How termites and discreet solar are helping sustainable tourism

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We all love to travel and we all want to do our bit for the planet – but how do we do both at the same time? One of the biggest challenges around this is how to find somewhere to go and have fun without feeling guilty about the consequences – well now we might just have an answer for you… Well connected by train and in the heart of a Metropolitan European capital city renowned for its art, culture, vibrant night life and café culture – Breeze might meet all of your needs in a High-Tech, ultra-modern, yet environmentally friendly way that does not break the bank…

Much as we love solar here at Poweri we appreciate that not all panels look the same and that not everyone wants to look at them…

Breeze in Amsterdam is a great example of intelligent holistic design and planning doing what it should do best… working without you even necessarily noticing it is there. This brand-new hotel that opened last month is clad from top to bottom in solar panels on 3 sides, with a solar car port out the front and a futuristic solar column running up the side of the building that doubles both as a ventilation shaft and a solar collector. By itself that integrated ventilation column produces around 18,000 kWh of additional energy whilst fulfilling its original design of being a ventilation shaft.

The design is the brainchild of Dr Ing. Ben. Bronsema who calls it his “Earth, Wind and Fire” concept. It was the result of his PhD and is based upon the natural ventilation properties of termite mounds. Does this make him the modern version of Aang the Avatar? Master of elements?

It is designed to harness the physics of nature to provide heating, cooling and energy generation on site with excess thermal energy being stored underground to be pulled back out when needed using heat pumps. Pretty simple when you think about it…

·        Natural ventilation columns to draw air down one side to receive water cooling and heating mists on the way in – provided from the stable thermal storage underground, enhanced by heat pumps if needed.

·        Natural ventilation columns on the other side going up with a heat exchange unit at the top collecting excess energy on the way out and diverting that back to the hot water system or again stored back underground to feed the incoming heating system as needed.

·        All powered by the Solar energy generated on site in everyday operation…

Lakeside Hotel - Breeze

The use of nature’s own systems means that the water droplets clean and purify the incoming air and the heat exchangers means that temperatures of up to 60 degree C can be achieved naturally in addition to heating the domestic hot water… The site is classed as a BREEAM “Excellent” Certification with 198 luxurious “Zero Energy” rooms available over the 11 floors of the building along with a club and sky-bar to relax and look over the waters of the IJmeer once you have used the fitness room after a long day… who says that tourism can’t be both enjoyable and sustainable?

This is all backed up by locally organic sourced foods – home grown herbs and veg, local fish and meat supplies to reduce the Environmental Footprint and a zero-waste policy to boot.

This hotel is a great example of the future development standards that we need to meet as a society if we are to achieve a net zero emissions target for 2050 to combat climate change. Supporting business like this whilst having a great time is a win-win for all concerned by voting with your money in support of this type of business we will support the innovative use of solar energy and natural resources in all future developments. After all these resources are literally free and renewable – we just have to design to use them.