The hotel industry is booming in Africa
A number of international investors are set to expand into Africa, creating a boom in tourism in the country. It has recently been announced that InterContinental Hotel Group (IHG) will be building six new hotels within the country, adding to its current portfolio in Asia and the Middle East.
The new hotels will provide increased number of construction roles and permanent employee roles upon completion. Additionally, Cape Town will be home to Africa’s first Radisson Red Hotel, which will employ up to 100 people. Situated close to Cape Town Airport, the hotel will embed a number of first class technologies and provide stunning views of the local landscape, whilst providing quality services to guests.
Steady progress is also being made surrounding sustainable building in the country, linking with the tourism industry and Africa Responsible Tourism Awards. Cape Town’s Hotel Verde has recently become the first hotel in the world to become double-platinum green building certified, providing a benchmark within African building and construction.
Samantha Annandale, CEO of Verde Hotels said, "Going green is not just about the building, it’s also about every aspect of the operation. As part of Hotel Verde, Cape Town’s commitment to being “Africa’s greenest hotel,” management is committed to following the principal tenets of sustainable procurement, to minimize their environmental impact, to maximize wider social benefits and of course, ensuring the wellbeing and future of our employees."
A recent study has found over 300 projects under contract in Africa, including projects in construction, final planning and planning stages, excluding unconfirmed projects.
Source: STR / report as of March 2017, activity reported through February 2017
Under Contract data includes those projects in the In Construction, Final Planning and Planning stages
Consequently, South African hotel and retail operator Tsogo Sun has also announced that it is willing to sell over 30 hotels to the Hospitality Property Fund in order to gain a larger stake in the Fund and further increase profits, according to African Business Magazine. Presently, the company has two hotels under construction in Cape Town, further cementing their presence in the region and highlights the company’s expansion plans and increase profits long-term through developing its operations further into other sectors.
Skanska invests $225m in Houston office project
Skanska is investing US$225m in an office development project, 1550 on the Green in Houston, with construction expected to begin in June and scheduled to be completed in 2024.
The construction contract is worth US$125M, which will be included in the Q2 order bookings. International law firm Norton Rose Fulbright has signed a 15-year lease for about 30 percent of the building.
Located at 1550 Lamar Street, adjacent to Discovery Green, in downtown Houston, Skanska plans to develop and build a 28-floor, 34,800 square meter office tower.
1550 on the Green will be the first part of a three-block master plan by Skanska, which will transform the parcels into a distinguished district known as Discovery West and consist of 3.5 acres of mixed-use development full of restaurants, retail and lush green space. The project will target LEED and WiredScore Platinum certifications.
Since 2009, Skanska has invested a total of US$2.8 billion in commercial and multi-family projects, creating more than 1 million square meters of sustainable and community focused developments in select U.S. markets. Skanska USA had sales of SEK66 billion in 2020 with 7,600 employees in its operations.
Skanska’s flagship London office has set the standard in sustainable workspaces by becoming the first in the UK to achieve WELL Platinum under the new v2 pilot scheme.
The accreditation from the International WELL Building Institute (IWBI) was awarded through the v2 pilot, the newest version of the WELL Building Standard. It looks at all building features and management processes – from air and water quality to lighting, acoustics, nutrition, thermal comfort and mental wellbeing. It’s widely recognised as the industry yardstick for measuring how workspaces can contribute to the wellbeing of occupants.
The offices – which span three floors of the newly developed 51 Moorgate – contain floor-to-ceiling windows for extensive natural light, dedicated wellbeing and quiet spaces, as well as stringent air and water quality monitoring, among a range of other features that have helped earn the standard.
The company has also been exploring drone flights for use in industrial environments.
Peter Cater, Development Manager, said it was invited to carry out trials because of its use and knowledge of drone capability. "The trials have benefited everyone involved: sees.ai get to test their equipment and remote use of the drones and we get access to accurate, real-time data on our construction activities which benefits us and our customer, the Defence Infrastructure Organisation."
“Projects like this – at the forefront of innovation – go to show what an exciting industry construction is to be involved in. We are always looking for innovative ways of working, ways to be more sustainable so we can find better solutions for our customers. These trials are just one small part of our digital transformation journey.”