Universal Beijing Resort is certified LEED Gold using the LEED for Cities and Communities rating system– the world’s first theme park resort destination to earn such recognition. The certification comes after years of dedicated planning and work to create a more environmentally friendly and community-driven resort destination.
The certification comes ahead of Universal Beijing Resort’s is set to open and marks an important step for the destination, its guests and team members and the community.
LEED – or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design – one of the world’s most widely used environmental sustainability rating systems for cities and communities, setting global standards for measurable strategies that improve sustainability and quality of life. The programme encourages and rates progress toward specific plans for reducing carbon footprint and energy use. It also rates water, waste and transportation initiatives and other factors that contribute to overall quality of life. LEED for Cities and Communities evaluates natural systems and ecology, transportation and land use, water efficiency, energy and greenhouse gas emissions, materials and resources, and quality of life.
Andrew Eitingon, deputy general manager of Beijing International Resort., said: “Universal Beijing Resort seamlessly implements the city sub-centre’s green city vision from planning through construction and operation with the goal of achieving environment-friendly and sustainable development. Universal Beijing Resort strives to implement innovative measures, using best-practice standards with the end result being a green, energy-saving, and environment-friendly addition to the city. We will continue to work hard to safeguard the blue skies, white clouds, clear water, and green mountains that surround Beijing.”
“We have worked to plan and create a theme park resort destination that is good for the environment, good for our guests and team members and good for our community,” said Tom Mehrmann, general manager of Beijing International Resort, Theme Park and Resort Management Branch. “This is an ongoing effort that will continue long after certification. Our guests, team members and community residents will directly benefit from what we are doing.”
“The work of the team at Universal Beijing Resort is historic and will be a driving force in ensuring a more sustainable future for all of us,” said Andy To, managing director, North Asia, GBCI who leads GBCI’s presence in China. “By becoming the first theme park destination in the world to achieve LEED Gold certification using the LEED for Cities and Communities rating system, Universal Beijing Resort is creating a healthier environment and improving the quality of life for its guests, team members and community residents. It is setting a new level of excellence that can become an example for us all.”
From the earliest stages of planning Universal Beijing Resort, there was focus on reducing environmental impact and carbon footprint while enhancing quality of life and experience for guests and for resort team members and the community. Universal Beijing Resort’s planning team began this initiative with a comprehensive study of the local ecosystem. That study helped shape plans to address and mitigate environmental impact and guided decisions on everything from storm water management, use of native plants and support of wildlife habitat. It also helped the planning team incorporate green efforts into the everyday guest experience.
Highlights of the recognised efforts by the Resort include:
- Green Space
The resort has more than 170 hectares of green space – which is nearly 60 percent more than required to meet LEED certification. Native landscaping has been used to create a continuous green environment – providing natural breaks from structures and guest areas. The resort uses native plants from local nurseries for landscaping and supports enhancing wildlife habitat and guest attraction experiences with reduction in pesticide and fertilizer use. Besides, the green space will benefit both guests and community residents: a resort waterway and accompanying pedestrian walk will be available for both guests and community residents.
Planners at Universal Beijing Resort used international water quality standards to design the resort’s water system and filtration process to provide drinking water for guests and team members. More than 2.7 billion liters of water will be reclaimed on an annual basis – resulting in significant savings of fresh water. At the same time, the standard for reusable water on-site that meet human health and safety levels has been increased. As additional efforts, Universal Beijing Resort also uses on-site anaerobic digesters to process all the food waste.
- Energy and GHG emissions:
The Resort’s greenhouse gas emissions are less than half of the allowed per capita requirement in the LEED Cities and Communities Standard, which is achieved by utilization of energy efficient infrastructure such as combined cooling heat and power (CCHP), solar PV system and recycling of waste, etc.
- Quality of Life
Universal Beijing Resort closely partnered with government to create new public transit offerings for the entire community, including a metro station for two lines including the east extension of subway Line 7 and the south extension of Batong Line, and new bus stops and routes and electric shuttle buses for team members. There are also extensive walkways and bike lanes for the use of team members, guests and community residents. Additionally, the resort also provides on-site housing built to the highest energy standards for more than 8000 team members each of whom will have their own room. This increases quality of life for team members and, because of the reduced commute, also reduces demand on the area’s transportation infrastructure. Universal Beijing Resort has also reached partnerships with more than 30 local schools to create special tourism industry coursework so area residents can prepare for a career in tourism.
In addition to the above recognised efforts by LEED, Universal Beijing Resort attaches great importance to environmental protection throughout its construction process. With the health and safety of visitors and the creation of an international first-class theme park and resort in mind, Universal Beijing Resort requires the soil in the entire 4 square kilometre site to be pollution-free. It’s not only the original soil on site that must pass pollutant detection and reach required standards, but purchased soil must also be tested and qualified before entering the site. In terms of soil treatment, the resource conversion rate of Universal Beijing Resort has reached 97%, directly benefiting from the country’s first in-situ soil treatment line for construction waste developed by the resource processing company for this project. The treatment line can convert large blocks of construction waste excavated on site into soil that can be directly used for backfilling, further avoiding a series of environmental problems, such as road debris, traffic congestion, tail gas pollution, land occupation and construction waste that could have been caused in the construction process. This innovative process is the first of its kind in China, and has set an example in the construction industry of the capital.
Located in Beijing Tongzhou Cultural Tourism Zone, Universal Beijing Resort occupies a site of 400 hectares (1,000-acre) in the strategic central area of total about 1,200 hectares (approx. 3,000 acres). Universal Beijing Resort always strives to become a new cultural and tourism landmark in Beijing and the new model adhering to sustainable development, demonstrating excellent environmental protection, science and technology, humanities and creativity.