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Construction

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Two new hotels with 500 rooms to arrive at Düsseldorf airport.

1024 576 Hamish Kilburn

H-Hotels signs a new contract for H2 Hotel and H4 Hotel at Düsseldorf airport, both slated to open in 2024…

H-Hotels Group is embarking upon the next stage of its dual brand concept by announcing two new hotels at Düsseldorf airport. The hotels will be constructed on Wanheimer Straße, in the immediate vicinity of Düsseldorf airport, and will be of particular interest to business travellers as a conference and congress venue.

The building complex will occupy grounds of around 15,000 square metres, located to the north of the state capital of North Rhine-Westphalia. It will host an H2 Hotel featuring 237 rooms as well as an H4 Hotel offering 264 rooms. A generous conference centre with an area of around 1,000 square metres will be available to guests of both hotels. This will also be the case for the planned fitness centre and ‘sky bar’ on the eighth floor. Around 18,000 square metres of office facilities will occupy the area that is parallel to the hotels. An underground car park with 700 parking spaces will complete the facilities.

Thanks to its unbeatable location in the immediate vicinity of the airport, the terminals can be reached using the SkyTrain in just a few minutes. The ICE long-distance train station is just five minutes away, which means that both the city centre of Düsseldorf as well as the exhibition complex can also be reached quickly using public transport.

“Our dual brand concept with its impressive conference facilities is the perfect response to this exclusive location, right next to one of the largest airports in the country,” said Alexander Fitz, CEO of H-Hotels AG. “This means that travellers can choose between completely different accommodation options depending on their preferences.”

The real estate partners for the project are Nördliche Spitze GmbH & Co. KG, a joint venture between Reggeborgh, Delta Project Development, and Kondor Wessels. Managing Directors Johannes G.S. Hegeman and Lars Stillmann are delighted by the joint project: “In the H-Hotels Group we have found a very experienced hotel operator, whose concept corresponded perfectly with the project and its environment. Future office users will be able to take advantage of all of the hotel’s services within the building.”

Reggeborgh is a family-led investment company from the Netherlands and has also been active as a property business in Germany for more than 25 years. The company is responsible for the fund and asset management of several property funds in Germany and the Netherlands, with which Reggeborgh is also significantly involved. Another of the company’s fields of activity is the development and management of projects for high-quality residential and commercial property projects. In this respect, Reggeborgh stands for the sustainable and innovative development of ambitious property projects, as well as their implementation.

“The fundamental idea behind their property developments is the C2C concept.”

With more than 120 completed projects, primarily within Germany and the Netherlands, the Delta Group is active as a property development company. The fundamental idea behind their property developments is the C2C concept. The intelligent use of all kinds of resources – as well as the possible reutilisation of these resources – is one of the challenges facing the property sector of today and the future. The value of the group’s current portfolio, with a focus on residential and commercial properties, is in excess of €500 million.

Kondor Wessels boasts more than 25 years of experience in the development, planning and construction of residential properties, care homes, and office properties as well as mixed residential districts. With all of its projects, the company takes responsibility for the entire construction process as a partner, as well as delivering added value – all from a single source. Currently, more than 38 property projects with a total value of more than 700 million euros are being supervised by Kondor Wessels in Berlin, Frankfurt and North Rhine-Westphalia.

The project was supervised by Horwath HTL Germany – hcb hospitality competence berlin GmbH, operating as a consultant. The tenants were assisted by GVW Graf von Westphalen lawyers, and the lessors were assisted by lawyers from Bornheim and Partners.

Main image credit: H-Hotels

Camouflaged hotel architecture of the 21st century

1024 650 Hamish Kilburn

As we continue putting architecture and construction in the spotlight, Hotel Designs reveals some of the world’s most spectacular hidden architectural gems…

Following our search to unveil impressive architectural drawings that are currently on the boards, this week Hotel Designs is investigating architecture’s largest, most impressive, magic trick; to make a building disappear.

With hotel owners and operators around the world competing with one another to open in eye-catching buildings, and sustainability more considered than ever before, here are a few examples of buildings that impressively blend into their surroundings.

1) Shipwreck Lodge, Namibia

Image of one of the lodges blending into the surroundings of sand dunes.

Image credit: Shipwreck Lodge

Crafted around the enigmatic shipwrecks that line Namibia’s Skeleton Coast, there’s nowhere on the continent – or the world – quite like Shipwreck Lodge. The raw and rugged shells of each shack is matched in the interiors with shabby blinds and rough wooden walls. Adding comfort, the soft furnishings and fur throws make the inside feel cosy – almost a home-from-home. The impossibly remote slice of African wilderness, where towering dunes and wind-swept plains roll as far as the eye can see, is buffeted by the icy Atlantic seas.

