Airport hotel could be UK's greenest

Still a year away from opening but the East Midlands Airport's Radisson Blu Hotel is already making waves in the green building world.

An artist's impression of the hotel

An artist's impression of the hotel

The £22 million new-build, scheduled for completion in summer 2011, has been awarded the highest ever BREEAM score, a widely used method of assessing a building's environmental impact, for a hotel.

With an impressive score of more than 76%, higher than BREEAM's benchmark for excellence of 70, the hotel may provide a snapshot of things to come for the leisure industry, with its innovative use of energy and resources.

Designed in line with the airport's pledge to be carbon neutral by 2012, the Radisson Blu will combine a range of low energy technologies with innovative construction techniques to minimise any impact on the environment.

The hotel's surface water drainage system is just one example of its green credentials. The system will include porous paving in the car park, attenuation tanks and rainwater harvesting to serve the building's WCs and external landscaped areas.

Motion sensitive lighting will also be installed on both the interior and exterior of the hotel to further reduce electricity consumption.

But, perhaps one of the most impressive attributes of the Radisson Blu will be the onsite Combined Heat and Power engine, with a Pure Plant Oil Tri-Generation Energy Centre.

This system alone will supply up to 90% of the hotel's consumed energy from renewable sources, by collecting all waste heat in a thermal store before using it to heat and cool the entire hotel.

The engine goes one further, too, by exporting electricity to the national grid outside of normal occupancy hours.

The project is being built by MAG Developments in partnership with investment firm Azure Property Group.

Azure's director, Niels Nielsen, said: "We are very proud to be associated with a project that delivers the UK's most energy efficient hotel.

"Minimising the hotel's environmental impact and energy efficiency were key concerns during the planning process for the hotel and thanks to the advanced technology and techniques we adopted we have been able to build a hotel that hopefully will be a building that will set an example for hotel operators to follow."

Sam Plester


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