The 195-key Siloso Beach Resort in Singapore is one of the rare resort hotels that practice sustainability at the planning and development stages as well as in day-to-day hotel operations.
Sustainable Resort Planning & Development
At the planning stage there were several remarkable things that they did right. When you’re there you feel as if you’re at the fringe of a rainforest. The building bulk is not apparent as it balances well with the natural landscape. I was surprised there are actually 12 villas on the site when you can probably point out 3 or 4 at most.
Tree Survey & Protection
There was a survey of all the trees on the site before any planning started on the hotel. The survey especially pin-pointed large mature tree which were preserved and provided meticulous care during the construction stage. For example, during the tree survey a very large Tembusu tree was identified. Micro-bore piling was used to ensure that tree roots were disturbed as little as possible during the construction of the hotel.
Building In and Around Large Trees
The developer of the SBR not only maintained existing forests but also ensured the hotel was planned around existing trees. You encounter living tree trunks growing through the middle of a villa living room! Likewise the main hotel block was designed as two buildings so that they could preserve an existing tree between the blocks.
Avoiding Cut and Fill
Villas were built with a micro-bore pile foundation and raised on platforms (not unlike the Banyan Tree Hotels and Resorts in Bintan).
Unlike most resorts where the pool is dug into the ground, the pool here was built on existing grade level! In spite of this its one of the most naturalistic pools I’ve come across. Well done!
Using Existing Spring Water
Rather than depend on potable water from the utility, the hotel took into consideration an existing natural spring on site. The swimming pool is only refilled from filtered spring water and rainfall – nothing else. The landscape is also irrigated from the same spring water.
A planted roof garden on top of the main block not only reduces tropical heat (and ultimately cooling load), it also adds back a planted area that would otherwise have been taken away by the building footprint. Coupled with a relatively site coverage you get the impression there’s more nature than building.
Sustainable Hotel Operations
On the operations side Siloso Beach Resort has many sustainable initiatives:
- The hotel follows the World Wildlife Fund Sustainable Seafood Guide for food sourcing.
- 85% of the hotel’s food are purchased from within ASEAN.
- Only natural pesticides are used to manage pest. Mosquito population is controlled through an innovative use of ponds and larvae eating fish as well as a safe soil based bacteria to kill larvae.
- The swimming pool is disinfected with ionized salt rather than chlorine. And as mentioned above, the pool water is refilled from natural rainfall and filtered spring water.
- All food waste recycled. Vegetables from kitchen discards are fed to composting worms. Guests are also encouraged to recycle with evidence of recycling bins around the hotel.
- At the hotel management level there is an environment management committee attended by all department heads to coordinate the hotels environment and sustainable programs.
- Guest also have the option of viewing environmental cable programs over and above the regular TV programming as well as participate in educational programs and nature tours.
- It sponsored the Biodiversity Portal of Singapore as part of the CSR program.
You may be interested in this article on Sustainable Resort Development in Sensitive Environments by J Purandare.
In the follow up post we shall be looking at the economics of sustainable resorts.
This post was made possible by Karl Fischer and Sylvain Richer de Forges from Siloso Beach Resort.
Main Photo: Chris Young