> Read more by clicking here

2) Whitepod, Switzerland

Image of the pods on the slopes

Image credit: Whitepod

Nestled in the Swiss Alps, the eco pods at Whitepod, complete with electricity, heating supplied by a pellet stove and fully fitted bathrooms, are quite literally on the side of a mountain. Each pod has been designed to be ecologically friendly.

> Read more by clicking here

3) Keemala Phuket, Thailand

Villa that is hidden in the woodland

Image caption: Tree Pool House at Keemala Phuket in Thailand

Categorised into four different tribes, the rooms and interiors at Keemala Phuket have been evenly designed to offer comfort and reflect Phuket’s rural beginnings.

Clay Pool Cottage – it is believed that people of this tribe excel in agriculture and have a strong bond to earth. The furniture is made from carved wood and clever patterns are imprinted to tell the tale of the tribe’s art and culture.

Tree Pool House – Living life at high levels, the people of this tribe can be found in trees. The interiors, therefore, include hanging furniture with embedded patterns throughout.

Tent Pool Villa – Seeking adventure through the art of hunting has been inspired in the design of this style of property. This reflects the tribe that is a born wanderer. The fabrics reveal ease of mobility while dark leather represents stalking instincts.

> Read more by clicking here

4) ÖÖD house – Rood Wood of Mayfield 

Image credit: Round Wood of Mayfield

The ÖÖD house – a stunning, 18 sq/m mini home/hotel facility clad in mirrored glass which blends to its natural surroundings – has been added to Round Wood of Mayfield’s collection of high end outdoor structures.

Originally envisaged as a “pop up” hotel guest room or Airbnb pad by Estonian company ÖÖD, it is now exclusively distributed and assembled by the timber and landscape specialists across the UK.

The stand-alone living space for both commercial and domestic clients, which also make ideal office spaces, guest accommodation or even yoga studios, blends beautifully into any setting courtesy of the striking insulated glazing that covers the front and sides.

> Read more by clicking here

5) Matetsi Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

Interior Designer Kerry van Leenhoff fused together design and nature effortlessly. The Zimbabwean created spaces that encompassed the concept of ‘life on the river’ using locally sourced material throughout. The resort, which Hotel Designs reviewed in October of last year, sits alone on a 123,000-acre plot of game reserve.

The future of Matetsi is bright: “We are working on a few things at the moment, which are really exciting projects,” van Leenhoff told Hotel Designs. “The design direction and our aim is to strike the balance between feeling isolated and feeling safe.” The new plans will further challenge conventional luxury lodges in Africa with a real focus on opening up the guests to undisturbed nature.

Read more by clicking here

6) treehotel, Sweeden

a camouflaged mirrored cube in the trees

Image credit: treehotel

The Mirrorcube was launched as an “exciting hide-out among the trees, camouflaged by mirrored walls that reflect their surroundings.” Its base consists of an aluminum frame around the tree trunk and the walls are covered with reflective glass.

The interior is designed from plywood with a birch surface. The total of six windows provide a stunning panoramic view. A 12-meter-long bridge leads up to the tree room.

> Read more by clicking here

Main image credit: treehotel

5 awe-inspiring hotel architecture projects currently on the boards

730 565 Hamish Kilburn

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5 awe-inspiring hotel architecture projects currently on the boards

To kickstart our month shining the spotlight on architecture and construction, Hotel Designs highlights five groundbreaking projects that are currently in planning… 

Long before the Burj Al Arab made its magnificent entrance onto the shores of Dubai in 1999, architects have competed with one another to break into the clouds of possibilities within international design.

Although there have always been groundbreaking architectural projects to rise from the earth, the advancement of technology over the last 20 years in particular has enabled practitioners to take architecture into a new era. The result is game-changing. No longer are guests’ first impressions made in comfort the hotel lobby. Instead, mass opinions are divided when the architects, who strive to constantly push the boundaries of what is possible, unveil their masterplans. To celebrate the architects are the top of their game, here are five projects that are currently in construction, which will shelter luxury hotels.

