NEW YORK—The Light Human Hotel, a new eco-friendly brand and concept created by two France-based entrepreneurs—Jean-Pierre Bandeira, CEO of Light Human Hotel and Julien Veyron, Architect and CEO of atelier arcau—will make its first appearance in the United States later this year in Miami. That 80-room hotel on Collins Ave. will be the first of now eight Light Human Hotel properties to open. Additional hotels are planned in the next few years for Miami, San Antonio, Los Angeles, New York, Sao Paulo, Antibes, Rio de Janeiro and London.
Bandeira says Light Human Hotels will go beyond LEED in regard to building health and efficiency. Designed for both new construction and retrofits, Light Human Hotels will offer electric vehicle charging stations, optional housekeeping in some cases, farm to table restaurants, fitness centers with bicycles that generate electricity, and the integration of “live” plants into exterior building features.
“Light Human Hotel is not a generic brand of hotel,” Veyron says. “Our vision is that Light Human Hotels are shaped for people to live, to share, to work and to have fun together. Light Human Hotels are designed for people and that’s the reason why they are sustainable places with well-being as a key factor not only for guests, but for the staff and for the local community in the neighbourhood also. In that sense, as human beings are at the heart of the design process, Light Human Hotels are bio-climatic places to live. It means that even if all technology and significant innovation can be considered for the operation, each of the buildings is also shaped with the common sense of elders.
Construction Approach Driven by Climate
“A Light Human Hotel in New York will not be the same as another one in Miami,” Veyron adds. “Why? Because the first one will be in a particular context with a continental climate and the second one will be into another context influenced by tropical. It means that in a hot climate, a Light Human Hotel will ideally be built with very thick walls, with few windows and naturally ventilated and in a colder climate, it will be better to use a dry process framework with big windows to use the advantage of passive solar gains.”
Designed with Millennials in mind, Light Human Hotels will provide healthy food and atmosphere, and visual and acoustic comfort. “Light Human Hotels are vibrant and breathing buildings connected with nature,” Veyron says.
When asked what exactly will make Light Human Hotels energy efficient, Veyron offered the following response: “The best way to be energy efficient and low carbon producing is to have lower needs of energy. The bioclimatic process including orientation of the building, nature of the skin, size of the windows, choice of solar protection, natural ventilation…is the first fundamental option for each hotel and it has to be adapted to each specific context (new building, existing building, climate…). We use natural local resources to optimize and produce less carbon. In Florida for instance, we will use the natural wind to ventilate. Less technology and more common sense.”
Veyron says Light Human Hotels will use natural options instead of mechanical systems. “For instance, in a hot climate, thermal chimneys evacuate naturally hot air from down to top of the building and guarantee a good comfort without any mechanical system,” he says. “In some particular cases, geothermal solutions will be the best option. Every particular project will get the optimal answer depending on local natural resources.”
Generous Use of Trees, Plants
In regard to water efficiency, all guestrooms (bathrooms) will be equipped with a body dryer, which means that there will be a huge reduction in water needs (towel is an option). “As we believe nature is important in people’s lives, we will introduce generous plants and trees in the inside and outside of the building…again, vegetal strategy is shaped depending on local climate and essences… As often as possible, we will recover rainwater and stock it in water tanks for plant watering.”
Light Human Hotels will use as much local and eco-friendly materials as possible. For the operation, everything has been developed with waste reduction in mind. Hotels will serve food in traditional “Kilner style” preserving jars. In French these are called “bocaux.” Hence the name of restaurants will be “BOCO.” The jars are totally recyclable. Spa amenities will have minimal packaging and staff will be trained to recycle.
When asked to what degree the choice of materials will be driven by the need to maintain superior indoor air quality, Veyron says, “All Light Human Hotels will be customized in order to be built with local stuff. As we are looking for authenticity, all kinds of materials that were used by the pioneers of the local territory will be used and transcended: stone, local timber without chemical treatment, solvent-free paints…We still have a lot to learn through Pachamama (Mother Nature) and centuries of know-how from our ancestors.”
‘Kids Bar’ for Children
Lobby areas will feature different spaces for different interest groups. A “Kids Bar” will be a place for children to play. Floors will be dedicated to families with children.
There is flexibility in regard to how one brands a Light Human Hotel. For example, there could be a Light Human Hotel “by your brand” or one could even be more subtle with the Light Human Hotel connection. A flat fee includes brand license and architecture and design, operations model and brand mix. In a document prepared for Light Human Hotels, Veyron explained: “Light Human Hotel is the first concept launched by the company. The concept is very flexible: it fits for 4 to 5 stars hotels. The brand and its guideline use is adapted for independent hotels, for operators and for big brands as it can be used as a brand, as a concept by the operator brand or as a concept for another hotel brand.”
Bandeira says it took nine months to create the Light Human Hotel concept—at a cost of just $200,000. “We want to do things differently from what the market is doing today,” he emphasized. “The priority is to show people something different.”
Light Human Hotel will not manage properties. Management companies selected so far include Trust Hospitality and Intercity Hotels.
Go to Light Human Hotel.
Glenn Hasek can be reached at email@example.com.