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hub by Premier Inn achieves highest ever sustainability rating for UK hotel

Premier Inn’s newly launched concept, hub by Premier Inn, in London’s Covent Garden, has become the first hotel in the UK to achieve an ‘Outstanding’ BREEAM rating at design stage* – the industry-leading environmental assessment rating.

The hotel at St Martins Lane, which cost Whitbread in excess of £30 million to build, includes state of the art heat, cooling and energy saving technologies to drive efficiencies.

BREEAM is a worldwide environmental rating system for buildings and sets the standard for best practice in sustainable building design, construction and operation.

Simon Ewins, Director of CSR at Whitbread Hotels and Restaurants and COO of hub said, “As a global standard, achieving the highest BREEAM rating for a hotel in the UK is a real step-change for the hospitality industry. The rating demonstrates that even with heavy water and energy usage by guests, companies can prioritise sustainability alongside great customer service.”

Gavin Dunn, Director of BREEAM said: “I’d like to offer my congratulations to Whitbread. This is a real achievement at the hub by Premier Inn, Covent Garden. It shows a strong commitment to innovation and sustainability and as the first Outstanding rated hotel in the UK provides an exemplar for the industry as a whole.”

The hotel, which has been designed with innovation, sustainability and user-friendliness in mind, includes lighting and heating in bedrooms, which guests can control from an app.

The heating and cooling for the hotel guestrooms and restaurant is provided by variable refrigerant flow (VRF) air source heat pumps, which incorporate heat recovery technology and result in lower overall carbon emissions, when compared to traditional gas-fired boilers and conventional chillers.

Domestic water is provided by a combined heat and power (CHP) energy saving unit with thermal storage, while low energy LED light fittings have been installed throughout the hotel and restaurant to minimise energy wastage.  

In addition hub team members are trained in energy and water awareness to promote sustainable behaviour and good environmental housekeeping.

Ruth Geeson, Associate Partner at sustainability consultancy Greengage said: “We are very fortunate to have a wide range of clients who, like us, understand the value of sustainability. However the St Martin’s Lane project is a real highlight! Whitbread has entrenched sustainability into every aspect of the project from pre-planning and integrated design through to construction and completion.”


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About Whitbread

Whitbread PLC is the owner of the UK’s favourite hotel chain, Premier Inn and the UK’s favourite coffee shop, Costa, as well as restaurant brands, Beefeater, Brewers Fayre, Table Table and Taybarns.

Whitbread PLC employs 45,000 people in over 2,000* outlets across the UK, with its well-loved brands making every day experiences special for over 24 million UK customers every month.

Whitbread has outlined growth milestones for 2016 and 2018.  The 2018 milestones are to increase the number of Premier Inn UK rooms to around 75,000 and to achieve global system sales of around £2bn for Costa.

At Whitbread we are committed to being a force for good in the communities in which we operate. Our CR programme, 'Good Together' is focused on three pillars of Team & Communities, Customer Wellbeing and Energy & Environment.

In the year ended 27th February 2014, Whitbread PLC reported a 13.0% increase in Group Revenue to £2,294.3 million and Underlying Profit before tax of £411.8 million up 16.5%.

Whitbread PLC is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 100. It is also a member of the FTSE4Good Index.

*excludes Costa Franchise stores and Costa Express


About ‘hub by Premier Inn’:

hub by Premier Inn is a new generation of smartly designed hotels in the heart of the city. Our stylish compact rooms, featuring digitally enhanced connectivity, makes hub by Premier Inn the smart choice for those looking for a contemporary and affordable hotel in a must-have city centre location.

To date, hub by Premier Inn has a committed pipeline of thirteen hotels - with 10 secured sites in London (of which Covent Garden St Martin's Lane is currently the sole trading hotel) and 3 in Edinburgh, equating to more than 2,500 rooms, which contributes to the overall Premier Inn target of 75,000 bedrooms by 2018.


Notes to editors

* The building will undergo a Post-Construction Review, a key element of the BREEAM 2008 methodology, over the next few weeks and they will update on the final certification in the next few weeks

  • A score of 85% must be obtained to achieve Outstanding, compared to 70% for an Excellent rating. 

  • The heating and cooling for the hotel guestrooms and restaurant is provided via VRF air source heat pumps, which incorporate heat recovery technology. By virtue of the high coefficient of performance associated with air source heat pumps, a VRF system results in lower overall carbon emissions than a traditional gas fired boiler and conventional chiller.

  • A market leading CHP energy saving unit with thermal storage has been installed to provide a proportion of the domestic hot water.

  • High efficiency, gas fired water heaters are installed to supplement the CHP and generate domestic hot water.

  • Bedrooms are ventilated using central air handling plant, which incorporates heat recovery between the air paths to ensure energy is retained within the building.

  • The restaurant supply and extract ventilation incorporates heat recovery technology between the air paths to ensure energy is retained within the building.

  • All pipework and ductwork services are thermally insulated to ensure minimal heat loss to save energy.

  • Efficient fabric insulation throughout the building to reduce heat loss.

  • Solar shading and high-insulated windows to reduce cooling requirement.

  • Lighting and heating in bedrooms controlled using innovative guest system.

  • Low energy LED light fittings and lamps have been installed in the restaurant with controls to optimise energy efficiency and minimise energy wastage.

  • Low energy LED light fittings and lamps are installed in the corridors and lift lobbies with PIR controls to optimise energy efficiency and ensure lighting is only used when these areas are occupied.

  • Low energy LED light fittings with dimming and PIR controls are installed within each guest bedrooms to optimise energy efficiency and ensure lighting is only used when rooms are occupied.

  • External photocell controls to outside lights.

  • All pumps and booster sets are fitted with variable speed drives to limit energy usage.

  • A grey water recycling plant collects water from the showers and reuses it for the purposes of flushing toilets, reducing the consumption of fresh potable water at the hotel.

  • Installation of ‘A’ rated refrigerated catering goods and energy efficient catering equipment.

  • All sanitary ware within the development is specified as having low volume flow to ensure water efficiency including reduced capacity showers and dual flush WC's.

  • On site waste & recycling procedures implemented, including colour coded food, mixed recycling & glass bins.

  • Local sourced restaurant products and recycled materials used

  • Team members trained in energy and water awareness to minimise environmental impact and promote sustainable behaviour and good environmental housekeeping.

  • Installation of automated utility meter read data loggers to understand real time energy usage and provide site weekly energy reports.

  • 100% renewable certified electricity supplied to the hotel *

* - "Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) sales of Levy Exempt renewable energy to industrial and commercial customers are sourced from a variety of technologies including Wind, Hydro, Biomass and Landfill gas. All the Levy Exemption Certificates (LECs) that SSE generates from its wholly owned generation and those which are purchased from 3rd parties are placed into a 'pot' of green energy. We then match these purchases against the sales we make ensuring that these numbers balance. We can give our customers a breakdown by technology of where their green supply has come from but we do not stipulate the exact site or technology. You can be assured that the Climate Change Levy Exemption Certificate scheme is fully audited and that SSE meets all the requirements laid down by both the industry regulator OFGEM and HM Customs & Excise."

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