1) Rosewood Bangkok 

Skyline of Bangkok, which clearly shows the Rosewood Bangkok building

Image credit: KPF Architects

The award-winning building, designed by KPF Architects, was inspired by the graceful Thai hand gesture of the wei. The distinct slant of the building has opened up the opportunity for terraces, shrinking floorplates, and unique, occupiable spaces. With interior design by Ceilia Chu Design, the 30-storey high-rise tower will feature two restaurants, two bars, a luxurious spa, an outdoor swimming pool and a fitness centre. In addition, the hotel will shelter residential-style meeting and function space and the top-floor Sky Villa event venue will boast panoramic views of the capital’s iconic skyline.

> Read more about the project here

2) art’otel London, Battersea Power Station 

Birdseye render of the site

Image credit: Foster + Partners

Phase three of a major part of the regeneration of the Battersea Power Station site has been designed by Gehry Partners and Foster + Partners. In addition to 1,300 new homes, the new development will include the 160-key art’otel London. The Skyline, which is the building designed by Foster + Partners that will shelter the hotel, will feature an outdoor rooftop pool and bar overlooking the chimneys of the iconic Battersea power station.
> Read more about the project here

3) Four Seasons Golf Resort and Residences, Goa

Render of striking public areas on the coast

Image credit: WATG

Architecture and design firm WATG were appointed to create the exterior of the 125-key hotel in order to include design details that celebrates the history of Goa through Colonial Portugese structure and contemporary form. The hotel has been designed to attract erudite travellers from around the world to experience beauty, relaxation and Indian hospitality. Using the rugged coast as an architectural reference, the firm’s renders tell a quintessential local design story that, when completed, will anchor the architectural theme throughout.

> Read more about the project here

4) KoolKiel, Germany 

Render of the complex which depicts the two high-rise buildings

Image credit: MVRDV

The most recent update on this project is that the mixed-use development building’s form will be determined in consultation with the community. The Koolkiel complex, which is being designed by MVRDV, will include two buildings that will be wrapped by customisable concrete panels. With the aim to amplify the city’s creative edge, each of these silhouette-like panels can be cast in different shapes. Although the brand and name is yet to be announced, a 250-key hotel will be sheltered in the complex.
> Read more about the project here 

5) Murcury Tower, Malta

View of Murcury Tower in Malta

Image credit: Zaha Hadid Architects

The renovation and redevelopment of Mercury House, led by Zaha Hadid Architects, integrates residential apartments and boutique hotel within Malta’s most dynamic urban environment. Creating new public spaces and amenities for the island’s residents and visitors, the design responds to Paceville’s key urban challenges by investing in its civic realm and increasing its limited housing supply.

Derelict for more than twenty years, the 9,405 sq.m. site includes the remaining façades of the old Mercury House that date from 1903. Two underground vaults created during the Cold War are also within the site’s boundary.

The 31-storey tower of residential apartments and hotel is aligned at street level to integrate with Paceville’s existing urban fabric and to reduce its footprint, maximizing civic space within the new piazza.

Conceived as two volumes stacked vertically, the tower incorporates a realignment that expresses the different functional programmes within.

> Read more about the design here

Main image credit: WATG

Round Wood Of Mayfield launches ÖÖD house in the UK

800 533 Hamish Kilburn

The state-of-the-art mirrored building, ÖÖD house, offers the chance to instantly create or enhance a hotel or Airbnb business…

The ÖÖD house – a stunning, 18 sq/m mini home clad in mirrored glass which blends to its natural surroundings – has been added to Round Wood of Mayfield’s collection of high end outdoor structures.

Originally envisaged as a “pop up” hotel guest room or Airbnb pad by Estonian company ÖÖD, it is now exclusively distributed and assembled by the timber and landscape specialists across the UK.

The stand-alone living space for both commercial and domestic clients, which also make ideal office spaces, guest accommodation or even yoga studios, blends beautifully into any setting courtesy of the striking insulated glazing that covers the front and sides.

surfer reflecting off the surface of the OOD House

Image credit: Round Wood of Mayfield

Other highlights include eco-friendly thermo treated ash cladding to the rear of the structure, which cleverly conceals a service void, and a beautifully finished interior which offers a studio layout with kitchenette and bathroom as well as air conditioning and LED lighting.

A smaller structure – the ÖÖD room is also available exclusively from Round Wood of Mayfield and offers stand-alone recreational spaces without the cost of shower, kitchen and sleeping facilities.

Round Wood of Mayfield officially launched the ÖÖD house at The Landscape Show last September at London’s Battersea Park, with an example now in situ at Lime Cross Nursery in East Sussex which potential customers can view, or even stay in, before purchasing.

