Roca del Este 1, Cuba

Project Details

  • Scheme & Version: BREEAM Internacional Nueva Construcción 2013
  • Certification Stage: Interim Certificate: Design Stage
  • Rating: Good
  • Overall Score: 52.8%


Project Team

  • Developer / Client: ALMEST
  • Architect: EDIN / Bouygues Bâtiment International
  • Building Services: EDIN
  • Constructor: AEI UCM-BBI
  • Assessor Company: Bouygues Bâtiment International

About the Project

Roca del Este 1  is a five-star hotel, comprising 635 rooms, 5 restaurants, 3 buffets, bars, swimming pools, a gymnasium, tennis courts and a children playground, built over a 12 hectares land by the sea.

Roca del Este 1 is the second construction project located in this small island of Cayo Paredón Grande in Cuba, and the first one aiming to achieve BREEAM requirements.

5 mains objectives have been identified for this project:

1. Ensure a healthy and safe working environment throughout the construction process.

2. To create a hotel that will adapt to its environment – by aiming to preserve the local flora and fauna, and to have as little impact as possible on the existing ecosystems.

3.Building a hotel that will be able to withstand the inclement weather and common threats of the region such as, hurricanes and rising sea levels.

4. To build a hotel that will run on low operating and maintenance costs.

5. That the hotel’s design will allow both guests and employees to enjoy spaces for well-being with a high degree of comfort.

Key Features of the Project

For the construction site:

  • Follow up weekly and monthly reports to guarantee a safe and clean site during construction.
  • Reuse of on-site materials that would usually be thrown away, e.g. wood from packaging used for the protection of finished works, or aluminium reused for dry wall structure.
  • Waste management, including chemical waste. We have an anti-contamination dispositive available on site where risks have been identified.
  • Use of an innovative equipment for cleaning paint brushes utilising a closed-circuit water system.
  • Follow up on power and water consumption. We have installed energy saving features like PIR to control light and AC temperature limit set up to 24 °C.
  • Thermal control of the main provisory electrical boards to avoid fire risk.
  • Reuse of pluvial water for carwash station.
  • Decantation tank with underground spreading dispositive for wastewater from the temporary site office facilities.
  • Weekly training on specific tasks for the local workforce done by a specialist.


For the project:

  • Creation of vegetation islands: Hurricane Irma hit in 2017 causing widespread destruction across the region. This project will provide us with the opportunity to reintroduce some of the flora and fauna which was dramatically lost after Irma.
  • The footprint occupied by the buildings is less than 30% of the overall site, going beyond the national regulation.
  • Use of bidirectional floor for the main building
  • Charging points for electric vehicles and bicycle stands are installed to reduce the use of private transport.

The following water consuming components installed are proved to considerably reduce water consumption (non-exhaustive list):

  • Mixer tap in the rooms with a flow rate of 3/min.
  • Dry urinal system used.
  • Dual flow flush for WC (4,5 / 3L).
  • Shower with flow rate of 8L/min.
  • Industrial dishwasher: 3,5L/cycle.
  • Industrial glasswasher: 2,2L/cycle.
  • Water consumption of each area of the building is monitored by the BMS, with a leak detection system.


Air Conditioning Systems:

  • For the rooms that are located in independents buildings (304 rooms), Split System with inverter are installed. This will allow to save a 30% of electric consumption regarding the usual split system used so far.
  • For all the main buildings, encompassing 331 rooms, fan-coils are provided, using a central water-cooling production system (6 chillers).
  • Each chiller comes with a heat recovery system, allowing production of hot water up to 55 °C which covers the normal needs of hot water for the hotel.
  • Two gas boilers have been added to complete the hot water production if needed, but also to allow an increase of temperature up to 70 °C in case of contamination of the system with legionella.
  • Thanks to this central production of cool and hot water located in the service area at ground level, we don’t have to install a local system on the roof of each building, where the material is too exposed to natural events.
  • Sensors are installed on the bay windows of each room to turn off the air conditioning equipment in case of opening.
  • The categories with the most credits achieved were Management, Energy, Health and Well-being, and Materials.

Environmental Challenges and Green Strategy

The project is located by the beach, surrounded by a lagoon on an island situated 20 miles from the mainland, making it unique in its location.

Prior to construction beginning there was no existing utilities network, everything had to be built to supply power, water, evacuate sewage and treat water. Thus, everything that could make the hotel’s construction and operation less water and electricity consuming was a big plus.

Out of the BREEAM categories, Management and Energy Efficiency are the targets on which the project performed the highest. Thanks to these targets, solutions were found at the design stage.

Regarding water consumption, 165,000 litres will be saved per day thanks to the irrigation system supplied by reused water and rainwater (Capacity Cisterna of Reused water: 165m3, Capacity Cisterna Pluvial Water: 165 m3).

Additionally, with the installation of water consuming components with low consumption in all rooms, it will be possible to save 12,000 litres of water per day.


What are the benefits of gaining BREEAM certification

Taking into consideration that the project is developed by our client without having a tenant when it starts, it is important to show to the future tenant that this hotel is up to date and will last long for low and managed cost of running. BREEAM is an international and highly recognised certification, therefore having this project certified, will give it visibility and trust regarding the level of quality achieved.

-Julien Delamare, Project M&E senior manager