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.