The emergence of sustainable design in interior design projects (small hotels)
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Sustainability has become a major concern in recent years. Consequently, there has been an emergence of sustainable designs in several interior design projects, particularly for small hotels. This research used Winchip’s sustainable strategies as a framework to determine how these hotels applied to sustainability practices in interior design and analyze users’ perceptions, attitudes and awareness of sustainable designs. Semi-structured interviews, open-end questions and observations were conducted. Three hotels were selected according to the criteria that firstly, located at the center of Thailand and nearby. Secondly, provided room services less than 30 rooms. Thirdly, used sustainable design concept in areas of space utilization, energy, water, material and resource. Finally, started business more than one year. Therefore, the interviews were arranged with the four owners of these three hotels. Furthermore, nine users who were stay over at least two nights and attended at least one eco-tourism activity were collected. The results showed 88 percent of sustainable design features in hotel A was complied with Winchip’s sustainable strategies while 81 percent and 100 percent were complied in hotel B and hotel C respectively. The major results showed the following:
• Site investigation and exploration begin before a project starts. This includes the study of the effect on the site’s surroundings, ecology and the local community.
• The majority of the hotels apply energy efficiently in areas of passive design and energy efficient products. However, only some use a renewable energy system.
• Water efficiency is practiced in terms of water efficient products, but few hotels apply a passive design, water re-use and recycling.
• The hotels use sustainable design materials and resources for acoustical ceiling products, wall coverings, floors and furnishings.
• Indoor environmental quality (IEQ), space utilization and user involvement in sustainable practice are employed by all the hotels.
• The hotels provide green areas for users and their own purposes, such as local gardens and organic vegetable gardens. In addition, they support activities related to sustainability, such as canal rubbish collecting.
• The users are impressed by the hotels’ sustainable designs and have a positive attitude toward the hotels.
• Most of the users have a clear perception of eco-friendly and sustainable designs.
Moreover, the users are fully aware of sustainability and apply it in their lives; for example, by using their own containers and not using plastic bottles. However, a few users are not interested in this issue.
The interior design components that the hotels employed complied with Winchip’s sustainable strategies framework. Moreover, this research discovered that the hotels serve as local sustainability learning centers that educate customers and local people. This influence and impact on people’s behavior may lead to social change.