Archive | July, 2011

Heritance Ayurveda Maha Gedara Geared to Commence its Sustainable Operations

22 Jul

Heritance Ayurveda Maha Gedara Geared to Commence its Sustainable Operations
Situated on the southern coast of Sri Lanka, Aitken Spence Hotels’ first hotel property, Neptune Hotel has re-opened as Heritance Ayurveda Maha Gedara. The authentic ayurveda resort has joined the groups’ prestigious Heritance portfolio. The Heritance brand mission is aimed at travelers experiencing, connecting with, and learning from Sri Lanka’s rich cultural heritage.
Heritance Ayurveda Maha Gedara is about learning to live, enjoying and appreciating every moment, and in doing so, creating a personal path to health and wellness. Nestled within acres of lush tropical gardens, this beach front property represents tranquility at its best with its luxurious accommodation and ayurveda treatment facilities along with traditional Sri Lankan charm and hospitality.
Located in a secluded world of beauty and serenity, the 64 luxurious rooms include 16 standard rooms, 36 deluxe rooms, 7 suites, & 5 corner suites. The accommodation is inspired by a harmonious blend of East meets West and offers privacy along with stunning views of the gardens and azure ocean.

“At Heritance Hotels, we believe that our natural environment is priceless and as responsible citizens of the world we have a responsibility to protect it. As in with the construction and operation of all our Heritance properties, Heritance Ayurveda Maha Gedara too has been constructed with a strong, focused commitment towards reducing the environmental footprint associated with the development and operation of a hotel”, said Mr.Rohitha Rajaratne, Vice President- Engineering, Aitken Spence Hotels.

Typically, energy costs are the second highest expenditure component of a hotel subsequent to the cost of human resources. As such Heritance Hotels has made a conscious effort to reduce its energy consumption. Lighting at Heritance Ayurveda Maha Gedara has been restricted to Light Emitting Diodes (LED) for garden lighting, Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFL) in public areas and rooms and T5 fluorescent bulbs in the back of house areas. In doing so, the hotel is on par with current technologies in energy efficient lighting. For the external lighting alone, 200 LED ground lights have been installed resulting in an annual saving of 27,448 kWh when compared to conventional lighting. This is equivalent to a reduction in the hotel’s carbon footprint by 21 Tonnes. This will result in a phenomenal achievement; the savings from this initiative can be used to power 25 average Sri Lankan households for an entire year.

Heritance Ayurveda Maha Gedara has leveraged innovative strategies in the area of renewable energy. Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Panels have been installed in order to convert solar energy directly into electricity. PV cells are made up of two or more layers of semi-conducting material, usually silicon, which when exposed to light, generates electricity. Solar Photovoltaic Systems can be broadly connected either as an off-grid system (solar power used to charge batteries) or and on-grid system (solar power fed directly to the grid). The 3.5 kW system installed at Heritance Ayurveda Maha Gedara has features of both off-grid as well as on-grid. During the day, the solar panels charge the batteries and feed any excess power generated to the grid via a net metering agreement. During the night, the batteries are used to power the garden lighting. The annual savings from the system is 4,639 kWh which is a reduction in the hotel’s carbon footprint by 3.4 Tonnes; this significant saving is equivalent to a one ton household AC running for a period of a year.

The existing central hot water system which was used during the operations of Neptune Hotel utilizes a boiler for the production of steam which in turn produces hot water by means of a calorifier. The proposed solar hot water system which will be installed shortly will be used to increase (augment) the temperature of cold water supply being fed to the calorifier. This will in turn reduce the furnace oil consumption by the boiler. The hotel will be saving 1,417 Liters of furnace oil annually thus mitigating its carbon footprint by 4.6 Tonnes.

Heritance Hotels sustainable practices have ranged from simple, hands-on activities like planting trees to more sophisticated areas such as on-site generation of renewable energy. Plans are in place for setting up a biogas plant at Heritance Ayurveda Maha Gedara, the biogas plant will use kitchen garbage as the primary source for the production of biogas which will be utilized in the herbal preparation area of the wellness resort. The property will operate primarily as an Ayurveda resort and as such the wet garbage production will be comparatively low when compared to a traditional hotel operation. An estimated 100kg of waste will be produced per month, which if used for biogas production, will save 2,800 kg of LPG annually. All wet garbage produced by the hotel will be utilized and disposed. In addition, the slurry from the plant will be used in the hotel premises as manure and the excess, if any, will be distributed to neighboring villagers.

In addition to the biogas plant, the central cooling system at the resort will operate utilizing a screw type chiller which will consume 0.769 kilowatts per ton of refrigerant (kW/Tr). Additionally the secondary pumps will be controlled by variable speed drives, thus ensuring that the pumps are utilizing only the required power.

“We believe that sustainable tourism will enhance and protect the environment we operate in. By using resources such as energy and water wisely, minimizing waste, conserving ecosystems and biodiversity, and sourcing locally where ever possible, our hotels are reducing the negative impacts that contribute to climate change”, said Mr.Malin Hapugoda, Managing Director, Aitken Spence Hotels.

The company’s premier resorts operate under Heritance Hotels & Resorts. Its latest Heritance property Heritance Ayurveda Maha Gedara commenced operations in July 2011. It has joined the award-winning Heritance Hotels & Resorts portfolio consisting of Heritance Kandalama, Heritance Ahungalla and Heritance Tea Factory.