Shanghai, one of the world’s most rapidly growing cities, in a country which produces the world’s highest levels of carbon emissions (24% of Global Total), seems to be a fitting location for one of the world’s first hotels that claim to be Carbon Neutral.
In typical Shanghai fashion, this project draws from diverse backgrounds and skills from across the globe. Conceived by a Californian and a Chinese-Australian and designed by 3 Canadian Architects based in China, including Tais Cabral, a Brazillian native who imbued the interiors with ‘a sense of luxury, modernity and comfort’.
So what makes this development so special then?
The site itself is ‘recycled’ with the developers transforming a former factory building.
Bricks and Tiles used were Salvaged from Demolished Buildings.
All the Hardwood used was Reclaimed.
Additional Building Material was Locally Sourced.
Natural Shading is provided by Living Bamboo.
Ambient lighting comes courtesy of Fluorescent Lights housed in Lanterns.
Power is Supplemented by Passive Solar Shades
Rain Water Retention Basins are used
The Air Conditioning is Water Based
All Energy Used (yes, including staff who commute and all supply deliveries) is Offset with Carbon Credits
URBN has grand plans for the future too, in an interview with Jill Stalowicz of Feel More Human, URBN indicated plans to expand to 20 Hotels throughout China including ones in Beijing, Hangzhou, Dalian & Suzhou and to include a retail section with ‘home-grown organic products’.
Since its opening in December 2007, the project has received significant attention from the travel world, named in Conde Nast Traveler’s 2008 Hot List, cited by Fodor’s Hot List and reviewed by the the NY Times.
It however is far from alone with ‘Eco Tourism’ growing by leaps and bounds in recent years.
Conde Nast’s Concierge.com highlights some of the best,
from a lodge in Kenya run by Maasai Tribesman without skimping on Italian Linen…
to one in the Ecuadorian Amazon, run by the Achuar Natives on Solar Energy, while not denying traveler’s their Filet Mignon…
and even a property in Egypt built out of Clay and Salt with only oil lamps & candles to light the way, without skimping on the comforts that persuaded Prince Charles and Camilla to holiday there!