Lamington Group's ‘hometel' brand Room2 is opening what it describes as the world's first whole life net zero carbon hotel in London's Chiswick in December.
Expected to be 89% more energy efficient than the typical UK hotel per square metre, the 86-key Room2 Chiswick has been built to achieve net zero throughout both the design and construction stages as well as the building's ‘whole life', accounting for both ‘embodied' and operational emissions. The building's interior design has been inspired by the arts and crafts movement (see below).
Robert Godwin, managing director at Lamington Group and Room2, told The Caterer the conversion of the former office block represented a £25m investment for the company.
He said: "There are other operators who are net zero through operation, and they're to be admired and respected for doing that, but it doesn't take into account the embodied carbon. So that is manufacturing the brick, shipping it over, laying the brick and the drivers, and then even the maintenance, repairs and replacement of equipment through the life cycle to the demolishment of the building at the end of its time. That embodies about 70% of the carbon from the full life cycle and if you don't take that into account we're not doing the full picture."
He added: "It's very doable – we've done it, it's been a lot of hard work, but we're proud to be where we're at and ultimately it sets a benchmark of this can be done, it should be done and it's entirely necessary, and hopefully inspires others to come on the journey."
The building will convert 100% of its energy needs for heating, cooling and hot water on-site as well as have two ‘lab rooms' that will record data on energy, water use and air quality as well as track guest behaviours.
Suppliers have been selected to align with the group's sustainability criteria with all furniture manufactured within 10 miles of the property and 4,478 trees planted to offset the emissions from all the building's loose furniture.
Other initiatives included:
- Occupancy-enabled lighting, heating and cooling systems
- A ‘blue' roof which can store 50,000 litres of rainwater
- A ‘green' roof to support local biodiversity
- A zero waste to landfill policy, including custom made in-room recycling bins for food waste, recycling and general waste
- Water purification system using low heat technology that reduce the temperature needed to heat water by 30 degrees
Last month Lamington Group published its 2030 Net Zero Carbon Roadmap, outlining its commitment to only develop and operate whole life net zero carbon buildings in the future and the actions required for the wider group to reach its targets aligned to limit global warming to 1.5°C, set in accordance with the Science Based Target Initiative (SBTi).
Room2 was launched in 2015, the third accommodation brand launched by the Lamington Group, a real estate investment and development company based in West London founded in the 1960s by Stuart Godwin Sr.
Brothers Robert and Stuart Godwin, former members of the British Olympic Development Sailing team, conceived the ‘hometel' concept, combining elements from Airbnb, serviced apartments and boutique hotels to appeal to both corporate and leisure guests and those seeking alternative forms of residential accommodation.
Room2 has two operational sites in London Hammersmith and Southampton, the latter of which was sold to Aberdeen Standard Investments in January on a sale and leaseback. The brand has a pipeline of sites across the UK with a gross development value of over £100m, including sites in Belfast, Fulham and Liverpool, including wholly owned assets and those pre-leased to Room2 by development partners.
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