Image credit: Round Wood of Mayfield

The ÖÖD company explains that“ÖÖD allows anyone to jump-start their hospitality business. It quickly enables people to create a living space or start an accommodation business. The outstanding design of our house supports the productivity of your investment.”

“We are really excited to add ÖÖD Houses to our collection as their only UK distributor,” Zac Soudain, director of Round Wood. “It was clear at the launch that these glass-fronted houses really have the wow factor and could be used for many purposes including guest accommodation to garden rooms to offices… they have been generating a lot of excitement.

“Where they really come into their own is in a rural or natural landscape such as where our example ÖÖD house can be viewed at Lime Cross Nursery – it has been kept there since the launch so potential customers can try before they buy.

“For anyone in the hotel and hospitality industry, these ÖÖD houses can provide some very luxurious and novel guest rooms with a fantastic view of the landscape.”

The ÖÖD house, which is available to purchase from £55,000, is easy to install and can be delivered on a lorry before being craned into place, or built on site if access is an issue.

The ÖÖD room is available from £45,000 and comes with air conditioning and standard LED lighting.

 

For more information please contact Round Wood of Mayfield on 01435 860260 or visit our website www.roundwood.com

Round Wood of Mayfield is one of our recommended suppliers. To keep up to date with their news, click here. And, if you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, click here.

Main image credit: Round Wood of Mayfield

 

TOPHOTELS Guest Blog: Sustainability and hotel design

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TOPHOTELPROJECTS talks about hotel sustainability and how it’s shaping the design and construction of hotels around the world…

Sustainability has long been a buzzword within the design community, and hoteliers in particular have been latching onto the idea of the past number of years.

Not only is it a response to an increased awareness of climate change and the impact we as humans, especially those working in one aspect of the construction industry, have on the planet, but it is also a response to client demand, with more and more guests desiring sustainable tourism as a requirement in their holidays. An annual competition run by hotel consultancy firm the John Hardy Group called Radical Innovation Award takes submissions for innovative hotel designs that reimagine the hospitality experience, and this year’s entries and winners point to a significant upswing in sustainable hospitality that could well be the future of the industry.

The award has singled out a number of visionary projects as finalists, but many of the entries proposed radical ideas that threw out the rulebook of hospitality design. A common theme was that of sustainability, both in an environmentally friendly sense, but also in a cultural sense, where local culture and art is celebrated and promoted. This also points to recent trends in hospitality where local experiences are being sought by guests wishing to engage more with the place and people they are visiting.

Green or garden hotels were a big feature of a number of entries. Canadian firm Arno Matis Architecture proposed a project entitled the ‘Vertical Micro-Climate Hotel’, whose concept is to make the outdoor areas of hotels located in the harsh climates of North America habitable all year round.

One of the features of this hotel was the use of heliostat technology, a mirroring system which reflects sun back into certain parts of the building as required so as to make them habitable even in colder weather conditions.

EoA’s submission involved suspending hotel facilities from a treetop by using a system of cables to hold rooms in tent-form above a trampoline-like platform, giving the hotel a very small footprint above the forest floor and re-orientating the guest’s field of vision to that from the tree canopy. A Dutch architecture student submitted a project that he had built in his mother’s back garden which connects guests to nature while allowing them to sleep in a sustainably built and naturally ventilated structure.

The culturally sustainable aspect came in the form of the currently-operational Play Design Hotel in Taiwan, which champions local artists and designers by installing their creations into hotel rooms and encouraging guest to interact with them.

The idea came about after the developer noticed a lot of his artist friends were having to go abroad to showcase their designs, and he thought that it would be better to not only exhibit the work locally in hotels so that international guests could see them, but also to cultivate an environment of design engagement within the hotels themselves.

“I want people to experience the culture of this country. played a lot with the idea of using the hotel as a portal for people who want to learn about Taiwanese design, a space that is furnished with all of these local designers’ work. So, their work is not only shown but so it’s experienced. Design isn’t something you only put in a museum or gallery. It should be used. It’s for your everyday use,” says hotelier Ting-Han Chen.

More information on hotel sustainability can be found on TOPHOTELPROJECTS, the specialised service provider in the exchange of cutting-edge information of hotel construction in the international hospitality industry.

Ana Garcia Maldonado

Q&A: Interview with Taylor Wimpey Spain’s Ana Garcia Maldonado

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It’s not a property’s location or indeed what it looks like from the outside, interior design is just as vital when choosing a perfect holiday home abroad to relax in style.

