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15/01/2010 | Premier Inn rolls out plans for new green hotel

Whitbread, the UK's leading hotel and restaurant group, has confirmed details of its plans for a second green hotel and its first low-carbon restaurant.

The Burgess Hill Premier Inn, in West Sussex, represents the latest evolution in environmentally-friendly budget hotels. It follows Whitbread's pioneering green hotel pilot in Tamworth, Staffordshire - the UK's first green budget hotel which opened its doors to guests in December 2008.

The 60-bedroom Premier Inn at Burgess Hill, due to open in Autumn 2010, will adopt the best-performing green technologies trialled in Tamworth to deliver 70% carbon and 60% water savings.

Adjacent to the hotel, Whitbread will develop its first low-carbon restaurant - a 220-cover Beefeater open grill restaurant.

The investment forms part of Whitbread's corporate sustainability programme 'Good Together', which was launched in December 2009 along with a pledge to reduce carbon emissions by 26% by 2020.

The Burgess Hill development will include:

  • Ground-source heat pumps using the earth's natural energy to provide heating and cooling cool as well as hot water 
  • Rainwater harvesting and grey water recycling providing 100% of the hotel's toilet water use and saving 20% of the hotel's entire water use
  • High-efficiency thermal insulation
  • Low-flow showerheads delivering the feel and effect of a powerful shower without the associated water loss
  • Heat-recovery shower systems capturing and reusing energy used by the boilers
  • Automated light controls with intelligent sensors turning lights off when not in use
  • Sun pipes reducing the need for artificial lighting by increasing natural light

Both the Premier Inn hotel and Beefeater restaurant at Burgess Hill will be built using timber frame construction methods from sustainably sourced wood. Timber frame has the lowest carbon content of any commercially-available building material and its flexible design allows for high levels of insulation to achieve maximum energy efficiency.

Alan Parker, CEO of Whitbread, said: "Burgess Hill's clever combination of high-tech environmental features and advanced construction methods will allow us to achieve truly impressive results in terms of cutting carbon and conserving water. The hotel will include many of the best performing technologies pioneered at our first green hotel in Tamworth. 

"Our low-carbon Beefeater restaurant at Burgess Hill is another first for Whitbread and brings us another step closer to achieving a 26% reduction in carbon emissions by 2020." 

This announcement coincides with the start of a special Good Together Week, bringing Whitbread people together for the first time to focus on how everyone can be involved to make a difference. Involving customers will also become a core component of the Good Together strategy with Whitbread aiming to help its guests play an active part in achieving sustainability targets.