Next year, eco-luxe travel will get a new destination with the opening of a new five-star resort for Star Island in the Bahamas. In and among diving, playing tennis and drinking a cocktail or two, holidaymakers will discover that the resort is entirely energy self-sufficient, with power coming from solar, wind and micro-hydro generators. And, that the sustainability aspects of the resort’s construction, interior and grounds have also been considered in impressive detail.
Hot on the heels of the resort’s luxury credentials comes its focus on sustainability. Architect David Sklar says the project is an experimental ground for the latest eco-technologies and materials, hoping to set an example for the resort industry. The building’s structure is designed to meet or exceed LEED requirements, through the use of materials such as cold formed steel (CFS), a mostly recycled material which relies on its manufacturing process to give it the same strength as virgin steel. The heat-free manufacturing process also reduces its carbon footprint. Additionally, construction time, shipping demands and waste are reduced through the use of insulated concrete forms – lightweight forms that are filled with concrete on site.
Inside the resort, LED lighting and geothermal HVAC has been employed. Water is provided by the rainwater harvesting system that takes advantage of every surface from roofs to roads, up to 100,000 gallons a day of which is then purified and stored underground. Smaller details have also been considered, meaning guests can enjoy shade-grown organic coffee in the restaurant, relax on fair-trade furniture in the lobby and rest their bones on rapidly renewable-bamboo sheets.
The hotel is located on 35 acres of land, designed to favor native species to minimize irrigation and the need for chemical fertilizers. Plants are largely fed with the compostable waste created by the hotel. Any other waste is recycled or converted to energy and fuel.