The II Bioeconomic and LEED Certification Conference which took place at the Jumeirah Port Soller Hotel & Spa -LEED Gold Certified- aimed to expose, spread and provide a global, innovative and pioneering vision of the environmental challenge in the field of sustainability, economy and environment. The conference topics treated were based on key sectors of our current and future economy: Sustainable Tourism, LEED Certification, Sustainable Construction and Electric Vehicle.
The keynote presentation of 4A+A Arquitectura Ambiental– given by the architect Julio Bermejo – addressed two main issues: “Architecture and Sustainability” and “Economic Benefits and Profitability of the LEED Certification” (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design). The first one describes the context of the current situation of the construction market, explaining the causes that have led to the rise and fall of the sector and proposing alternatives for the recovery providing solutions from the Architecture itself and through the compliance of two main objectives:
- Increase the energy efficiency in the construction and refurbishment of buildings by reducing energy demand of buildings, increasing the efficiency of active systems and improving their management.
- Adopt a closed-loop life-cycle construction model using recycled, recyclable, non-toxic materials, moreover with low embodied energy and local production.
In the second part of the keynote presentation, “Economic benefits and profitability of the LEED Certification”, the advantages of LEED were described from five points of view: Design and Construction, Operations, Asset Value, Productivity and Health; and finally Marketing. Through examples and market research from prestigious institutions and consulting offices it was shown that LEED certified buildings are not necessarily more expensive than the non-green buildings, if environmental strategies are considered and performed from the initial phase of the project. The credit category “Energy and Atmosphere” is the greatest leverage in the Return of Investment LEED projects (ROI), because in the future significant increases in energy prices are expected.
After the conference, it was possible to make a tour through the premises of the Jumeirah Port Soller Hotel & Spa. The hotel was opened in April 2012 and the LEED Gold Certification was awarded in March 2013. The Jumeirah Hotel reached an outstanding scorecard of 64-point of 110 possible. Among others, the main results achieved related to sustainability are: 28% reduction in energy consumption compared to a reference baseline building, the use of renewable energy systems, 30% reduction of drinking water consumption and a the use local building materials. The achieved results related to the indoor air quality are exemplary and represent a significant benefit to the health of the occupants: A monitoring system for the indoor air quality, increased ventilation and customized controllability of lighting and thermal systems guarantee a very high thermal comfort for all occupants of the building, while at the same time it is possible to appreciate the splendid Mallorca’s landscape.
The LEED certification – the most prestigious standard for sustainable construction in the world – contribute with benefits such as reducing operating costs and management of buildings (energy and water) in order to create buildings with low energy consumption, efficient systems and respectful with the environment.
Julio Bermejo arch. LEED AP BD+C
Aa, March 2015.