ALDREN provides valuable information, both energy, and cost, that helps hotel managers and owners make reasoned decisions for the efficient renovation of their buildings. Mayte García Córcoles, HOSBEC

HOSBEC is the Association of Hotels of Benidorm, Costa Blanca and Valencian Community. It represents the hotel sector with the aim of increasing its competitiveness and plays a key role in the development of tourism policy. HOSBEC was founded in 1977 and currently has hundreds of associated hotels. Thanks to the collaboration established between HOSBEC and the ALDREN project, six hotels located in Spain became “Pilot buildings” in ALDREN project: “RH Bayren & Spa”, “Benidorm Center”, “Poseidón Playa”, “Flamingo Oasis”, “Les Dunes Comodoro”, and “Dynastic”. This collaboration confirms the strong commitment to offer Valencia region as a quality tourist destination.

The result of the research offered to the owners of these hotels detailed information about the renovation measures that should be undertaken to improve the energy performance of the building up to the nearly zero energy standard (nZEB), its impact on comfort conditions and healthiness of the occupants, as well as quantifying the market value of the building after the renovation.

  • Until now, do you think that clients have valued knowing the energy performance and environmental impact of the hotel in which they have been staying? Can it influence when choosing one hotel or another? Are they important aspects of tourism marketing?

In recent years, we have been able to detect that, among the criteria employed for selecting a hotel establishment, customers have begun to value energy and environmental policies.  In general, hotel companies have started to introduce these principles into their communication policies. However, only those who have been able to integrate energy policies on their management achieve that plus of differentiation.

It would be desirable that these energy-saving policies and strategies to become a nearly zero energy building (nZEB) were a reality among those buildings with the greatest expenditures. It is true that most recently built buildings are close to achieving this energy goal but buildings built more than 15 years ago did not comply with these energy measures. Hence the importance of integrating energy criteria during their renovations.

  • The current Covid-19 pandemic has focused the attention of public opinion on the vulnerability of our cities and buildings. Do you think that the demand for safe, healthy, and comfortable hotels with higher quality indoor environments will now increase? How could this impact your market?

I think that among the selection criteria of a hotel, it will be decisive to be able to know the degree of compliance with hygiene and safety measures. After this pandemic, certain questions about environmental quality in hotels will be highly valued by guests.

Therefore, now more than ever, hotels will start designing facilities to accomplish hygiene criteria, easy cleaning, ventilation, accessible air conditioning systems, between others.

The tourism market is facing the most significant challenge ever, and it will be crucial that everything advanced in terms of energy and sustainability helps to create customer’s confidence, but above all for optimizing costs.

  • In this context, ALDREN allows to evaluate the quality and potential improvements of the indoor environment through a pragmatic rating approach based on measurements. As a whole, the ALDREN approach is modular with complimentary assessment approaches to identify renovation actions for building owners. What aspects of the ALDREN methodology would you highlight?

ALDREN allows to standardize a very useful methodology when planning improvements and to demonstrate that buildings can be more sustainable prioritizing those areas that improve their energy performance and consequently their emission reduction.

The hotels that have participated in pilot projects have the privilege of having information that in many cases, has allowed making more reasoned decisions, obtaining more significant savings in energy consumption.

  • Eventually, what insights did you gain through ALDREN pilot studies conducted by IVE on several hotels?

The most important conclusions that ALDREN is bringing from the pilot studies is the importance of integrating information about the building performance, which allows prioritizing actions on those areas where improvements in the energy efficiency are more relevant.

Accessing this type of projects is an opportunity for the hotel sector to improve in energy and innovation, and also demonstrates interest in the commitment and concern to reduce the environmental impact of these large energy-consuming buildings.

This interview is part of the “REHVA Journal” 03/2020 (August 2020). More information HERE

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