Under Construction in Poland

Currently nearing completion and making a dramatic addition to the skyline of Poland's capital city

Its 45 storey tower features a 15 floor section carved from the middle and, when it opens in Warsaw this November, the five-star InterContinental hotel will consist of 328 rooms, a presidential suite and 78 apartments for longer-term occupation. It is located three minutes from the main station, opposite the 235-metre high Palace of Culture & Science which dates back to Stalin's era.

As Warsaw's tallest building, the hotel is not only a landmark in the heart of the city's central business district but is being built to exacting environmental standards with the aim of minimising waste and maximising the use of environmentally-preferable materials.

The hotel's impressive facade features glass, stone and aluminium with mineral wool insulation, enabling it to meet stringent Polish thermal insulation code requirements. The windows are all double-glazed with efficient solar protective coating. The south and east-facing elevations are also equipped with passive solar protection through the use of various louvre systems which will reduce over-heating and prevent unnecessary use of the air-conditioning system.

All the engineering installations meet the energy conservation measures specified in the InterContinental standards manuals. For example, the building uses district heating from the immediate neighbourhood, environmentally responsible refrigerants and comprehensive heat recovery systems. High levels of insulation were specified to pipework and ductwork to reduce system losses and the air handling units are fitted with heat recovery thermal wheels.

Air-cooled condensers have replaced cooling towers, while boilers, distribution pumps and the principal main plant are designed to work with low output fuels and energy-saving features to reduce electrical consumption.

The building's mechanical equipment will be monitored and controlled by a comprehensive building management system (BMS) to gain maximum efficiency from the hotel's systems. Water and electrical supplies to main departments will be sub-metered so that actual consumption can be measured and targets for reduction set. The environment in vacant rooms and public areas around the building can be controlled separately to deliver heating and/or cooling as required.

The hotel will also benefit from effective commissioning of the mechanical systems, an important requirement for achieving energy efficiency in large and complex buildings. Balancing the various installations for effective delivery of specified capacities ensures optimum energy consumption.

All the materials used in the construction are CFC-free and non-toxic paints and finishes wiII be used throughout. Water consumption will be reduced through the use of limited-flush WC cisterns.

The new hotel stands on the former site of the legendary jazz club 'Aquarius', and in keeping with this, a jazz cafe forms part of the ground floor. It will have twelve conference rooms, an executive lounge, a 24-hour business centre and a ballroom as well as a swimming pool and fitness club on the upper floors with breathtaking views over the city.

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