Valsana Hotel & Apartments goes green
Valsana Hotel remains carbon-free after its first winter season
“Sustainability and desirability can go hand in hand!”
Corinne Denzler, CEO of the Tschuggen Hotel Group:
“Even we are quite surprised that it worked so well right from the start. Having the courage and conviction to go ahead with this innovative and rather bold energy project has paid off and we have been rewarded with an impressive energy balance. This is even more astonishing when you consider that it was not a mild winter.”
Thomas Birrer, Energy Planner at Broenner AG Energie Spar Systeme:
“If you ask me, the Valsana is an impressive example of how a modern hotel can achieve sustainability and an ecological footprint of zero. Hopefully, other hotels will follow suit soon – and not just in Switzerland!”
Following its first winter season, Valsana Hotel & Apartments almost complies with the zero energy standard and is completely carbon-neutral. The planners have succeeded in developing a completely self-sufficient system which meets the heating and power needs of the whole building complex with the aid of an ice battery and energy recovery. Furthermore, they were able to reduce the ecological footprint to just four percent – not far off zero – in the very first winter, despite a number of technical failures. One part of the system, the complex's Coop supermarket, generates power and supplies valuable waste heat for energy-intensive operations at the hotel, proving to be particularly advantageous. The high level of efficiency achieved by the wastewater heat recovery technology combined with the large ice battery is astounding. Now, the sustainable energy concept is to be used as a reference and will hopefully set a precedent for the future.
“We want to put a stop to the idea that hotels treat resources wastefully,” says Corinne Denzler, CEO of the Tschuggen Hotel Group, explaining the approach. She adds that the family of owners decided from the beginning to use a sustainable energy concept when they built the new hotel to replace the previous long-standing one. "With the help of energy planners from Broenner AG Energie Spar Systeme, they developed a system linking the hotel directly with energy generators with the aim of achieving zero environmental impact," says Chief Planner Thomas Birrer. He goes on to say that the Coop supermarket on the ground floor of the three-part building complex has proved to be the perfect counterpart. “We originally planned to include an additional solar installation, which would have led to surplus energy,” explains Birrer happily. He believes Valsana is an important reference project for greater sustainability in the hotel industry in future. Almost all of the heat needed for the Valsana complex is generated, stored and recirculated using waste heat and ground probes with the aid of the site’s own ice battery. As a result, no oil or gas is needed.
Sustainability and desirability can go hand in hand
To save energy, many of the lights in the corridors and vestibules react to motion sensors and power-saving LED bulbs are utilised throughout the hotel. Using natural resources with the utmost care also forms a key part of the company philosophy at the hotel. Staff in the kitchen primarily work with locally grown food and products are sourced from farms with high animal welfare standards. Everything on the wine list is European and the refrigeration systems are completely free from freon and designed in such a way that the heat they generate can also be reused. Throughout the hotel, virtually no use is made of disposable plastic items and the bathrooms contain soap dispensers instead of tubes and miniature PVC bottles. All of the bottles in the restaurants and guest rooms are also glass. Pencils are provided instead of ballpoint pens and almost all communication is electronic and therefore paperless.
There are now plans to gradually reduce the ecological footprint of the other hotels in the Tschuggen Hotel Group as well. The executives firmly believe that factors like these now enhance a hotel’s appeal and influence guests during the decision-making process.
You can find additional information and bookings at www.valsana.ch.Download text