White Pine - The Sustainable Real Estate Journal

Sustainable Design Principles and Innovation,
Merging Building Technology with the Forces of Nature

Alpine Bungalow Made with Easily-Transported Wooden Modules

The SPA-Bungalow offers visitors a unique sauna experience at an altitude of 2,690 meters, with spectacular alpine views. The bungalow at the Loetschenpass Hut hotel in Switzerland combines a sauna, a relaxation area with a bed, and a bathroom with a shower.

The SPA-Bungalow’s three wooden modules are made entirely from Kerto LVL (laminated veneer lumber), making them lightweight enough to be transported via helicopter. Kerto® LVL proved to be the ideal fast, light and green material for this exclusive design.

The designer behind the SPA-Bungalow concept is the Swiss designer and wellness facility developer Roger Bernet. He wanted to create a unique, cost-effective concept for hotels with smaller budgets, but exquisite locations. Bernet’s vision was to create a modular building entirely from one material. It needed to be strong enough to endure alpine conditions and lightweight enough to be easily transported. In addition, the material had to be ecological and fast to build with.

To realize his vision, Bernet teamed up with his experienced associates Christoph Lädrach to manage the construction and installation, and Beat Biedermann to solve the challenges of heating, sanitary technology and electrical engineering.
Christopher Lädrach immediately knew the solution: Kerto LVL is an engineered wood product that met every requirement. “Kerto LVL Q-panels fulfilled all our technical requirements – strong yet lightweight, fast to build with, ecological, and fire- and moisture-resistant,” Bernet explains.

The SPA-Bungalow’s modules were built with Q-panels. As Kerto LVL is lightweight and strong, less overall material is required for building. There was hardly any material left over in the process. The material cut out for the windows, for example, was utilized in the furniture of the bungalow. The exteriors of the modules were made weather-resistant by covering them with fiberglass-reinforced plastic.

The off-site construction of the modules took approximately four weeks. On site, the SPA-Bungalow was assembled and ready for guests to use within a few hours.

The SPA-Bungalow was presented to the public in November 2017 at the Igeho exhibition in Basel. The bungalow was then flown by helicopter up to the Lötschen Pass in modules. Winter storms at the Lötschen Pass can have wind speeds reaching over 160 kilometers per hour. The solid structure of the SPA-Bungalow has proven durable even in these extreme conditions

Swiss alpine Bungalow