The construction of Emirates’ Wolgan Valley Resort & Spa in the heart of Australia’s Blue Mountains World Heritage Area, the airline’s first luxury conservation-based resort outside Dubai, is reaching completion.
“We are well on schedule for our October 1st soft opening,” said Joost Heymeijer, general manager of Wolgan Valley Resort & Spa. “We have reached that very satisfying point in the development when the hard construction work is behind us and the focus shifts onto detail, quality finishing and preparation for operations.”
With the resort’s electrical and water systems completed, the emphasis is now on each suite’s fit-out and interior design. Half of the one-bedroom suites are already fully furnished, and the remainder will be completed by the end of August. Work is well under way on the Main Homestead, which will be the social centre of the resort. The main pool area and gymnasium, as well as the resort’s luxury Timeless Spa, will be completed by the end of July.
Built on the same principles as Emirates’ acclaimed Al Maha Desert Resort & Spa in Dubai, the resort is fully integrated into its environment. It incorporates as many ecologically sustainable design principles as possible, including rainwater collection, full recycling of all domestic water, heat exchange technology to reduce electricity consumption and the use of solar panels for all hot water systems. The resort has more than 100 solar-energy units, significantly reducing its energy consumption and resources footprint.
Additional measures aimed at reducing the resort’s carbon footprint include efficient room orientation to reduce heating and cooling requirements, modern insulation envelopes and wide traditional verandas, which increase airflow around and through the buildings. The resort even makes use of traditional windmills instead of electrical pumps.
From an architectural perspective, the resort was built with respect to the Australian identity and local rural history. The timeless design, inspired by original Federation style, is reminiscent of traditional rural Australian homesteads. However, it incorporates modern practices to include some of the world’s best environmentally protective building materials and technologies.
From an environment and conservation perspective, landscaping efforts in and around the resort have also been in place from the start of the resort development. A two-year programme for the removal of all invasive and damaging noxious plants from the property was undertaken. Grass has been seeded and 25,000 trees are being planted, using seeds from native species collected onsite and grown at a local nursery in Lithgow.
This ambitious tree-planting programme has been made possible by the support of local volunteers and an international student volunteer organisation, with more than 60 students volunteering time in June and July to assist with the resort’s conservation efforts. Planting is well on target, with more than 20,000 trees planted since the beginning of June.
Wolgan Valley Resort & Spa is built on the same conservation philosophy as the Al Maha Dubai resort and as such is the only resort in recent history to receive permission to be built within a World Heritage Area. Following some of the most rigorous legislation and environmental controls in the world, this project is of extraordinary significance, not just within Australia but on a global level as well.
The resort adheres to World Heritage Committee standards and has exceeded the minimum requirements of construction controls imposed by both State and Federal Agencies – positioning Emirates as the only foreign investor carrier with such level of commitment to Australia.
Via EPR Network