“Net Zero Lifetime Count”
When brothers and developers Robert and Stuart Godwin set out to build room2 Chiswick, an 86-room hotel in London that opened in December 2021, they knew they wanted to operate on a net-zero emissions basis, but decided to develop the concept. and report on its construction and eventual demolition in what is known as “net zero for life”.
“At the end of the day, we said we need to take full responsibility for our entire carbon footprint of our entire existence, because if we don’t, and others don’t, we don’t. ‘have no chance of getting closer to a net zero future,’ said Robert Godwin, chief executive of Lamington Group, the family’s development company, and co-founder of room2 Hometels, designed as hotels with residential features of a home, such as kitchens.
Wherever possible, the construction used recycled materials, from reclaimed terra-cotta floors in the lobby to hallway rugs made from plastic fishing nets found in ocean trash. Much of the bespoke furniture, headboards and banquettes were produced within 10 miles of the property and offset by the planting of over 4,000 trees. Keeping its investments local, the developers sourced wallpaper, ceramic tiles, mirrors and mosaics from local artists.
Efficient systems include geothermal heating and cooling. A ‘blue roof’, essentially a reservoir under the green roof on the top floor, which houses garden beds and beehives, can hold 50,000 liters of rainwater, facilitating runoff and providing water for plants. Rooms have custom recycling bins, including a section for composting food.
Compared to the typical hotel in Britain, room2 Chiswick is 89% more energy efficient, according to its owners, who are working on the next room2 in Belfast and plan to open more than 40 hotels in Europe and North America by 2030.
The hotel is offsetting the emissions it cannot eliminate and what it predicts will be the cost to the environment in about 60 years when the building is potentially demolished, by investing in a bamboo farm in Nicaragua that grows the plants trees to capture carbon, then selectively harvest.