Ana Garcia Maldonado is leading Spanish developer Taylor Wimpey España’s highly experienced head of interior design who has worked independently with developers for almost 15 years.

Forget dated wicker furniture and terracotta colour palettes, the design of Taylor Wimpey España’s abodes are very much on trend and well thought out. Ana frequently attends all furniture and decoration fairs to maintain a creative flow of ideas and to keep up to date with Spanish design. Working alongside Taylor Wimpey España’s head architect, Pablo Live Sanchez and also her husband, Ana shares her trade secrets and what is it about interior design that she enjoys so much…

Q. What is your vision for the interior design of Taylor Wimpey España homes?
In all Taylor Wimpey España homes the first premise is quality, comfort, and an aesthetic mix of modernity and elegance that pleases a wide range of buyers. Our goal through decorating is to offer not a house, but a home.

Ana Garcia Maldonado - Taylor Wimpey SpainQ. What influences you in your design choices?
I try to follow and respect the line drawn by the Architecture Studio, which since the landmark Avalon development on the Costa del Sol, has been modern lines without leaving aside comfort and warmth of a home. When choosing colours and furniture, we usually take into account factors such as the name, location and even logo of the development, as each of them have their own identity.

Q. What are the key materials / pieces of furniture / brands / colour palettes that you are using for Taylor Wimpey España interiors at the moment?
We always look for functional furniture with light lines that does not detract from the spacious feel of each property. We like wood or matte finishes, natural tones and textures such as linen and cotton. For the walls we prefer a large canvases or mirrors, wallpapers with personality but still discreet, and playing around with the same colour tones in a single environment. We use an endless number of national and international brands in furniture, fabrics, papers, carpets, lighting, and choose brand depending on the budget we are allocated.

Q. What should owners avoid interiors wise when furnishing their holiday homes?
From experience I know that many clients give much more importance to furnishing the terrace than to the rest of the house, without taking into account the inclement weather. So my only advice is to equip the house with the same degree of comfort on the inside as the outside.

Q. Finally, how do you find working so closely with your husband on the architectural side?
It is a true privilege. We help and complement each other whilst enjoying our work. Can you ask for more?!

Visit taylorwimpeyspain.com for more information.

Edwardian Hotels - Leicester Square project

London’s deepest hotel basement ‘bottoming-out’ ceremony

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On 17th February, Edwardian Hotels London will celebrate the ‘bottoming-out’ of its bold new development in Leicester Square.

The project, a four-sided island site, is to be transformed into a 350-room property, complete with leisure facilities, an Odeon cinema complex and a restaurant below ground. There will be an additional eight levels above ground.

The luxury lifestyle hotel, due to open in 2019, will be an impressive property complementing London, in particular the West End, and continue the ongoing improvement of and investment in Leicester Square.

Guests will be hosted by Commercial Development Director Iype Abraham and Creative Director Rob Steul from Edwardian Hotels London.

TowerEight - Hotel Construction facts

Guest Blog – TowerEight: 13 things about hotel construction

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Thousands of new hotel rooms have to be built every year to cater for demand in the UK. More than 7,000 will be built in London in one year alone.

According to PWC, the hotel occupancy rate in the UK’s capital is as much as 84%. With nearly 150,000 hotel rooms in London that is a lot of bookings, and the average room rate is £145. With the hotel market continuing to grow, specialist teams are put in place by developers to ensure that rooms are up to the standards that guests demand in modern, world-class facilities.

The following list from TowerEight highlights the specialist considerations that developers need to think about when building a new hotel, and how both art and science are involved in creating the perfect hotel room…

1. What To Do With Corridors
Corridors are a tricky issue in hotel developments given that they are non-revenue generating, yet still need to feature on almost all levels. A sign of a good hotel architect is the minimal use of corridors wherever possible, without compromising the design, to maximise revenue-generating space. Alternatively, corridors can be used to generate revenue, whether by showcasing artwork that can be purchased by guests or as an advertising space for food and beverage offers.

2. If Everyone Has a Bath at the Same Time…
Most boilers in hotels are oversized and only run at 60% efficiency. Even ‘green’ hotels are only able to handle 75% of the peak demand. So, with average occupancy at 84%, hotels have to hope that guests don’t all choose to have a bath at the same time. Though, with the most popular times for ablution being pre-breakfast, and pre-dinner, it must be close sometimes.

