Last edited 01 Feb 2021

How to create a sustainable hotel

Normandie hotel.jpg


[edit] Introduction

Whether a brand new building full of the latest innovations, or a refurbishment of an existing hotel which must meet rigorous and legally-enforced minimum energy efficiency standards, sustainability continues to force its way up the agenda in the hospitality sector.

But the impact of environmental measures can no longer be viewed in isolation: the way that green building design and fit-out interacts with policy, finance, customer loyalty, staff wellbeing and broader community issues defines good hotel management today.

[edit] Green strategy

Research carried out among European real-estate industry professionals reveals that more than three-quarters of commercial buildings have a sustainability strategy, which is itself increasingly interlinked with business objectives. These include preventing obsolescence, exploiting tax incentives and simply creating a ‘quality building’ which has market appeal. Buildings lacking such a strategy are viewed by many as an investment risk.

In the commercial property world, investment consultants use a number of tools in their scrutiny of green strategies. These include the FTSE EPRA Global Real Estate Index, the European Association for Investors in Non-Listed Real Estate Vehicles (INREV), the Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change and the Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark, new EPC legislation and near-zero carbon initiatives.

There is also substantial evidence that hotel chains seeking to attract and retain a new generation of skilled workers regard a sustainable building as an important element in their brand and corporate identity.

[edit] Sustainability initiatives

So, what form do the most effective sustainability initiatives take? Below is a checklist of the simplest measures that hotel owners and operators can use for quick wins.

Heating and air conditioning:

Thermal elements:



Building controls:

  • Introducing motion sensors and adjusting timings on existing sensors

Supply chain:


Biophilic design:


Clearly the skill for hotel owners and operators today is to balance the all-important people-centric features with ongoing energy and resource efficiency through the use of technology and good maintenance practices.

As it is increasingly acknowledged that customer and staff wellbeing is affected by the sustainability of the building in which they operate, sustainability in property is becoming synonymous with quality. And that is good news for both people and the environment.

[edit] About this article

This article was supplied by Trident Building Consultancy, a UK-based firm of surveyors.

--Trident Building Consultancy

[edit] Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki


A really interesting article, sustainability is becoming front and centre in many people's minds and as you say, hotels don't have it easy, needing to strike the balance between customer satisfaction whilst doing what they can to be environmentally conscious.

I'm sure there are hotels out there doing this really well and can imagine for some customers this would be a big factor in their decision making process of where to stay.

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