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New Monte Rosa Hut awarded 2010 Solar Prize


An SAC hut with 120 beds faces enormous challenges. At 2880 m.a.s.l. there is no water or electricity supply and connections for waste water and sewage are also lacking. Furthermore, an SAC hut is exposed to extreme weather conditions.

The SAC Monte Rosa section decided on a new hut, to be built above Zermatt together with the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Lucerne, Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials, Science & Technology (EMPA) and other participants. After a planning period of around six years and a construction time of two summers, the new Monte Rosa Hut above Zermatt was opened on 25 September 2009. Standing at 2883 metres above sea level, this is possibly the most complex timber construction currently found in Switzerland. Despite the huge challenges, the planners and those responsible constructed the SAC Monte Rosa Hut with five storeys. Architectural, aesthetic and nature conservation requirements, as well as requirements on environmental and water pollution control, were met in optimal fashion and energy-related objectives almost totally achieved. The architecture, timber construction, internal fittings and finishes with sleeping accommodation for 120 persons, the design of the restaurant with its unique views of the Gorner Glacier and the many 4000-metre peaks of the Valais mountain world are beyond compare.

The SAC hut achieves an energy self-sufficiency level of 64% combined with an unprecedented level of comfort. Despite the difficult environmental conditions, this SAC building has toilets and even showers. The Monte Rosa Hut sets new standards in the field of comfort and amenities in the high mountains.

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