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HI Express Melbourne seeking to set green standard

Holiday Inn Express Melbourne Southbank

Australia’s first hotel to achieve a five-star NABERS clean energy rating is ready to open in Melbourne, with Pro-invest set to officially launch Holiday Inn Express Melbourne Southbank from tomorrow.

In attaining the certification, the hotel has proven it can operate with an energy use reduction of 25 per cent compared with a typical city hotel. It is the first commercial hotel to be built backed by funding from the Australian government’s Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) sustainability initiative.

Located on City Road in Melbourne’s Southbank precinct, the 345-room hotel has been constructed utilising a variety of green initiatives, ranging from high-performance window glazing through to energy-regenerating elevator drives. The hotel sits within a mixed-use development, also offering 370sqm of retail space and 4,500sqm of commercial tenancy.

Further green initiatives include air-cooled chillers, condensing boilers and solar photovoltaic systems on the roof to draw in and store solar energy. Bathroom amenities will be converted to refillable dispensers by the middle of 2020, however, single-use plastics such as plastic straws and water bottles won’t see the light of day in the new hotel, with sustainable alternatives already in place.

The Great Room dining area.

Holiday Inn Express Melbourne is the first in the Victorian capital and fifth in Australia, with a second coming to Melbourne Little Collins Street in 2021. It joins a growing list of HI Express properties around Australia, bolstering a network set to experience rapid growth with upcoming openings in Sydney, Sunshine Coast, Parramatta, Auckland and Queenstown.

Pro-invest CEO, Ronald Barrott, said it was important the new Holiday Inn Express proved itself to be a template on which future hotel construction could incorporate similar energy-saving technology.

“By its very nature, the hotel industry is a high energy user, with the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership estimating that tourism contributes about 5% of global greenhouse gas emissions.

“It’s important for new hotels to invest in energy efficiency design and construction and incorporate state-of-the-art environmental measures across the full-operation of the hotel.

“A 25% reduction in energy-use pays both environmental and economic dividends. It certainly requires greater investment, but in the long-term, we are very confident that the measures will increase the overall value of the property,” Barrott added.

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