The Value of Green Building Technologies in Hotels: A Case Study on Denmark's Green Solution House

Author:Bates, Hannah, GSVSUniversity of Virginia

The hospitality industry currently faces significant sustainability issues given the resource-intensive nature of the industry. Hotels require significant amounts of water, electricity, heating and cooling to operate and produce substantial amounts of waste. However, with the rise of green building technologies comes the opportunity for environmentally, socially, and economically positive changes in hotel building design and operations. Green Solutions House, a four-star hotel and conference center in Denmark, was designed to be at the forefront of green building innovation and is showing how the entire hospitality industry could use these technologies to not only be “greener,” but to become more resource and cost-efficient. This paper examines how three green building technologies are used successfully in Green Solution House—the pyrolysis plants, the integrated photovoltaic panels, and the biological water purification generators—to determine if such technologies would be beneficial for other hotels to implement. The research concludes that green building technologies can significantly decrease the environmental impact of the hospitality industry. However, the high upfront cost of these technologies is a common factor that limits their implementation. As hotels are typically operated as for-profit businesses, it is important to understand the long-term value of green building technologies. Thus, the viability of investing in green technologies must be analyzed through a financial lens. This paper concludes a Net Present Value (NPV) analysis on Green Solution House’s pyrolysis plant and integrated photovoltaic system to determine the financial value these technologies have for the hotel. Currently, not enough there is not enough publicly available on the specific components of Green Solution House’s biological water purification system, thus a useful NPV analysis on this technology was not possible. The findings show that currently neither technology is creating a positive NPV for Green Solution House; however, with some situational changes like government incentives and public-private partnerships, these technologies could be profitable for Green Solution House. This paper also discusses how the successes of these technologies could change depending on the location of the hotel property.

This work was completed as a requirement of the Global Studies: Global Environments and Sustainability major under the direction of Professor Mark White and Professor Phoebe Crisman.

hotel, hospitality, Denmark, Green Solution House, net present value, NPV, financial analysis, Bornholm, pyrolysis, pyrolysis plant, photovoltaic, building integrated photovoltaic, BIPV, photovoltaic panels, biological water purification, waste, energy, water, circular sustainability, zero waste, green architecture, green building technology, sustainable architecture, sustainability, buildings, built environment, GSVS, GSVS2020, GSVScapstone, valuation
University of Virginia
Published Date:
May 2020