TowerEight - Hotel Construction facts

3. Wear and Tear
Hotel furnishing and fittings are gauged by “rub rate” i.e. the amount of wear they can take. Hotel designers choose a fabric for curtains and carpets by its ability to be hard-wearing. In a top London hotel, cashmere may be used for the curtains, cushions and throws, with a typical rub rate in the low thousands. In cost-conscious hotels, a wool mix carpet would be expected to be trodden on more than 2,000 times!

4. Cost Per Key
Working with hotel developers, you will frequently hear the term ‘cost per key’ as opposed to cost per sqm/sq. ft. as used in commercial/residential sectors.

TowerEight - Hotel Construction facts
5. The Environment

Increasingly, environmentally conscious hotels are utilising ‘greywater’. This is recycled (and filtered onsite) water taken from showers and reused to flush toilets. In these hotels, you have a one in two chance of having come across the same water during a long stay! However, this solution is obviously much better for the environment.

6. How Often to Paint
Hotels are typically refurbished every three to four years, dependent on the level of maintenance they receive and the planned level of fatigue for the room décor at the time of construction. Refurbished does not mean redesigned, a refurb might mean a lick of paint and a deep clean. On average, a budget hotel room may receive more than 20 tins of paint in a 10-year period, compared to more than 40 tins in one of London’s luxury hotels.

TowerEight - Hotel Construction facts

7. Clever Design Tricks
Many guests assume a little undercut to their bathroom door means it is poor fitting, but it’s actually a regular design facet of many hotels, there to help air circulation and extract moisture from the bathroom.

8. Keeping Up With Trends
Tea and coffee making facilities (TCMF) are a bit of a throwback and there is a developing trend of incorporating social hubs into hotel lobbies, receptions and surrounding pop-ups instead. We predict that TCMF will continue to reduce, or evolve into something more personalised.

9. Practical Colour Schemes
It is rare to find a hotel room with solid colours – patterns, flecks and multiple colours are nearly always used to hide wear and tear or stains!

10. Fresh Air
Fresh air to a room either comes through the window, if it can be opened, or is ducted in through the system – typically installed in the lobby. Hotels of more than three stories will rarely ever have windows that can open fully because of the threat of legal action around any unfortunate guest that tries to climb out.

TowerEight - Hotel Construction facts

11. Solving Problems
Hotels are traditionally graded by the views (i.e. sea view) so internal hotel rooms are generally perceived as a lower class and let at lower rates. The aim is to achieve 100% occupancy at maximum rate. To get around this, designers make clever use of light-boxes and light rails in corridors to imitate light, allowing hoteliers to successfully let internal rooms with no natural light. The irony of the situation is that most people check in post 5:30pm when it’s already dark outside.

12. Height Challenges
Hotel signage at high level is often installed by abseilers. A team of between two to three guys can erect a 10-metre hotel sign, more than 10 stories high, in just 48 hours.

13. Tradition
Most hotels don’t have room or floor no.13…superstition still rules!

towereight.co.uk

Construction

Guest Blog: James Fisher – sustainability in practice in existing buildings

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Investors and owners of large commercial property portfolios throughout Europe are constantly on the hunt for a distinctive edge that will set them aside from the competition. The never-ending battle for an increase in rental yield, lower management costs, fully leased properties and happy tenants is something that we are all too familiar with.

James FisherCouple that with some of the wider global challenges on-going presently and you can see that how it would be easy for a property fund or asset manager to lose a little sleep at night. Luckily for them, there are some new techniques and tactics being adopted by the most forward thinking property companies that are helping them maintain their commercial advantage.

Citycon Oyj, based in Helsinki, has recently launched a project to introduce BREEAM In-Use (BIU) certification to 75% of its properties by 2017. As the leading owner, developer and manager of urban grocery-anchored shopping centres in the Nordic and Baltic regions, Citycon clearly see BREEAM In-Use certification as a cost-effective way to manage their EUR 5 billion portfolio.

According to Nils Styf, Citycon’s Chief Investment Officer, BREEAM In-Use certificates provide Citycon with a comprehensive overview of the environmental performance of their portfolio and a useful platform to identify improvements.

As a result of their recent environmental focus, Citycon have reduced their reliance on purchased heating energy by an impressive 30% in 2015 for one Centre by using renewable energy. Of course, this also positively benefits their carbon footprint too. Definitely a cost and carbon win-win and of course, these benefits can be realised in many more of their properties over time.

