Environmental technology and sustainability. The “green” soul of hospitality
Environmental protection, sustainability, technology and low environmental impact are the key words that make Cocca Hotel of Sarnico (BG) one of the most innovative and technologically advanced tourist facilities in Italy.
Right from the planning stage, the sustainable spirit and innovative ideas of the owners, the Marini brothers, guided every choice, from the simplest to the most difficult, all focused on giving their hotel a “green” soul. The design of the hotel can already be seen from the exterior. It perfectly blends into the surrounding panorama and its actual size is concealed by a large underground structure of over 3600 m2 that easily holds 88 cars, storerooms, technical areas, controlled deposit for bikes and motorbikes.
Discretely nestled into the landscape, minimizing its visual impact, the hotel consists of 58 rooms, 8 suites and 2 apartments on the shore of Lake Iseo, all with the same enchanting view of the lake. This view can also be admired from the Hall, Bar, Restaurant, indoor Pool, Health & Beauty centre, Hairdresser, Solarium, Meeting room and the flower-filled Terraces; only the Royal Thai Spa gives the eyes a rest, welcoming them into a relaxing environment in true Thai style.
The exterior horizontal profile was created with eco-friendly coverings. From the flat terraced roof in laminated wood, down to the first floor, all the surfaces were insulated with Stirodur 6-cm thick double insulation panels, waterproofed with synthetic layers and made green using the Green Roof system. The flat roof is covered by 113 KW photovoltaic panels that supply electricity to the hotel and blend perfectly into the environment, even with the addition of wooden pergolas and climbing plants. The walkways have been paved with Oxigena porcelain ceramic tiles, whose photo-catalytic effect transforms carbon dioxide into nascent oxygen sterilizing the surfaces and releasing oxygen into the air just like leaves of a tree.
The inside of the building conceals some technological solutions that minimize: energy requirements and heat dispersion while maximising the energy sources. To achieve this ambitious aim, the reinforced cement structure consisting of pillars, beams and slabs was first covered externally with a 30 cm “sandwich” system made up of resinous cement panels, double criss-cross layer of mineral wool and plasterboard. In addition to the internal insulation, a 10 cm insulating “coat” was installed on the exterior in Neopor, consisting of expanded polystyrene and graphite.
The special properties of Neopor double the thermal performances of the insulation allowing to take full advantage of the energies produced in the building, such as those generated by electrical appliances or by the lights, thus obtaining healthier indoor conditions and reducing consumption to a minimum.
The large windows finished with prestigious hand-crafted frames give a touch of class to the hotel. They are made of laminated Spanish cedar wood, with outer shell in cream-coloured aluminium, completed by low-E double glazing of 34 mm, which give the doors and windows a thermal insulation below 1 K as well as excellent acoustic insulation.
A carpet with three different layers (total thickness of 10 mm) was applied horizontally between the slab and topping in self-levelling anhydrite, which ensures excellent acoustic and thermal insulation. This solution was adopted on every floor except for the ground floor and outdoor terraces, which were insulated with sheets in thicknesses varying from 6 to 12 cm, the carpeted floor combined with a rubber mattress guarantee high sound absorbing and thermal insulating performances.
The interior walls dividing the rooms are 30 cm thick and made of a sandwich of five plasterboard layers and double layer of mineral wool to guarantee privacy, sound and heat comfort.
The lighting in the Cocca Hotel mainly consists of LED technologies; the lighting comfort of these fixtures, combined with the incredible energy saving, add even more value to the hotel’s environmental project. For example, lighting a corridor of the Cocca hotel with traditional dichroic light bulbs would consume 2600 watt, while the LEDs consume just over 100 watt.
Water and the health & beauty area
The Cocca Hotel has a large area dedicated to wellness and well being consisting of the Royal Thai Spa, Wet Zone and Indoor swimming pool. Insulated materials and LED lights were also used in these environments in addition to the Oxigena ceramic tiles, a choice justified by energy saving and by the guarantee of maximum comfort and well being for guests.
Water, an indisputable wealth for humanity, a precious and irreplaceable commodity, is highly respected and valued in the Cocca Hotel. In fact, the hotel has a tank that can hold over 40 m3 of potable water, available throughout the facility at a constant pressure guaranteed by an autoclave. It also has a second plant with a 90 m3 tank that collects rain water. During periods of low rain, a well supplies water to the toilets and sprinkler system.
Heating and air conditioning
Heating, air conditioning, air/water treatment of the entire facility and swimming pool are run by heat pumps assisted by heat recovery systems on each floor, whose performances reach 8KW for every KW of energy absorbed. As everybody knows, heat pumps allow energy savings of over 35% compared to traditional technologies.
At the Cocca Hotel, the performances have been improved by the positioning of these systems. They are no longer placed on roofs, at the mercy of atmospheric agents and torrid summer temperatures and harsh winter temperatures, but inside the skylight well to the north of the basement, protected against the sun and cold. This guarantees even more “savings” and, as a side function, cleans and continually exchanges the stale air inside the underground garage, made possible by the presence of large fans positioned above the heat pumps. The air inside the Cocca Hotel is regularly regenerated. During the internal/external exchange, the heat recovery systems save energy by recovering the heat and/or coldness from the air to restore it with new incoming air for maximum comfort and wellbeing.
Last but not least, the hotel has no architectural barriers and gladly welcomes disabled guests, guaranteeing a pleasant stay characterized by maximum comfort and service.