During the IV Bioeconomic -C2C- VE & LEED Certification Conference, entitled “Opportunities that Circular Economy offers to Tourism “, Architect Julio Bermejo representing 4A+A Arquitectura made a keynote presentation based on two main themes: “Sustainability and Architecture “and” Benefits and profitability of the LEED certification. ” The conference took place in Sofia Avenue Boutique Hotel & Spa Sitges, the first hotel to achieve LEED Platinum certification in Europe and was attended by the president of the U.S. Green Building Council, Mr Roger Platt.
In the first theme of his presentation, Julio Bermejo explained the reasons which have caused the high environmental degradation on a global scale. The main cause of these events is produced by the existing economic model, based on a “linear system” of “Extract – Make – Discard”, which has proved to be inefficient, harmful and outdated. The alternative proposal is the “closed-loop model” which is based on principles of Circular Economy and Cradle to Cradle, whose essence is to mimic the behavior of Nature “Zero Waste” and apply it to the functioning of the economy and production processes.
In the second part July Bermejo presented “Benefits and profitability of the LEED certification”, which is based on five main pillars: Design and construction costs, Operating costs, Real estate asset value, Productivity and health; and Marketing. Julio stressed the importance of starting early in the planning of a project implementation in order to achieve success.
Later Rafael Silva, explained how to obtain the LEED Platinum certification which currently contributes substantially to the success of the hotel, in the economic field and also in the relationship with the community and the environment. This is called “The triple bottom line” or “Triple benefit.” Rafael said that the fact of being the first Platinum LEED certified hotel in Europe gives it a great advantage over direct competition and also he valued the importance of applying the principles of the current Circular Economy Business and argued that, economically, socially and environmentally speaking, sustainability is profitable.
In Session 4, Rafael Silva moderated the conversation called “Circular Economy in hotels, transformation towards the sustainable growth “, with the participation of Carles Miranda, Manager of Innovation Business d’ACCIO, Guillem Ricarte, former Director General Creafutur and Vicente Romero Jimenez, president of the Spanish Association of Hotels.
The closing speech was given by Roger Platt, who spoke as the USGBC Institution promotes the values of sustainable construction and LEED certification; and as it grows its presence today, being present in 150 countries. An important point referred to the phenomenon of growth: Today 50% of the world population lives in cities, and it is expected that by 2050 it will be 75%. Mr. Platt also explained that cities are responsible for 75% of total emissions and somehow C0₂ 50% of them are involved in aspects of combating climate change. Moreover, he added, also, they are the main current source of innovation in areas such as science, technology and information. The WELL Building Standard®, Sustainable Sites Initiative, EDGE and GRESB and its relationship with USGBC were also discussed. To end the presentation Roger Platt stressed the importance that the education, based on sustainable criteria, must reach the younger generations and thus achieve higher levels of awareness about the environment issues in the immediate future.
Finally, on the terrace of the Sky-Bar, Roger Platt handed to Rafael Silva the official diploma certifying that Avenida Sofia Hotel & Spa has obtained the LEED Platinum certification with one of the highest scores.
Julio Bermejo architect.
4A+A Arquitectura Ambiental, october 2015