The Brando resort aiming to become world's first sustainable design certified resort

by Helen Andrews | 10 Apr 2014

The Brando eco-resort, opening this July in French Polynesia, is planning to become the first resort in the world to obtain Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum certification.

Previously owned by Marlon Brando, the island of Tetiaroa features aDeep Nature spa called the Varua Polynesian Spa, built on a freshwater lake. Designed by Lonsdale Western Design, the spa will feature its own Varua-branded skin care products.

There are three double spa suites which blend into their natural surroundings – one of which is located six metres above the ground and nested in the trees above. Holistic treatments inspired by international and Polynesian techniques will be on offer, in addition to two steam baths and a plunge facility.

The site also features a waterfall, tea lounge, two private relaxation areas and a private studio where specific treatments and yoga sessions will be carried out.

The certification is the highest accolade for the design, construction, operation, and maintenance of green buildings, homes and neighbourhoods available. Several architects are involved in the 35-villa resort’s construction including Pierre Jean Picart, Atoll Architecture and Gilles Leborgne from ID associés.

CEO Richard Bailey of developer Pacific Beachcomber is leading the project to make the resort fully self-sustaining with renewable sources of non-fossil energy.

"There’s nothing like the Brando in the world,” Bailey told Spa Opportunities. "The vision was to create a plan for Tetiaroa’s development with the purpose of protecting its cultural richness, natural beauty and incredible biodiversity to provide an opportunity to get to know the place and the people of French Polynesia. We hope The Brando will show a way for future resort development."

Bailey has had previous success in other environmental protection developments. One example is the InterContinental Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa that is the first resort in the world to feature the innovative and eco-friendly Sea Water Air Conditioning (SWAC) system which uses very cold, deep-seawater to cool the hotel.

SWAC deploys a 7,874ft (2,399m) pipe to a depth of more than 3,000ft (914m) which then feeds cold seawater through a titanium heat exchanger, transferring the cold temperatures into the freshwater circuit delivering air conditioning to the hotel – before returning the seawater back into the ocean.

Pacific Beachcomber says the system has zero impact on the environment, is quiet and requires almost no energy to bring the deep-seawater to the surface. Additionally, it produces no carbon dioxide or other greenhouse gasses. The system saves 90 per cent of the electricity consumed by a conventional cooling system of similar capacity.

Pacific Beachcomber concludes that the system’s reduction of carbon dioxide emissions is equivalent to approximately 2.5 million litres of fuel oil imports per year to French Polynesia.

Back at The Brando, the same air-conditioning system is being implemented and the use of renewable energies – such as solar energy and coconut oil – mean that the resort is close to total carbon neutrality and complete self-sustainability.

Pacific Beachcomber has also introduced an EcoStation on the island for scientists and researchers to aid global understanding and wise management of tropical island socio-ecosystems. The nonprofit cultural and scientific organisation, Tetiaroa Society, will be entrusted with the operation of this facility which includes both wet and dry laboratories plus accommodation.

The Brando eco-resort, opening this July in French Polynesia, is planning to become the first resort in the world to obtain Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum certification. Previously owned by Marlon Brando, the island of Tetiaroa features a Deep Nature spa called the Varua Polynesian Spa, built on a freshwater lake. Designed by Lonsdale Western Design, the spa will feature its own Varua-branded skin care products. There
Pacific Beachcomber's innovative eco-friendly deep-seawater air conditioning system is being used at The Brando / The Brando / Deep Nature
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