Ecotel Hotels which owns Orchid and Rodas hotels in the city, is one of the first hotel chains in the country to market itself as an environment friendly hotel and has made considerable savings by its efforts. “We save close to 15-20 per cent of electricity costs each year. Everything – from interiors, architecture, plumbing and electronic devices of the hotel – are designed to cut down on energy usage and wastage of resources,” says Daniel Chatterton, front office manager with Rodas Hotel at Powai.
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At Rodas, the building design itself is unique; a four feet deep swimming pool is located on the roof of the building insulating the structure from heat while double layered walls reduce surface radiation. Water, which is also a scarce commodity in the city, is meticulously conserved by recycling. Hundreds of gallons of sewage water is recycled within the hotel premises itself. This water is then used for gardening and air-conditioning. However, what’s really amazing about Ecotel is that it gives guests a chance to contribute to the energy saving effort by pressing what is called a ‘green switch’. A guest who feels comfortable in his room can press a green button on his bedside panel to raise the temperature of the room by 2 degrees Celsius thereby reducing a proportionate amount of electricity consumed by air-conditioning. “Many of our guests prefer to stay with us specifically because of our environment friendly credentials,” adds Chatterton. British Gas, which has its administrative building at Powai, has got the platinum rating, the highest rating given to a green building certified by the international LEED (Leaders in Energy Efficient Design) ratings. “Since 30-40 per cent of energy costs are saved, this building is the most energy efficient structure in the city. Even water is economically used by mixing air with water to give it sufficient pressure,” says Birju Patel, designer associated with Hafeez Contactor architects who worked on the project.