Zeal Hotels has announced the topping out of its net zero carbon hotel, voco Zeal Exeter Science Park, in Exeter, UK.

The hotel is on track to complete construction in December 2024, with an official opening slated for January 2025.

 This four-star, 142-bedroom establishment is being built with half the embodied carbon of a typical hotel and will generate all its electricity needs through photo voltaic roof and wall panels, thereby aligning with the 2050 Paris Agreement requirements and exceeding 2030 targets.

The construction of voco Zeal Exeter Science Park, which has achieved the BREEAM Outstanding rating at the design stage, is progressing as planned, currently in week 39 of a 75-week construction programme.

Zeal Hotels has entered into an exclusive agreement with IHG, making this upcoming hotel the first net zero carbon hotel under the IHG brand.

Strategically located less than a mile from Exeter Airport, the hotel will be managed by Valor Hospitality.

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It aims to be a fully sustainable operation, with a commitment to sourcing produce locally or growing it on-site.

The hotel is expected to stimulate economic growth in the area through job creation and investment while attracting environmentally conscious guests.

Working in collaboration with RED Construction South West, a division of RED Construction Group, Zeal Hotels is focusing on reducing emissions to establish a leading sustainable hotel brand. This approach prioritises emission reduction over offsetting, ensuring that guest experience and comfort are not compromised.

Zeal Hotels is adopting a full life cycle approach to sustainability, holding itself accountable for Scope 1 and 2 emissions, as well as Scope 3 emissions, which include those from construction and operational supply chains.

Zeal Hotels managing director Tim Wheeldon said: “We are thrilled to have reached this milestone on the road towards completing our first net zero carbon hotel and it is a testament to the dedication of the team at Red Construction South West that we have arrived at this point ahead of schedule.

“We are also tracking ahead of future sustainable goals, having achieved the 2030 sustainability target for carbon emissions during construction and are forecast to hit the 2050 target for energy use during operation. Both are huge goals and in part, are due to the fact the hotel will be generating more solar energy than it will actually use. 

“Our journey towards this point dates back more than a decade, when we realised that we needed to take action to try address and reduce the hotel sector’s role in climate change. We hope to inspire others by proving that affordable hotels can also be responsible.”