A boutique hotel in Putney has undergone a complete eco rebrand ahead of its summer relaunch in a bid to reposition itself as the ultimate sustainable choice for CSR conscious corporations. BH gets the inside scoop from Ben Hirschfeld, owner The Lodge Putney, to find out just what changes are in store for the boutique.
The Lodge Hotel in Putney will relaunch later in the summer with the addition of 25 bedrooms, two suites and a new meetings and events space, all with a refined focus on sustainability.
The boutique in London will now be home to 77 bedrooms after the extensive refurbishment and a 1,800 sq ft events space for up to 200 guests. The makeover is using all environmentally-friendly materials to in a bid to attract CSR conscious coporations, after owner Ben Hirschfield saw a gap in the market.
Once the new spaces are officially opened in the summer, the hotel is aiming to achieve BREEAM Excellence accreditation for sustainable design and build.
Building within the remits of BREEAM, The Lodge’s highlights will include installing sedum roofing, which will absorb rainwater and reduces surface run off and help to heat and cool the building.
Solar panels on the building will help to ensure the A/C output in the bedrooms is kept as low as possible.
The Lodge is owned by the Hirschfield family who have been at the helm for the past 45 years and the refurbishment was overseen by third generation hotelier Ben Hirschfield. We caught up with him to discover exactly what inspired the new changes.
“The build and fit out of our new development, which opens in August 2015 is a twelve month project”
We spent an additional three years on the planning and design stages. However, it’s well worth the time invested, as of August The Lodge will have 77 guestrooms, a new 1,800 sq ft meeting and events space with private terrace, a landscaped garden, gym, treatment room, changing rooms, and several further meeting rooms. This, along with last year’s launch of Hide&seed, our bar and restaurant, heralds an exciting new era for a property that my grandparents founded as a nine-bedroomed guest house in the early 1970s.
“I wanted to create an exemplar extension for the hotel and local area…”
…in terms of crisp clean aesthetics, using the highest quality materials, and engineering the build to be as energy efficient as possible within reasonable constraints of ROI. The Lodge is located in the East Putney Conservation Area, and thus we needed to be mindful of blending the design into the architectural makeup of the surrounding cityscape. For the exterior we selected award winning ‘Con mosso’ bricks by Wienerberger to complement the local London stock bricks, and glazed rainscreen cladding to reflect surrounding trees. The local planners were responsive to this level of quality.
For the interiors, I worked with local designers to incorporate an urban chic feel through the use of different materials and bespoke furniture, including wooden slated headboards, textured wallpapers, pinstriped carpets, large steel windows, and sleek bathrooms. This more New York-inspired feel complements the crisp brick exterior, and builds on a more deluxe ‘classic London’ theme running through the existing hotel.
I also wanted to future proof the IT/data elements. For example, each room will be fitted with its own fibre optic Wi-Fi to ensure each guest has their own dedicated super-fast connection.
“I have always been an advocate of adopting the principles of sustainable business.”
This new development was an exciting chance to design from scratch. The premise being; considered investment would be a benefit for the hotel for the long term.
“Working closely with my M&E engineers, architect and QS, we opted to become more sustainable.”
We decided achieving award from BREEAM would provide us a benchmark to work to. There are of course many areas to CSR and sustainability is often used an umbrella word for this, however sensible commercial decisions are also key. I decided the main focus should be on reducing long-term energy consumption. Energy consumption is generally a major cost when looking at a hotel’s operating P&L. We set about engineering a building that would consume 40% less energy than latest building regulations.
The Lodge now boasts the following…
Integrated system using photovoltaic panels and air source heat pumps: over forty PV panels on the roof produce electrical energy that in turn runs the air source heat pumps (ASHPs). These ASHPs use renewed air energy from the guestroom heating and cooling system to produce hot water. Overall, a clever system that channels unwanted heat back into the boilers.
Improved biodiversity: Green roof enhances habitat/biodiversity of the area with different grass species, and semi-mature trees. A side benefit of the roof is it also absorbs rainwater and thus reduces surface run-off, which helps cool the building in the summer and warm in the winter.
Sustainable considerations: Builders part of the Considerate Contractors scheme. Using materials from sustainable sources and recycling building waste where possible. BREEAM assessment tracks this during the construction phase and you are awarded points accordingly.