The renovated Hotel Gitschberg becomes ClimaHotel®

The luxury of simplicity combined with comfort and energy efficiency

by Malcolm Clark
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The renovation and expansion of the ClimaHotel® Gitschberg, located in Maranza (BZ), were carried out by bea mitterhofer who favoured choices based on respect for local resources, on low energy impact and on the use of sustainable materials.

The hotel recently received ClimaHotel® certification, the seal of quality from the CasaClima South Tyrol Agency, which is based on the three cornerstones of sustainability: “nature” (ecology), “life” (socio-cultural aspects) and “transparency” (economy) for the protection of the environment and of the climate. If CasaClima® certification considers above all the aspects connected to reducing energy consumption, the criteria of a ClimaHotel® are much more extensive and value-oriented.

In addition to energy efficiency, the assessment area “nature” in particular analyses the efficiency of the building envelope, the index of overall efficiency of the building-plant system according to the CasaClima B standard, the balance of the environmental impact of the construction materials used, the focus of hotel on the use of resources such as water and earth, the production and disposal of waste. The theme of transport in relation to the assessment of proposals to encourage the use of resources for sustainable mobility by collaborators and guests also comes within these areas.

The focal point of the category “life” is the relation of the structure with the well-being of the guests (comfort, barriers, safety) and the assessment of the quality of indoor and outdoor spaces, also considering the way the hotel correlates with the peculiarities of the surrounding landscape and environment. The evaluation criterion “authenticity” examines the measures taken to enhance the connection with the authenticity of the site through the use of local products and materials. Other important concepts are awareness and communication of sustainability objectives.

The area of “transparency” is a support tool to help draw up an assessment of areas related to cost and quality. The assessment involves control and transparency of the investment costs in relation to the sustainability of the means employed. Within this area, the criteria related to the durability of the building and the organization of the internal business processes are also examined.

In the 2011 and 2012 restructuring operations, the ClimaHotel® criteria were respected starting from the planning and realization phases. The building has been designed to become a low energy consumption building certified as CasaClima B with an energy requirement of less than 50 kWh/m²yr.

In addition to being important in terms of sustainability and ecology, a compact structure, efficient insulation and an optimal orientation towards the sun give better living comfort, in line with nature. Insulating windows bring light inside, but prevent heat loss.

The choice of building materials and furniture was also made with great care and in line with the concept of sustainability and environmental protection: low CO2 emissions, foregoing the use of hazardous materials, preferring the use of natural fabrics such as wool and untreated wood like oak, larch and spruce, natural colours and insulating materials.

The sun was an important element in the new ecological orientation of the Gitschberg ClimaHotel®. A solar panel system of 40 m2 with a capacity of about 18,800 W heats the swimming pool water independently. The excess energy is used for the production of hot water for washing. The green energy is produced with the aid of a 200 sq.m and 18.8 kWp photovoltaic system which send the energy to the grid. A cutting edge plant design means that energy consumption is kept down to a minimum. Two drainage pits collect rainwater and a percolation water tank is used to water the interior plants.

The irrefutable advantages in terms of quality of life are a distinctive characteristic of the structure characterized by the luxury of simplicity, comfort and spaces in which nature is the protagonist.

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    ClimaHotel® Gitschberg 82

    ClimaHotel® Gitschberg

    Trentino-Südtirol / Italy / 2012