Stockholm
Interestingly it is not only private commercial organisations that are seeing the opportunity presented by using BREEAM certification. The methodology has also been widely adopted recently by the City of Stockholm. Stockholms stad, the public sector administration that is responsible for managing the majestic Swedish capital, is fully adopting BREEAM In-Use as part of its asset management strategy.

As part of their commitment, Stockholm is also taking part in a new pilot project aimed at creating a more cost-effective volume assessment route for BREEAM IN-Use across its portfolio. Focusing on a parcel of 50 public buildings, the objective is to establish a cost-effective methodology for certifying and maintaining certification of asset portfolios against BREEAM In-Use International 2015.

The pilot project will look at the type of evidence common to a large asset portfolio and how it can be supplied, collected and verified in order to minimise the need for additional site visits. Working to pre-defined criteria, it will focus on ascertaining the type of evidence that applies to buildings with similar characteristics or properties – asset clusters – and on establishing whether an assessor can review this evidence and accept it as applicable to all.

The project is a partnership between BRE Global (BREEAM), the Real Estate Administration of Stockholms Stad, engineering consulting firm PQR Consult AB and BREEAM In-Use assessor Piacon AB. Taking place over a one year period, the process will inform future years of the BREEAM In-Use recertification cycle.

Vertical Forest

To date, the City has 100 of its buildings assessed or in progress under BREEAM In-Use in total. It’s also worth noting that these assets represent a broad spectrum of architectural styles, building ages, uses and building services designs. In fact, even the historic (and world famous) City Hall building where the Nobel prize-giving ceremony takes place each year has also been assessed. If the method can help to improve the sustainability of such a prestigious landmark building, then it can definitely work for across more modern assets too.

The fact that both commercial and public sector property owners are now choosing BREEAM to set them apart, only adds weight to the case for sustainability to be considered as a matter of course in everyday business. This is borne out by the findings from the recent CBRE EMEA Investor Intentions Survey 2016 explored in more detail in an article authored by Rebecca Pearce, Senior Director, EMEA Head of Sustainability for CBRE published recently by the Better Buildings Partnership.

The evidence is loud and clear, the market now understands the compelling reasons to buy asset certification. In the CBRE survey just 11% of respondents now view sustainability as an insignificant factor during due diligence. Even more compelling is that 39% of the institutional investors surveyed cite sustainable asset selection as ‘critical’ or ‘one of the most important criteria’ when selecting properties to acquire.

In a complicated commercial property market, at least the road ahead for asset managers is becoming clear with solutions like BREEAM providing a tangible route to create sustainable property management. After all, if Citycon and the City of Stockholm can see the benefit, there must be something in it right? London, Paris, New York – we’re ready if you are.

Dubai hotel projects

Guest Blog: Bayut.com on Dubai’s most anticipated hotel projects

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The reputation of oil as a sure-shot revenue generating product is currently on the wane as global economies try to shake off the impact of global recession of 2008. But the United Arab Emirates, which initially built its fortunes on oil, has known better.

The nation understood the value as well as limitations of natural resources and took on the challenge of diversifying its sources of revenue. It has been on a roller coaster ride for the last two decades, putting strong emphasis on developing its real estate, financial services, logistics and especially its hospitality sectors, the result being that UAE has become one of the fastest growing and resilient economies in the world.

It is the definitive tourism capital of the region and constant innovation in the sector means it could be the global tourism hub in the coming years. The abundant entertainment options that cities like Dubai and Abu Dhabi have on offer attract millions of visitors each year, casting a positive shadow on their hospitality and real estate sectors.

Dubai mega-tower

The growing economy and developments in the all sectors mean Dubai and Abu Dhabi are never short on influx of expats, leading to a strong rental market in both cities. According to UAE realty portal Bayut.com, apartment rents in Dubai rose by a marginal 0.5% in February, following a 3% hike in January 2016.

Potential
As resilient as the country’s realty sector may be, the sector at the core of investors’ attention is none other than the hospitality sector. With theme parks lined up one after the other and Expo 2020 promising great turnout, the need for hotels is rising. Fortunately, the real estate developers in Dubai are not blind to the fact and have doubled their efforts in developing world-class hotels and recreational spots to act as a hinge for the emirate’s tourism sector. The hotel projects that the emirate is currently developing can most likely anchor Dubai’s hospitality and tourism industry to put it on the path of becoming the emirate’s number one revenue generating sector. In 2016, Dubai is ready to inaugurate some of the most luxurious hotels, which are also some of the most eagerly awaited.

