospitality Design, which is sponsored by Boutique Design magazine. Winners in 21 categories will be announced at the Gold Key Awards Gala, to be held November 14 at the Waldorf Astoria, New York. The Designer of the Year will also be honored during this special evening. In the Best Eco-Conscious or Socially Conscious Hotel category, finalists for the 2016 Gold Key Awards for Excellence in Hospitality Design include: Champalimaud Design, New York and Hart Howerton, New York for The Island House, Nassau, Bahamas; concrete, Amsterdam for Zoku Amsterdam; and Deture Culsign, Architecture + Interiors, Chicago for Treehouse Suite at Playa Viva, Juluchuca, Mexico.
In addition to the Gold Key Awards announcement, Burba Hotel Network, Horwath HTL, and Stiles Capital Events, co-hosts and organizers of the annual Hotel Investment Conference Asia Pacific (HICAP), have announced the winners for the HICAP 2016 Sustainable Hotel Awards. The 27th annual HICAP will be held October 19 to 21, 2016 at the InterContinental Hong Kong. In the category of Sustainable Project Design, the winner is The Temple House in Chengdu, China. The Temple House is the result of the potent combination when a creative architectural firm and an enlightened client combine sensitivity, social responsibility and an understanding of place making in the urban context, to a design problem. In the category of Sustainable Communities, the winner is the Nikoi Island in Riau Province, Indonesia. Besides sourcing nearly all construction materials, labor (including 150 current staff) and operating supplies locally, the Nikoi’s most enduring and significant community impact stems from the creation of The Island Foundation. From an initial focus on establishing a network of learning centers for local children, the centers have expanded into programs for adults including health education, sanitation and arts and crafts. The Foundation also provides training workshops for teachers that are recognized by the Ministry of Education and lead to obtaining higher salaries.
In the category of Sustainable Operations, the winners are ITC Grand Chola in Chennai, India and Jetwing Yala in Yala, Sri Lanka. ITC Grand Chola is a 600-key hotel with more than 1.6 million square feet of built area, one of the largest in the Indian subcontinent and the world’s largest LEED Platinum-rated hotel. Since opening in 2012, energy consumption and waste generation has been reduced annually via installation of all LED lighting, a condensate recovery system, an additional wind turbine, solar heating panels, and a heat pump to reduce diesel use. Sixty-six percent of the property’s energy is now sourced from renewables, 99 percent of waste is reused or recycled, and 100 percent of irrigation, flushing, and cooling tower water needs are met through treated effluent. Set on the outskirts of the Yala National Park, Jetwing Yala was a landmark opening in 2014, changing the face of the deep south of Sri Lanka. One of the country’s largest privately owned solar installations of 300 kilowatts meets 40 percent of the hotel’s daily electricity needs. The plant supplies excess energy at peak back to the national grid, helping to cushion grid fluctuations experienced by local residents. Its heating and cooling is operated by a vapour absorption chiller, run sustainably via steam generated from a biomass boiler using sustainable cinnamon wood procured locally. Hot water is provided entirely through renewable energy, and lighting is 100 percent LED.
Congratulations to these finalists and winners.