One of Australia’s most environmentally sustainable hotels has opened

One of Australia’s most environmentally friendly hotels has opened in Melbourne’s Southbank.

The Holiday Inn Express Melbourne Southbank is Australia’s first 5-star National Australian Built Environment Rating System (NABERS) rated hotel with the property set to use 25 per cent less energy than similar properties, according to its developers.

The 345-room hotel sits in a 22-storey mixed use building alongside retail space and commercial space.

The government-backed Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) injected almost $40 million into the project, allowing developer Pro-Invest Group to boost the hotel’s environmental credentials across areas such as energy and water use and carbon emissions.

High-performance glazing, high-efficiency air-cooled chillers, condensing boilers and a rooftop solar system, carbon-neutral carpets and regenerative lift drives are among the design features helping it achieve a 5-star NABERS rating.

The hotel is also replacing miniature bathroom amenities with larger, more sustainable options, as part of a brand wide initiative.

“By its very nature the hotel industry is a high energy user, with the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership estimating that tourism contributes about 5 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions,” said Pro-Invest Group chief executive Ronald Barrott.

“It’s important for new hotels to invest in energy efficiency design and construction and incorporate state-of-the-art environmental measures across the full operation of the hotel.”

Barrott said that all future hotels built by Pro-Invest would have 5-star NABERS ratings, with investors “increasingly demanding that hotel projects incorporate premium sustainability and energy-efficiency initiatives into development projects”.