Rosewood phuket is built with a clear focus and long-term commitment to protecting the environment of this beachfront sanctuary on Emerald Bay, an area which covers 43 acres (17 hectares) of coastline, forest, hillside and wetland landscape.
“Environmentally conscious guests will appreciate both this spectacular setting and the measures that are taken to protect it,” says Andrew Turner, the resort’s managing director. "The preservation of this environment is of primary importance to us, not only for its demonstrable economic benefits, but to maintain it for the enjoyment of visitors in perpetuity.”
The resort adopts a “net-zero” approach to water usage with nearly 100 percent of its water needs fulfilled sustainably. Instead of drawing from the local water system, the resort harvests and holds rainwater in a series of reservoirs that can provide a year’s supply of water and uses a combination of natural bioswales and carbon filter system to create potable water.
Resort landscaping was approached with a focus on the preservation of the natural environment through the retention or careful transplantation of existing trees and indigenous foliage right through to the protection of sacred 150-year-old Banyan trees situated in the resort grounds. Thai native species and adaptive vegetation minimize the amount of turf and lawn areas to lower irrigation water consumption.
Rosewood Phuket features other innovative sustainability measures that both enhance the guest experience and result in cost savings to the resort. The extensive use of windows throughout public and private areas means that 78 percent of building interiors receive direct natural light, thus reducing electricity needed for artificial light and creating a healthier, more pleasant indoor environment. Also, more than 30 percent of building rooftops are covered by gardens which not only keep buildings naturally cooler, but provide green views towards the ocean for guests, complementing the beachfront forest surroundings.
The energy-efficient building envelopes incorporate an insulated roof; aerated, insulative walls; and dual pane, “low-e” glass windows. Inside, some of the many other energy-savings features include comprehensive LED lighting to keep energy consumption low; air conditioning which circulates only the minimum amount of refrigerant needed at any one time and enables individual air conditioning climate control; and motion sensors and timers that limit excess lighting and air conditioning consumption.
The resort is deliberately engineered to reduce collective ambient heat in order to lower temperatures and thus reduce energy usage. In addition to building surface materials specially selected for this purpose, porous pavement surfaces in the parking lots, road surfaces with a light concrete finish and high solar reflectance, and any exposed rooftop surfaces painted white to reject solar heat, all combine to help reduce heat absorption and energy consumption.
Rosewood Phuket employs the largest solar energy system of any Phuket hotel. Solar panels generate electricity of 113,000 KWH per year and provide heating for resort water.
Perhaps the most impressive environmental project is the restored coral reef located just offshore in Emerald Bay. Working with the navy and local government, the resort contributed to the placement of 340 artificial reef structures in the bay to help replenish aquatic life. Full results are expected in about five years’ time but already the initiative has seen an increase of tropical fish in the reef area.
In addition, the resort is pioneering new standards in erosion control for long-term protection of local waters, which may inspire other Phuket developments near the sea to adopt similar programs. Under the supervision of an environmental impact assessment consultant, the resort works with contractors to ensure there is no significant silt runoff into Emerald Bay following heavy rain.
Rosewood Phuket’s conservation systems are measured tangibly in three areas: in energy and water savings and in carbon footprint reduction. In energy, it is estimated that efficient building design results in savings of 1,520,000KWH per year and renewable energy savings of 150,000KWH per year. Water conservation and efficient usage practices will result in 7,000M3 savings annually and a reduced carbon footprint of 223 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year is expected from the resort’s energy savings measures.
Rosewood Phuket offers a walking tour to highlight its plethora of sustainability features and practices. A pillar of its Rosewood Explorers children’s program is fun learning about the resort’s natural eco-systems, with the hope of inspiring amongst these youngsters an awareness of the importance of conservation that will last throughout their lives.