Posted on February 1, 2018
Why Me is the first eco-friendly hostel in Tbilisi and in whole Georgia. The path which was leading us to our goals took us 7 years. In this blog I will tell you how we started.
The first idea to create a hostel came up in 2009. A business plan was created and a cost calculation was made. The next step was to find the right location. We started looking for a plot of land where we could built our hostel. Unfortunately we had to give up on this idea very fast. The plots of lands were far away from city center or extremely expensive so we decided to find an old house and rebuild it into a Eco-friendly hostel.
One of our wishes was to be located between airport and city center. Another wish was to be close to a metro station. We were checking out houses and plots of lands from the closest metro station to the airport till the metro stations in the center. Finally our choice fell on a house next to the metro station Varketili. Only 200 meters away from the metro station and right in the middle between the airport and city center.
The ideas of a sustainable building are not well-known in Tbilisi and not at all when you take a look at the country Georgia. Many battles had to be won. First of all our project was denied by the city hall. We had to change the way to be sustainable and be able to apply for a building permit at the city hall. After discussing some issues with experts in Norway, the Netherlands and Germany we found ways to be sustainable and have a good project to be accepted by the local government. This was a very long process, but finally after three times we got a building permit.
After our hard time to get a building permit we faced the fact that we couldn't find a contractor with experience in sustainable building. We decided to move on and taking the control of the whole building process. Rosik, one of the founders of Why Me, took the control to instruct all builders and workers. There were two mayor problems, language and technical knowledge. Inna, the director and founder of Why Me, started translating for Rosik. Translating technical instructions was very hard and our hired team of workers were not happy in learning new things. Many times the workers asked "why do you need it?". Our answer was to make better use of natural resources and save our beautiful nature. The team of workers didn't care this at all and were not happy to do all in a different way.
There was a moment that Rosik had to go to work in the Netherlands and the rebuilding process was somehow controlled through Skype. On the screen all looked good till the moment Rosik came back from the Netherlands. Once Rosik started checking on site a lot of mistakes were found. We realized that most of rebuilding has to be done by our hands. When Rosik went back to the Netherlands he attended evening school to get knowlegde and practical experience with plumbing, floor heating and solar energy.
Rosik came back from the Netherlands and started solving all problems. One of the biggest problems we had there was no water pressure on the second floor. We calculated the diameter of the pipes needed and realized that the team of workers used too small pipes. We exchange the small main pipe into a bigger one and made three connections on it for the boiler, first floor and second floor. The water pressure was too high and we installed a presure reducer. All problems with the water supply were solved.
After all renovations we finally could start up our hostel. All the Eco-friendly sytems, filters, tabs, furniture, mattresses, pillows and linen which are used to finish and equip the hostel were brought from Europe. The hostel opened its doors and welcomed its first guest in July 2016.
Our main goal is from the very beginning to protect nature and make sure that our guests will love their stay at Why Me Tbilisi.