Datacentrix has been helping keep the lights on (and off) – literally – at Hotel Verde, South Africa’s greenest hotel and the first hotel in Africa to offer carbon-neutral accommodation and conferencing.
Hotel Verde was built to be as sustainable as possible from the ground up. This includes energy-efficient LEDs used for lighting throughout the hotel, with a number of controls helping reduce the energy they consume, such as motion sensors in all public areas that activate the lights and switch them off after 15 minutes if there’s no further movement. The hotel also uses light level sensors, which measure the amount of light that’s available – including natural light from windows and skylights – and dims or brightens the output of the lights to ensure that only the required amount of light is given out at any time.
Appointed to roll out a number of systems prior to the official opening of the energy and water-efficient hotel two years ago, Datacentrix initially implemented the lighting control system, together with biometric access control, building and property management systems, video conferencing facilities, an audio and video system, room management software, and a video surveillance solution and storage.
The company also put into operation a structured cabling infrastructure (including telephone, BMS cabling and Ethernet, which enables guests to view a dedicated television channel that displays the hotel’s most updated energy and water consumption statistics as well as its waste management), a managed power over Ethernet (PoE) local area network (LAN), firewalls, fibre internet connectivity, telephone and Wi-Fi systems, and a staff time and attendance solution.
Besides this, Datacentrix still interfaces with a number of the third party solution provider as part of its multiyear outsourcing agreement with Hotel Verde. “We are currently in full swing in terms of the maintenance side of our project,” explains Hotel Verde operations manager, Philippe Marechal. “Datacentrix provides us with managed services to maintain hardware, such as our network equipment, desktops and printers, and also assists with maintaining other systems, for example our telephone solution, acting as a single point of contact for Hotel Verde.
“Datacentrix has a good understanding of the hospitality industry and its specific needs, having worked with several local hotel groups,” says Marechal. “It was the obvious choice when it came to appointing an IT infrastructure and services partner, working very closely with Hotel Verde when it came to setting up our facilities from scratch, and still assisting with the management of our other service providers.”
Aside from its experience within the hospitality sector, Datacentrix also met Hotel Verde’s non-negotiable service provider criterion of being located within a maximum of 160 kilometres of the hotel, as part of its carbon-offsetting programme which complements the hotel’s other green initiatives. “Not only does Hotel Verde offer guests and conference delegates a carbon-neutral stay at the hotel by offsetting carbon emissions through responsible carbon capturing and reduction projects, we also believe in responsible procurement.
“This means that our suppliers are chosen based on the sustainability of their own practises and their proximity to the hotel. To reduce the carbon impact of transportation, all suppliers used by Hotel Verde must be based within a 160 kilometre radius,” he adds.
Hotel Verde is the first hotel in Africa to achieve the Platinum LEED certification level, as assigned by the United States Green Building Council. In addition, it was the recipient of the Imvelo Award 2014 by Lilizela for Best Overall Environmental Management System, and won the World Responsible Tourism Award 2014 by World Travel Market, London for Best City Hotel.
“It has been a real honour for Datacentrix to be involved in the establishment of this exceptional, sustainably operated business,” says Juane Peacock, managing director: coastal regions and Enterprise Information Management (EIM) at Datacentrix. “One of our strategic imperatives involves building long-term partnerships with customers, which enables an intimate understanding of their business and its systems. To have been involved with Hotel Verde since the very beginning has allowed us to help create the most efficient, effective technology environment for them.”