Energy-efficient LEAPrus 3912 hotel isn't for the faint-hearted


October 16, 2013

LEAPrus 3912 was constructed for the North Caucasus Mountain Club, and opened for business last month (Image: LEAPfactory)

LEAPrus 3912 was constructed for the North Caucasus Mountain Club, and opened for business last month (Image: LEAPfactory)

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Italian architectural firm LEAPfactory has constructed a new energy-efficient hotel on the southern glacier of Mount Elbrus, in Russia's Caucasus mountain range. Generally considered the highest peak in Europe, Mount Elbrus has a summit of 5,642 m (18,510 ft). The hotel in question is located 3,912 m (12,834 ft) above sea level, hence its name: LEAPrus 3912.

The hotel has a total area of 139 sq m (1,500 sq ft), and comprises four prefabricated modules, which were constructed in Italy before being shipped over to Russia and deposited on the mountainside by helicopter. The modules were then assembled and made operational over a few days in July. They boast 46 beds, a living area, restaurant area with kitchen, toilets, reception, and staff accommodation. The hotel has an expected lifespan of 50 years.

Given the remote location, and the expense and technical difficulty of receiving supplies, it makes good sense to ensure that LEAPrus 3912 is as energy-efficient as possible, and LEAPfactory did indeed install a range of technology to bring this about.

LEAPrus 3912 features a 8.6 kWp photovoltaic system and a solar thermal system, both complemented by a standard gas-burning generator, efficient LED lighting, and an underfloor heating system that's designed for low-temperature usage.

An efficient ventilation system helps mitigate heating requirements, and a sewage plant designed for high-altitude usage has been installed that promises almost 100 percent recycling of human waste. The hotel also sports an integrated system that melts the ample quantities of snow to supply water to sanitation services.

The energy-efficient tech is managed by an energy monitoring system, that in turn is regulated by a computer that can be remotely controlled via satellite.

LEAPrus 3912 was constructed for the North Caucasus Mountain Club, and opened for business last month.

Source: LEAPfactory

About the Author
Adam Williams Adam scours the globe from his home in North Wales in order to bring the best of innovative architecture and sustainable design to the pages of Gizmag. Most of his spare time is spent dabbling in music, tinkering with old Macintosh computers and trying to keep his even older VW bus on the road. All articles by Adam Williams

They have "almost 100 percent recycling of human waste".

It's recycled into... what? Is there a garden up on the mountain? Or will they pack fertilizer down to low altitudes by mule?


Hmm, communal! bedrooms in one module, kitchen in another module, toilets in yet another module. Um, in the middle of the night, when you need to pee, (during a blizzard, no doubt) and get a snack, you have to go outside at 12k feet and find your way to the other modules? Yeah, it was designed in Italy. (grinning, ducking, and running) Methinks combined modules would be a whole helluva lot more enticing to hotel guests. Dig the septic/recovery system beneath them and plumb between modules, eh? Loud guests would keep all the rest up at night, too. I hit the sack and read my Kindle quite early (8pm), then get up at 4am. Communal living isn't for most of us. I wish them luck, tho.


That's not a hotel ....

WayneAnd William Miller

Maybe 139 sq meter for each of the 3 tubular buildings? 49 (not 46) beds is a lot to squeeze into that small of a space, even dormitory style, let alone the other spaces.



Marco Bartholomew
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