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Mountains and the modern age: innovative construction at high altitudes

Das Schiestlhaus/A.

Schiestlhaus: Modular timber system makes for short assembly times. © http://www.hausderzukunft.at

The Austrian Tourist Club [Österreichischer Touristenklub] recently opened the first high-alpine passive building, namely the Schiestlhaus am Hochschwab/A at 2,153 m.
The Schiestlhaus was built as part of the "House of the Future" scheme, an initiative by the Ministry of Transport. It is based on an overall ecological concept that integrates aspects such as timber construction in zero-energy house standards, energy self-sufficiency using solar cells to provide hot water and photo-voltaic modules for electricity generation, biological waste water treatment, and rainwater utilisation.
In the Grisons Alps/CH the Kesch Hut makes use of active and passive solar technology for heating, lighting, hot water and in part also for cooking. The planned Monte Rosa Hut/CH at an altitude of 2,795 m is to be 90% energy self-sufficient thanks to an integrated water and material cycle that includes a biogas plant.
Source and information: www.hausderzukunft.at/results.html/id2765 (de/en); www.kesch.ch (de/en), www.ethlife.ethz.ch/articles/tages (de)