In an increasingly competitive serviced apartment sector, providers may view going greener as a means of cutting operational costs, while also appealing to customers’ environmental sensibilities.
For brothers Amil and Sharif Khan, founders of KF Development, which operates two short-stay brands, Central Shorts and its flagship “green” property Atria Residences, it’s part of their company’s DNA. In what they see as the ultimate in recycling, the brothers restore older buildings, rather than tearing down and building anew, and adopt sustainable practices wherever possible.
In Atria Residences, at 29-31 Aberdeen St Central, 11 luxury apartments are set beneath a grassy rooftop, which reduces the heat inside the top two floors by 25 to 30 per cent, have double-glazed windows, energy-efficient appliances and an environmentally-friendly fit out, which includes natural materials such as bamboo, low volatile-organic-compound paints, and low-flow shower heads. Winning the prestigious BCI Green Design award for Residential Architecture and the Hong Kong Award for Environmental Excellence (HKAEE) in Property Management in 2010 spurred further initiatives in the daily operations of properties in the Khans’ portfolio, such as responsible disposal of waste and healthier cleaning practices.
KF Development trialled green ideas in its “concept” building on Lyndhurst Terrace in 2009, which, like Atria, was an older-style tenement building which the company renovated. “We decided to adapt as many eco-features as we could, while retaining as many of the structural aspects of the buildings as possible,” Amil Khan says. For the Lyndhurst Terrace property this included solar panels to power lighting in the common areas and passive solar water heating.
The Khans see it as their responsibility, as owners, to minimise the carbon footprint of their buildings. They also believe that a greener environment elevates the lifestyle experience for residents.
“The design of the apartments is aesthetically pleasing – natural materials such as bamboo flooring are beautiful,” Khan says. While the benefit to brand value is harder to quantify, he believes residents do appreciate the more holistic approach.
“There is a broad understanding now of the impact of one’s carbon footprint, and I believe our residents are mindful that that is something we are trying to mitigate.”
Source: South China Morning Post