Green Star SA’s first 6 Star Rated Hotel – Hotel Verde in Cape Town

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L-R : Mario Delicio owner of Verde Hotels and Hotel Verde, Samantha Annandale GM of Hotel Verde, Brian Wilkinson CEO of Green Building Council South Africa, André Harms from Ecolution Consulting and Sarah Farrell Marketing Manager for Hotel Verde, with the plaque from GBCSA

Hotel Verde was awarded the highest accolade of a 6 Star rating in the Green Star SA Existing Building Performance tool with 82 points, a first for a hotel in South Africa, by the GBCSA. The rating received is valid for a period of 3 years in order to ensure the building is continually operated on stringent efficiency and sustainability targets.

Brian Wilkinson, CEO of the GBCSA, comments, “We’re thrilled to award a 6-Star Green Star SA Existing Building Performance rating, to such a deserving development. An added achievement is being the very first hotel to achieve such a rating, making green building history in South Africa.”

“The Existing Building Performance rating tool enables the effective measurement of a building’s environmental performance in relation to its operation and management. It provides indicators to ensure that the building’s environmental performance is efficiently maintained or improved upon over time and offers the hotel industry an effective way to benchmark their green credentials.”

“We want many more hotel owners and operators to follow the example set by Hotel Verde. The hotel management have shown that green innovations and implementations are not only possible in the tourism industry but add an additional dimension to their service offering,” he adds.

The Green Building Council South Africa’s (GBCSA) objective is to promote sustainable development and the transition of the property industry towards sustainability, by promoting green building programs, technologies and design practices. A key priority for the GBCSA has been the development of a comprehensive environmental rating system for buildings, known as Green Star SA

The Green Star SA – Existing Building Performance Pilot rating tool has been adapted from the Australian Green Star – Performance Tool, under license from the Green Building Council of Australia. The tool has established individual environmental measurement criteria with particular reference to the South African marketplace and environmental context.

Green Star SA rating tools include nine separate environmental impact categories:

  • Management
  • Indoor Environmental Quality
  • Energy
  • Transport
  • Water
  • Materials
  • Land Use and Ecology
  • Emissions
  • Innovation

The categories are then divided into credits, each of which addresses an initiative that improves or has the potential to improve a design, project or building’s environmental performance. Points are awarded in each credit for actions that demonstrate that the project has met the overall objectives of Green Star SA and the specific aims of the Green Star SA rating tool.

Hotel Verde was certified while the Existing Buildings Performance (EBP) tool was still in its pilot phase, launched in October 2013. Version 1 has now (2015) been launched and all further certification will occur under the criteria of this version (or subsequent versions). Before this tool was launched, the GBCSA’s rating tools focused largely on the design and construction of new buildings and major refurbishments, all with design and construction elements. There was very little focus, therefore on ongoing building operations and management. The EBP tool now addresses a far wider scope of buildings to undergo certification.

This existing building rating tool enables the effective measurement of a building’s environmental performance in relation to its operation and management. It provides indicators to ensure that the building’s environmental performance is efficiently maintained or improved upon over time. The new EBP rating tool is significantly differentiated by the fact that buildings can get a 1-6 star certification with this tool and the rating is renewed every three years, in order to ensure continued efficient operation and management of the building.

“This is a great achievement and another step in the right direction. I am so proud of Team Verde, headed by General Manager, Samantha Annandale, and André Harms with his team from Ecolution Consulting. Thanks to all, I think this really highlights the great sustainability work that is being implemented at the hotel by all involved; what an achievement and honour. And to the Green Building Council also a great thank you. Your activity has contributed a lot to a growing number of green buildings and the change in our society to embrace sustainable construction, as part of our way of building responsibly spaces, for the future!.” stated a very proud owner of Hotel Verde, Mario Delicio.

In conclusion André Harms from Ecolution said “What the six star green rating in essence means is that Hotel Verde has been recognised for world leadership in sustainable development. Something we have been working very hard at over the past few years. And to prove to the Tourism industry at large, that it can be done, sustainably and viably, without compromising the guest experience.”

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