You’ll notice that stone and wood dominate the structures, natural materials that are not only renewable, but have also proven through history to be excellent insulators. Metal roofs direct rainwater and deflect heat and are built to last a half-century or longer. You might recognize that the structures are oriented to harness the sun’s power, taking advantage of natural light—maximizing gain and minimizing loss through the smart placement of glass. Solar panels on the roof capture and store energy for use on the property.
Below ground, geothermal systems utilize green technology to take advantage of heat found deep in the earth, and variable refrigerant flow heat pumps in individual rooms manage HVAC systems to conserve energy. As hood vents in the kitchens exhaust hot air, the outside air coming in to replace it has already been conditioned.
In fact, each room of every building at Southall can be controlled remotely, from the lights to the shades to the thermostat. Nighttime in the offices and unoccupied spaces finds the system returning to pre-set conservation modes; the same thing happens when guests check out of rooms and cottages. By the time you have arrived, everything has been returned to just the right comfort level.
On the operations side, you’ll see sustainability manifested in small ways, such as glass water bottles for spring water, instead of the ubiquitous plastic ones that litter the roadsides and oceans. All disposable food and beverage serving materials are composted, along with any food waste; just beyond view is a state-of-the-art recycling and composting facility.
It’s seen in the laundry systems, the timers on lights, and the sensors that know which side of the building the sun is beaming down on and react accordingly. But it’s also in the labor controls that all these initiatives deliver—smart energy systems mean that a staff member doesn’t have to visit each vacant room to turn the lights off and change the thermostat. The more we can manage emissions and energy use, take advantage of the benefits nature provides, and reduce the human impact, the better.