The Goûter Refuge at 3835 meters above sea level officially opened

The technological refuge able to withstand winds of up to 150 mph is on Mont Blanc

by Malcolm Clark
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After two years of construction work, the New Goûter Refuge, the shelter made on a design by Groupe H, opens to the public on Mont Blanc, in the municipality of Saint-Gervais-les-Bains, at 3,835 metres above sea level.

Officially opened during the weekend of 7 and 8 September the new shelter is the result of a rigorous study of materials and technologies, which enabled the construction of an energy-independent structure, capable of withstanding the strong high-altitude winds of up to 150 mph, to cope with extreme temperature changes, as well as to collect the accumulated snow in a recovery basin.

The futuristic egg-shaped building is clad with stainless steel panels with recycled glass fibre thermal insulation. The door and window fixtures used (provided by Velux) are characterized by triple-glazed insulation equipped with forced ventilation system, which recovers 75% of the thermal energy dispersed in the air.

The new construction has been designed to limit the environmental impact for an intelligent management of energy consumption, through the use of solar thermal, photovoltaic and biomass systems.

The huge egg on a cliff with stunning views over a sheer 1500 metre drop, can accommodate 120 people, replacing the historic refuge built about 300 meters away in 1962 which, in turn, replaced the first seven bed refuge built in 1906.

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    The New Goûter Refuge at 3,835 m on Mont Blanc 41

    The New Goûter Refuge at 3,835 m on Mont Blanc

    Saint-Gervais-les-Bains / France / 2012