Valsana Hotel & Apartments set an ecological benchmark for hotels

7th September 2018, by Amy Grealish

Valsana Hotel & Apartment complex in Arosa reduces their ecological footprint,

Valsana Hotel & Apartment complex in Arosa reduces their ecological footprint,

Over the 2017/18 winter season, the Swiss Valsana Hotel & Apartment complex in Arosa reduced their ecological footprint, and are now almost compliant with the zero energy standard, in edition to this they are also completely carbon-neutral.

The state-of-the-art innovations incorporated with the design and of the hotel and apartment complex mean that their ecological footprint is as small as possible, and they have been successful in developing a completely self-sufficient system which meets the heating and power needs of the whole building with the aid of an ice battery and energy recovery.

There are now plans to gradually reduce the ecological footprint of the other hotels in the Tschuggen Hotel Group.

The impressive list of the sustainable innovations that have allowed for this benchmark in environmental standards include:

To save energy, many of the lights in the hotel’s corridors and entrance areas react to motion sensors. All of the light fittings in the hotel contain highly energy-efficient LED bulbs.

Electric vehicles
The hotel has four charging stations to charge guests’ electric vehicles. 

The entire heat output for the three buildings is generated via the hotel’s own waste heat and downhole heat exchangers.

The autonomous ice storage energy concept facilitates a major reduction in CO2 emissions. What is more, only certified hydroelectricity from Arosa Energie is used, and the Tschuggen Hotel Group buildings have had a target agreement regarding CO2 emission reductions with the Energy Agency of the Swiss Private Sector (EnAW) since 2014.

When purchasing food and beverages, the hotel sources local producers and suppliers when possible, including their wine list which consists exclusively of European wines.

Arosa water
Arosa water is served to our guests free of charge. The water is also filled into glass bottles for guests to avoid the need to buy bottled mineral water.

Business stationery
Valsana Hotel & Apartments has switched to Swiss sourced, 100% recycled paper for internal and external use.

Cooling systems
The hotel’s cooling facilities (freezers, fridges, etc.) are installed in such a way that the heat generated can be recovered. All of their cooling facilities are also CFC-free.

Waste separation
Strict waste separation is a high priority at Valsana Hotel & Apartments and all employees receive training.

Ice storage
The entire heat output of the Valsana site is generated via the hotel’s own waste heat from wastewater, commercial cooling and server rooms and from downhole heat exchangers, and fed into a large latent heat storage facility. The heat pump then directly accesses the energy from the latent heat storage facility, which resembles a large water tank (850 cubic metres) with 400 metres of pipe registers and a height of 1.5 metres. The registers contain a water and glycol mixture that is directly connected to the heat pump circuit. In cases of high energy consumption via the heat pump, the water freezes around the registers and an ice block forms. In order to melt the ice, the waste heat from all heat recovery systems is fed into the water tank. If more waste heat is available than the energy that has been used, the ice melts and the water can be warmed to up to 15°C.

Wastewater heat recovery
A large proportion of the thermal energy is needed for the generation of hot water. The hotel kitchen and especially the spa area, require a considerable amount of hot water. Over 50% of the waste heat from wastewater, which reaches the sewer pipes with a temperature of around 23°C, can be used directly. A heat exchanger is used to extract energy from the wastewater before it flows on into the sewer system. This waste heat is fed into the latent heat storage facility, which stores the energy by means of an interplay of melting and freezing.

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