Inside the greenest hotel in Africa

Hotel Verde Cape Town International Airport interior

Image Source: Hotel Verde/Trip Advisor


The Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA) has awarded Hotel Verde near Cape Town International Airport a 6-star green building rating, making it the greenest hotel in Africa. The award highlights the trend in hoteliers no longer striving just towards achieving an acceptable level of sustainability in operations, but to actual green building or green operation status.

What makes a green building rating?

The GBCSA was formed back in 2007 as an independent, non-profit entity to lead the green transformation of South Africa’s commercial property industry. The NGO promotes green building practices across the country, and rates buildings according to certain environmental impact criteria which consists of:

  • Management
  • Indoor environmental quality
  • Energy transport
  • Water
  • Materials
  • Land use and ecology
  • Emissions
  • Innovation

Since its inception, the GBCSA has certified more than 100 buildings across South Africa. Overall, a green building must significantly reduce or eliminate its negative impact on the environment by incorporating design, construction and operational practices.

Hotel Verde Cape Town International Aiport Exterior

Image Source: Hotel Verde / Trip Advisor

Hotel Verde: pioneering green building innovation

Apart from its 6-star green building rating, Hotel Verde near Cape Town International Airport has also achieved a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum award for its design and construction. The hotel’s superior green practices include the following:

  • An air conditioning system that works on geothermal installation – removing the use of cooling gases found in conventional air conditioning system and also reduces overall electricity consumption of the hotel. The system relies on a hundred boreholes of roughly 70m in depth, which circulates water underground cleverly utilizing the constant 19,4 °C below surface temperature to shed off heat from rooms that require cooling.
  • Electricity sources in the form of photovoltaic solar panels on the roof producing an estimated 700 000kWH of electricity per year. An additional three wind turbines are positioned at the main entrance, further contributing an estimated 9kW of power. Even the gym’s spinning bikes and treadmills contributes electricity supply to the hotel when in use.
  • The hotel has a rain watering harvesting system which stores water underground up to a capacity of 40 000 litres. The grey water from showers and bathtubs is captured via an onsite grey water recycling system for the use of irrigation and to flush toilets, in effect saving 1.5 litres of water per year.
  • The use of intelligent lighting systems everywhere, as well as regenerative drive elevators and energy star rated equipment keeps the building’s carbon footprint to a minimum.
Hotel Verde Cape Town International Airport Room Interior

Image Source: Hotel Verde




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