Ipoh's First Green Hotel

Weil Resources set upon a project to convert an abandoned 7-storey structure into a 15-storey 4-star hotel with 313 rooms in the historic city of Ipoh, Malaysia.

Weil approached this project from the onset with the environmental goals of achieving sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, conscious materials selection and high indoor environmental quality. “The existing building could have been demolished and rebuilt. But that would mean a waste of structure and materials, so we decided to conserve and build on it,” says Yu-Wei of Weil Resources

Hotels are historically large consumers of energy and water. According to Yu-Wei, “we wanted to be an energy efficient building as energy cost is always one of the key cost components in hotel operations.”

Challenges

1)    Using the existing 4-storey concrete structure, instead of demolishing it. Taking into account that any height extension would have to be lightweight enough to be supported by the existing structure, which ruled out the normal practice of using concrete.

2)    Register and target to achieve Singapore’s BCA Green Mark certification by mid-2013.

Solutions

  • Keeping the existing concrete structure intact, lightweight panel walls and steel structures were used to build up the 15 levels.  Use of lightweight and thermal insulated Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (AAC) boards were used for the floors. The façade was constructed of faced bricks and reflective glass.

Green Features & Benefits:

  • Conservation of existing structure reduced demolition waste by estimated 50 m3, representing estimated 1,200 kg of embodied CO2 from construction activity
  • Retained 90% of trees on site, reducing environmental impact
  • Walls insulated with high visible light transmittance performance glazing and dual core walls to minimize heat absorption through walls, thus lowering cooling requirements
  • Efficient HVAC with hot water energy recovery system will result in estimated 30% energy savings over conventional buildings
  • Energy efficient lightings: T5, PLC, LED lights with occupancy sensors will  result in estimated 20% savings
  • Lifts installed with VVVF with sleep mode for energy saving
  • Water saving fittings and features will result in estimated 50% water savings
  • Use of low VOC (Volatile Organic Compound) paints and adhesives and carbon dioxide sensors means Enhanced Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) for hotel guests and employees
  • Good acoustic design provides for guest comfort
  • Swimming pool with non-chlorine/chemical water treatment system eliminates chemical usage, increasing guest comfort
  • Car parks on the 3rd, 4th and 5th floors have natural ventilation for energy savings
  • Local and/or green labeled material with recycled content used where possible

Weil Resources achieved their goals with only a 1.5% incremental construction cost which will quickly be offset by energy and water savings. In addition, they contributed to the beautification of Ipoh by redeveloping an abandoned and unsightly plot of land.

“Green is not only good for the environment – for us it also makes economic and business sense with added capital value for the Weil Hotel project,” Yu-Wei concluded.

“Energy and water conservation will always be at the core of green building certification but tailoring a green building, especially a hotel, to benefit its end-users and occupants is equally important,” notes Farizan from GreenA Consultants. “We were pleasantly surprised with the environmental concerns Weil had from the beginning of the project, starting with using the abandoned structure, resulting in significant savings of embodied carbon” she added.

GreenA Consultants was the lead Green Consultant on this project and provides advisory and consultancy services in areas of sustainability and achievement of Singapore BCA Green Mark, LEED, Green Globe and Malaysia Green Building Index certification. www.greenaconsultants.com

Kelly Bassett, Consultant/LEED: GreenA Consultants

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