Sustainability at VALO | Hotel & Workspace Helsinki
We dare to completely rethink how workspaces, homes and leisure spaces could be used.
Building and maintaining real estates produce nearly half of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions. Buildings waste resources and energy standing around empty for most of their life cycles. Especially offices and hotels are underused or empty for a large portion of the day. VALO solves the pressing issue of low utilisation rates and reacts to the fast changing world with new and interesting services. Flexibility and sustainability are a vital condition for the future of construction.
Our housekeeping can transform VALO hotel rooms into offices as they are needed. That’s why our hotel isn’t empty during the day and our office isn’t empty during the night. VALO is sustainably in 24H use.
In Every Detail
VALO Hotel & Work was built to be sustainable from details to big picture. It’s in everything from the materials we use to our furniture and the restaurant menu.
VALO Hotel & Work was awarded with a Green Key certificate. We aim to maintain their highest standards.
Our sustainability is based on the concept of dual use. Instead of having a hotel that is empty during the day and an office that’s empty during the nights and weekends, VALO combines the two into one space. It is sustainably in 24H use. The dual use concept can be spied in everything from our restaurant and hotel rooms to event facilities. Even our wellness area can function as an event space as needed.
Our housekeeping can transform VALO hotel rooms into office rooms while doing their routine cleaning, and the space can be rented out as a private office for the day. The bed is simply slid aside and hidden while a desk appears in its stead. Our furniture were carefully chosen to fit both a cosy hotel room and an energetic workspace: the stylish armchair is an ergonomic office chair for the day, the suitcase table a chair for office guests. That’s how our rooms are kept in maximum use throughout the day and saves energy.
Flexibility is built in to our rooms, which is why they can serve completely novel uses like safe private dinner rooms during lockdowns.
We considered an extensive range of needs an office or hotel customer might have. In terms of accommodation the rooms cater to everything from business trips to family vacations. As a workspace they can be a private office room for one just as well as a workshop space for the whole team. This diverse variety of rooms ensure that the maximum number of our 422 rooms are in constant use, and market fluctuation won’t have as much of an effect on us compared to a traditional hotel or office.
MEETING & EVENT FACILITIES
Our event and meeting facilities adjust to a great variety of uses from traditional seminars to workshops and even group accommodation. Vitra’s trapezoid tables can accommodate up to nine different table setups. Adjustable furnishing decreases the amount of additional furniture and storage space needed.
SPACE WHERE IT’S NEEDED
Our 24H use philosophy includes the idea of shearing away unnecessary square meters. Our hotel rooms have no underused and under appreciated seating areas, useless desks and massive bathrooms that waste space, energy and natural resources. The space primarily in use in a hotel room is the bed, so we snipped off other unused spaces and put our energies towards creating a phenomenal bed. The bathroom was condensed into a small and easy to use facility. With the space and resources saved we built a wonderful and spacious wellness area for every one to share.
24H use isn’t just about using space well today, but about using them for a very long time. VALO has a timeless aesthetic, so they won’t have to be redone when fashion changes, and we’ve incorporated a few easy-to-redo surfaces into our rooms. By changing them we can update the look of the room with minimal remodeling.
Sustainability in Every Detail
The smart lighting system provided by Mount Kelvin adjusts to hotel & office use and optimizes energy consumption for the entire building.
Our furniture are mostly from Finnish and Nordic suppliers. Their main material is solid wood because of its minimal carbon footprint. We favoured Finnish woods and local production. When furniture is produces near to its final destination we can avoid the carbon dioxide emissions of transportation.
We’ve paid attention to long-lasting and flexible solutions. For example we designed an entirely detachable upholstery for our chairs which lengthen their lifecycle. Textiles and upholstery in general usually wear down the fastest in chairs especially. The detachable upholstery can be repaired and replaced separately from the furniture itself.
Recycled soda bottles have also been used a s a material for the Emeco chairs in our Work Lounge.
Fixed furniture in our rooms, including desks, sofas and beds, are produced by among others Isku in Lahti, just a. 100 km from VALO.
We’ve chosen materials for VALO based on legal restrictions, sustainability, production methods and production location. Hallways and rooms have long-lasting surface materials that can sustain the luggage and cleaning carts rolling by, as well as general wear and tear. Maintenance frequency is kept at minimum which too helps maintain a smaller carbon footprint. Because trends tend to change and our facilities can transform quite a bit in time, we kept the material styles timeless and appropriate for a variety of uses.
We designed our Smart and Comfort room sinks in collaboration with Woodio, whose material is made of resin and local wood chips. The same material was used to create the beautiful hook hangers on the wall. The stylish sinks in Deluxe rooms are made from Durat, a Finnish material composed of partly recycled plastic.
Our workwear is by a Finnish company and made from natural fibers.
We prefer local and sustainable producers and products. We serve seasonal, local, organic food. Our drink list is composed of local delicacies and European, sustainable, organic wines. We offer vegan options for breakfast, lunch, dinner and drinks. At Bistro ELO we use plastic-free straws and Raaka/Rå tableware from Helsinki.
Green Key Actions | Hotel Helsinki
VALO Hotel & Work has been awarded a Green Key certificate, the highest standards of which we strive to exceed. In addition to above mentioned choices we’ve considered sustainability in our operations.
We continue to reduce the burden on the environment and choose ecological options in our operational activities. As an example, we use towel rolls at hand washing points, the wellness department is heated geothermally, we use 100% green electricity and minimize our electricity use with presence detectors. Our cosmetics are provided in refill bottles from the Finnish eco-friendly natural cosmetics company Ole Hyvä.
Our development plan
- A recorded environmental policy will be made for the hotel
- Management holds regular meetings with the staff to review the hotel’s current environmental work and future measures
- The Environmental Officer in charge shall participate regularly, at least twice a year, in meetings of the management team and present the situation and development of environmental measures
- The Environmental Officer in charge and others working on environmental issues (members of the management team, property maintenance, janitors, reception and kitchen staff) shall receive annual training in environmental matters related to their own work
- The hotel cooperates actively with one or more stakeholders that it defines as being important
- At the hotel, energy saving functions for daily work include:
- Enabling a paperless office
- Minimizing the changing of bed linen and textiles in rooms by instructing guests, for example, on changing towels during longer stays (more than 1 day)
- Room equipment is selected according to sustainable development criteria, for example, by avoiding disposable packaging and favouring ecological materials
- Supporting hotel guests’ familiarisation with their local nature, for example, by using a route map
- VALO Hotel & Work selects a charity cause(s) and commits to working regularly with its staff for charitable causes
- Donations are made in a thoughtful manner and in such a way that the donation benefits the recipient for a long period of time.
- Agreeing on activities and a commitment to reduce the company’s carbon footprint, for example
- Earth Hour campaign
In addition, VALO Hotel & Work has taken the following measures to ensure sustainable development principles already during the construction phase:
- The hotel has its own Environmental Officer in charge
- SSA Hotels has selected sustainable development partners, such as Woodio, which produces ecological wood composite basins for 422 rooms
- The hotel does not sell or display products that endanger the preservation of the local nature or culture
- The hotel implements culturally sustainable tourism in its activities, appreciating and protecting the local culture and the local way of life, and supports the vitality of the area
- The property also has geothermal heat, which enables the energy-efficient heating of the property, including, for example, the heating technology of the relaxation pool
- The use of energy in 422 rooms has been minimised by selecting technology that enables energy saving measures in sectors such as temperature control, air conditioning and lighting