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The Hotel Britomart sets the standard for sustainability

Officially opening its doors on October 1, 2020, the highly anticipated The Hotel Britomart brings more than just great design to the reinvigorated Britomart precinct.

The Hotel Britomart, part of the TFE Hotels collection, will be the first 5 Green Star hotel in New Zealand, certified by the New Zealand Green Building Council.

The 5 Green Star rating demonstrates the building’s deep commitment to longevity and sustainability.

Designed by Cheshire Architects, the 10-floor hotel on Galway Street will contain 99 guest rooms and five luxurious suites. The hotel project also involves the refurbishment of two adjacent heritage warehouses, the Masonic and Buckland Buildings.

The building’s developers, Cooper and Company, looked to reduce the environmental impact of the building and ensure optimal performance after it opens.

In The Hotel Britomart, the Green Star rating allows for a rigorous assessment of the environmental impact of every construction decision, as well as tracking of important data such energy and water use when the building is operational.

"There are a lot of technical components, but everything has a clear intent and outcome that relates to a positive impact on the environment and human health and wellbeing," says Matthew Cockram, chief executive of Cooper and Company, the company behind the development.

"The Green Star rating allows us to convert this information to a form that the general public can easily understand."

Green Star certification applies to almost every decision made during construction, but there are a few key aspects that make the development of a Green Star building truly unique. One of them is the recycling or reuse of construction waste; the industry benchmark for which is 70 per cent of construction waste to be re-used or recycled, a target which The Hotel Britomart has already greatly surpassed with a result of more than 90 per cent.

Another is that the hotel’s operational greenhouse gas emissions are projected to be 50 per cent lower than a building that meets the minimum requirements of the New Zealand Building Code.

"The beauty of The Green Star rating is that it allows us to stay true to what we originally set out to do. It holds us accountable, through third party assessment, to a promise we made to the environment and the community," says Matthew.

Beyond the design and construction of The Hotel Britomart, there are important elements inside the hotel and its rooms which aren’t included as part of the Green Star ratings but were carefully selected in line with the hotel’s sustainable ethos. Inside The Hotel Britomart:

  • The pillows and duvets are made from luxury microfibre derived from plastic bottles
  • The sheets are organic cotton by Eco-Linen
  • All mattresses are part of a Sleepyhead programme that recycles them at the end of their use
  • All staff uniforms are locally manufactured from natural materials, withthe ability to be redyed to extend their life, recycled or composted
  • Guest rooms are stocked with New Zealand brand Sans[ceuticals] organic, hair and skincare products with refillable bottles
  • The slippers in each guest room are 99 per cent compostable and have compressed wood fibre soles, linen uppers, cotton padding and come encased in a craft paper bag
  • Laundry and tote bags, as well as hairdryer bags, are by Duffle and Co, made by local communities in Bali who offset their emissions by 120 per cent
  • The hotel has also supported local artisans, including ceramicist Rachel Carter who created large vases and soap dishes for each guest room, while other vases in every guest room are by Albany based artist, Elena Renker

The Green Star rating system also requires careful attention to detail in the selection of materials. With flicker-free lighting, access to natural light, environmentally friendly paints and coatings, responsibly sourced timber, highly efficient taps and fittings to reduce water use, The Hotel Britomart let sustainable principles govern every decision.

The Hotel Britomart already has a 5 Green Star rating for its design and is targeting a 5 Green Star Build rating after completion. The hotel will operate under the NZ Green Building Council’s Green Star Performance Tool. Cooper and Company also own and manage the other buildings in the nine-block Britomart precinct, which already operate under the New Zealand Green Building Council’s Green Star Performance Tool. Cooper and Company is the first property company in New Zealand to apply the Performance Tool to its buildings.

The Hotel Britomart’s 5 Green Star certification also accords with The Tiaki Promise, a responsible tourism initiative created by Air New Zealand, Tourism New Zealand, NZ Ma¬Åori Tourism and other organisations, which encourages hosts and visitors to take responsibility for safe and sustainable tourism, and act as guardians of land, sea and nature for current and future generations.

The Hotel Britomart is being built by Bracewell Construction, and will be managed by Australia’s TFE Hotels on behalf of Cooper and Company. Cooper and Company is the asset and development manager for the Britomart Group, which holds a contract for the long-term ownership and development of the Britomart Precinct.

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