Innovation That Matters

The Sunyata Eco Hotel is part of a broader movement towards eco tourism | Photo source Canva

Eco-luxury hotel minimises energy use with ancient building techniques

Architecture & Design

The furniture in the hotel was custom built by local artisans using recycled materials

Spotted: Ecotourism is expected to surpass $334 billion (around 329 billion) by 2027, and travelling sustainably no longer means going without. The new, boutique Sunyata Eco Hotel in Chikmagalur, India, uses ancient building techniques to provide modern luxury with a minimal carbon footprint.  

From the start, the hotel focused on environmental responsibility. Construction was powered by solar energy, and rammed earth walls, clay tiles, and mud bricks reduce the need for load-bearing concrete. Flat roofs and terraces contribute to the rainwater harvesting system that pipes collected water into tanks below the hotel. The ornamental façade is both practical and beautiful, contributing to the flow of air within the hotel as well as showcasing the local building heritage.

Dedicated water filtration systems of microorganisms, gravel, and plants clean the rainwater and the building’s sewage. Rainwater is stored in a well in the plant-filled central courtyard and can be piped to various locations for use as irrigation. A combination of solar chimneys and earth tunnels reduce the need for air conditioning in many of the guest rooms, and a solar array provides part of the building’s energy needs. Much of the furniture throughout the hotel was custom built by local artisans who used recycled cane wherever possible.

Passive heating and cooling is becoming more common as architects and planners seek to reduce a building’s use of resources. Springwise has spotted a woodland house with a living roof and a girl’s school built with latticed brickwork as two methods of keeping residents cool.  

Written by: Keely Khoury



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