Hollow on the Square built its green wing to highest possible standards
HOLLOW on the Square in Ryk Tulbagh Square, Cape Town, opened its new energy-wise wing in December.
The green credentials at the hotel’s new 30 room extension set a precedent for South Africa’s hotel industry, with every possible green detail to save energy having been thought out meticulously during renovations of the 50-year-old building, says Mark Bleloch, co-owner and project manager of Hollow on the Square’s green wing.
“The words ‘ green’ and ‘ ecofriendly’ are often used as emotive marketing tools, and have many adaptations to their actual meaning.
“We were determined to enforce the ‘real deal’ at the Hollow on the Square green wing and, although we faced many challenges building in the city, we managed to reach our target of a 50 percent energy saving,” says Bleloch.
“Inverter air conditioners and intelligent systems ensuring energy is used only when rooms are occupied are just two of the energy saving tools incorporated.
“When guests leave their room, the six-star environmentally rated air conditioning system senses their departure and automatically switches to economy mode. Twelve solar panels transfer heat 11 storeys down to geysers and lights switch off due to the installation of intelligent programmed key guards.
“Other energy-saving tools used include low-energy lighting, and double glazing that boosts insulation and reduces noise. Cork tile flooring and hand-crafted bamboo furniture complement the overall green philosophy.”
Bleloch says the Australian Green Building Council model was used as a guideline for the extension until the SA Green Building Council star rating, which is being revised to encompass hotels, is available. The model works on a system of points rated for various green executions.
“The revamped wing uses half the amount of electricity used in other hotel rooms. We hope this remarkable achievement will help us earn the highest green rating possible for a city hotel renovation.
“The ratings will assure our guests that they really are backing ‘green’ at its best when staying with us.”
The 30 stylish rooms opened in December and form part of a building next door to the original Hollow on the Square.
LOW ON ENERGY: A bedroom in the new environmentally friendly wing at Hollow on the Square. The new wing boasts new technologies that save electricity in an intelligent way.