Shaza Hotels to be LEED certified

Shaza Hotels has announced that all of its upcoming hotel developments will be certified to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards.

NEWS, Design

Shaza Hotels has announced that all of its upcoming hotel developments will be certified to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards. This will be the first time that an entire hotel group in the Middle East region has adhered to the certification.

The international ratings system takes into account five key human and environmental health criteria when evaluating the design of a project: Sustainable site development; water savings; energy efficiency; materials selection and indoor environmental quality.

Christopher Hartley, CEO, Shaza Hotels said the decision to follow the sustainable route would result in energy and cost savings following initial investment: "Essentially it will enable us to reduce our overall energy consumption without compromising either the aesthetics of the hotel or the comfort of our guests. It will involve an initial investment from us during the construction phase, however from an operational standpoint, it is an efficient way of reducing costs by saving water, paper and energy."

The LEED certification will also affect the interior design of the hotels as Hartley explained: "With respect to interior design, LEED certification will naturally lend itself to the use of bright, airy, open spaces and creative use of light. Wherever possible we will take advantage of natural materials and encourage the use of resources from the region." The hotelier aims to reduce carbon emissions during the initial construction phase by supporting environmentally friendly construction methods. The design of the hotels will include natural ventilation systems to channel air into the buildings to help achieve high air quality and provide the correct level of cooling. Solar panels will provide energy, while reflective glass will reduce energy consumption.

Hartley continues: "An increasing number of travellers seek unique and culturally authentic travel experiences that protect and preserve the ecological and cultural environment. It's important that our hotels are in line with international standards of environmental sustainability by adopting a globally accepted benchmark." The hotel group was launched last year as a result of a partnership between Kempinski and international financial firm Guidance Financial Group. The first Shaza hotel is due to open in Dubai in early 2009. Other projects under development in Doha, Muscat, Cairo, Jeddah, Bahrain and Marrakech will be introduced by 2010.

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