Eco-innovation at dive resort

A Cayman dive resort has made a point of investing heavily in eco-conscious development.

Compass Point Dive Resort’s new 14-room Phase II building not only enhances the product, but also incorporates a slew of sustainable and energy-efficient design initiatives and green features that Stephen Broadbelt of the resort said he was keen to include from the ground up.

“The air conditioning system is the first propane-powered system on the island. It’s a partnership with Home Gas who introduced us to this new-to-the-island technology. It’s 83 per cent more efficient than electric-powered conditioning, so there’s huge efficiency gains. Not only that, but from a cost of energy standpoint, propane is almost 100 per cent efficient and there’s no loss of power as it’s transmitted. It’s also used to heat all of our hot water through an exchanger, so our electricity loads are very low, reducing the need for diesel-generated electricity. The greenhouse gases associated with propane are much less [than other fossil fuels]. It uses no greenhouse gas refrigerants at all; [in other systems] those do leak and cause problems.

“We have a 12-person jacuzzi hot tub by our swimming pool, which is heated from the surplus heat generated by the air conditioning system which even makes it 10 per cent more efficient with this heat recovery. The hot tub is bubbling away like a thermal well; it’s not even under much load right now and it’s 102 degrees, so pretty inviting after this cold weather we’ve been having,” said Mr. Broadbelt.

Energy-management

There’s also an energy-management system, related to touchscreen thermostat systems, which give the opportunity for analysis of usage.

“They’re all wi-fi enabled and connected to the internet. It connects to the weather data so it knows what the temperature is outside, records the use and the temperature inside which helps us analyse the air-con use of the building. More information is better when you’re managing a property.”

Other green elements include rain water harvesting, energy star-rated appliances and ceiling fans, energy-efficient lining, insulated roofs with high reflectance indices and a recycling centre.

There are 14 bedrooms over 10 units in Phase II of the resort, which includes eight one-bedroom units and two three-bedroom suites, which are for sale as vacation rental properties, said Mr. Broadbelt. Phase One consists of 27 bedrooms, making the resort capable of an occupancy of 80 to 100 people over 41 bedrooms, depending on room configuration. The investment could be a real boost to potential visitor numbers for the resort, he concluded.

“Just having the extra room inventory is going to enable us to cater to some groups that we couldn’t accommodate in the past. We’ve turned away business in the past for that reason. The new amenities, the Jacuzzi hot tub and the new swimming pool plus the quality of the rooms are pretty ‘wow’. The feedback from people so far is that they love the rooms and we’re stepping it up a notch. “It all comes down to the East End diving that people are looking for. Right now we’re fully-booked and turning people away because we don’t have enough rooms. What more can I say?”

CompassPt_Story

The new Compass Point development.
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