Viceroy Palm Jumeirah
The Viceroy Palm Jumeirah, as the name indicates, is located in the emirate’s man-made palm shaped island, famously known as Palm Jumeirah. Slated to be opened in September 2016, the luxurious hotel offers 477 deluxe rooms and suites, coupled with 40 hotel apartments. In addition, it would also have 222 signature Viceroy Residences for those wanting to immerse themselves in the luxuries of high-end living.
Viceroy Palm Jumeirah
Time Royal Hotel
Time Royal Hotel provides the perfect setting for visitors who are interested in spending quality time in a brand new hotel in Dubai. Being developed in Dubai Healthcare City and awaiting inauguration in December 2016, the hotel will feature 277 rooms, three restaurants, a self-indulgent spa, an outdoor Jacuzzi and an indoor kids club. Moreover, the hotel is expected to become a medical tourism destination by offering 22 specially equipped suites to fulfil the needs of travelers belonging to the field of medicine. It goes without saying that hotels in Dubai are world-renowned for offering exceptional hospitality services to visitors and these two hotel projects don’t seem like ones to backtrack on their promise of providing opulent lifestyle choices to guests.

Time Royal Hotel Dubai
Apart from these two main developments, other hotel projects are currently undergoing construction work. Nakheel Properties recently struck a deal with Thailand’s renowned Minor Hotel Group to manage its new hotel at the Ibn Battuta Mall. The mall, which is undergoing expansion will see the opening of Avani Hotels and Resorts-branded 373-room property along with a 372-room Premier Inn hotel. Though, the former is expected to open in 2018, the latter is expected to open this year.

Nakheel Properties has also signed a deal with a Spanish hospitality company RIU Hotels to also open another hotel in Dubai, while announcing plans to launch 10 new hotels across the emirate to make the most of a growing tourist base that can ensure a healthy revenue stream for the emirate.

With new buildings springing up around Dubai on a frequent basis, it seems that the tourism and hospitality sector will carry the emirate’s real estate sector forward and usher in a lucrative era for Dubai’s realty sector that can very well prove to be pennies from heaven…

With thanks to www.bayut.com

UK hotel property market

Has the UK hotel property market reached a plateau?

635 425 Daniel Fountain

The UK’s hotel market saw its first decline in average RevPAR (rooms revenue per available room) in four years during the first three months of 2016 adding further fuel to the suggestion that the peak of the hotel property market may have been reached.

According to the latest Hotel Bulletin: Q1 2016, published by HVS, AlixPartners and AM:PM, a poor start to the year for hotels in Aberdeen saw RevPAR fall by 37% year-on-year, skewing overall results across the 12 cities analysed. Even excluding Aberdeen’s results, the overall market grew by only 1%, its lowest increase since Q1 2012.

While London remains a popular destination for Russian and Chinese visitors and investment continues to pour into the city, hotels in the capital saw RevPAR decrease by 2% in Q1 2016, their fifth consecutive quarter of flat or declining figures.

“These figures give us a strong indication that the peak of the UK’s hotel occupancy market has been reached and the growth we are seeing now is rate driven rather than occupancy driven,” said HVS chairman Russell Kett.

“For the moment there continues to be strong interest in hotel investment in most parts of the UK, which could continue into 2017, but investors are currently delaying decisions because of uncertainty fuelled by a combination of terrorism concerns, the forthcoming Brexit vote, China’s economic situation and the US elections.

“There is a risk that some operators will cut rates in an attempt to stimulate demand, forcing competitors to follow suit. Once room rates fall across the hotel sector the likelihood is that values will soften. This is a big concern for London’s hoteliers, particularly with the large number of bedrooms due to open in the next 12 months unless demand starts to pick up again,” he added.

According to Hotel Bulletin the best performing city in Q1 was Cardiff, with an average RevPAR increase of 8%, largely due to the World Half Marathon Championships in March. The fact that demand has not been constrained by new supply means that Cardiff has been in the top three best performing cities for the past four quarters. Since December 2011 only 18 new bedrooms have opened in the city.

Birmingham was the second best performing city in Q1, with RevPAR growth of 7%, despite supply growing by nearly 800 bedrooms over the past two years. Investment in Birmingham airport means that this trend is likely to continue as new flight routes come on stream.

The hotel sector has long been seen as a barometer of the wider economy, says Hotel Bulletin, albeit with inevitable regional variances. In recent months there has been a modest but perceptible shift in sentiment, especially in the investment community where a much greater sense of caution is being adopted over future growth prospects.

Download the Hotel Bulletin: Q1 2016 by clicking here…