On January 8, 2016, the Waya Hotel project achieved LEED certification at the Certified level. This LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification qualifies sustainable buildings according to globally recognized and accepted standards to measure and quantify the sustainability of a construction project.
Hotel Waya from its beginnings always had in its vision to make a contribution to the economic and social development of the region, not only in the construction process but also in its equipment and operation. Currently, in situations where the effects of climate change can be detrimental to different sectors, it is worth highlighting the benefits of these spaces and all the integral elements that make this hotel, a sustainable hotel not only for the region, but for the country.
LEED certification evaluates the sustainability of a project from an integral perspective, taking into account the location of the project and its interaction with its surroundings, the efficiency of water and energy consumption, the air pollution generated by the building, the good use of materials and resources, the proper management of solid waste, and the quality of the indoor environment for the building’s end users. This last aspect is something that differentiates this certification, which not only evaluates the environmental impacts of the building, but also the way in which the project is a healthy and pleasant space for the users. Among the aspects that should be highlighted in the Waya Hotel, we highlight the following:
· Regional materials
A sustainability criterion used for materials was that they should be regional materials, in order to reduce the generation of greenhouse gases caused by their transportation and also to stimulate the local economy. More than 28% of the construction materials were locally sourced.
· Heat island effect – Not covered
The uncovered areas of the project were designed and constructed in such a way that 56% of the hard area uses gray concrete, gravel, cement tiles, ecological cobblestone or gramoquin and tree shade, which mitigates the heat island effect in this area.
In terms of landscaping, the hotel has a large green space area of 98,700 m2 of which 9,45500 m2 are native green spaces that have not been intervened, and 2,590 m2 do not require irrigation because they are native species.
· Indoor air quality
The project has natural or mechanical ventilation depending on the type of space to comply with the standard.
In areas of the service building on the second floor Lobby, dressing rooms, bar, large lounge and on the second floor the lobbies have natural ventilation. Likewise, the hotel bathrooms have openings to the outside that allow for ventilation. The other areas are mechanically ventilated, and the rooms, meeting rooms, and offices are also mechanically conditioned.
· Access to views
The occupied spaces were designed to have access to exterior views, for which the projections of views to the interior were calculated in each space, reaching 90% of spaces with views.
· Water Use
In terms of potable water consumption efficiency, the hotel achieved a total savings of 61% with respect to the LEED baseline. One of the strategies used to achieve large savings in water consumption is the use of high-efficiency sanitary fixtures. Another strategy is the use of treated wastewater from the hotel’s own treatment plant, which supplies non-potable uses such as irrigation, toilets, and cleaning.
In addition, treated wastewater is used to irrigate the 1500 m2 of plants that require it, which avoids the use of potable water, and the irrigation system is an efficient drip irrigation system. As a result, 100% of potable water use is saved.
Another important point is that the landscape is landscaped with native plants with low water consumption, and the irrigation system is efficient, saving about 90% of treated water consumption.
· Energy performance
At the energy level, the project was designed to save 22% with respect to the baseline established by the ASHRAE 90.1 2007 standard. The energy savings are the result of taking advantage of the city’s climatic conditions, a careful selection of facade materials, a ventilation and comfort system, an intelligent lighting design, and the implementation of alternative energy sources. For the spaces that use air conditioning, energy-efficient equipment was installed that uses refrigerants that have a very low impact on the environment without damaging the ozone layer.
· On-site renewable energy
The forced solar water heating system for the Waya Hotel, Guajira, consists of 24 systems, each of 300 liters, for each block of the hotel. This system has been designed, programmed and installed to cover the hot water needs of the Hotel Waya’s clients and provides 3.33% of the project’s energy.
· Solid waste
There is currently a solid waste management plan for the operation of the building, which includes the management of waste generated by the hotel’s operation and some hazardous waste from users, such as batteries and light bulbs.