The foundation stones were recently laid for what will be the most innovative mountain lodge in the world, nested at the foot of the Dufour Peak in Switzerland. The Monte Rosa Mountain Alpine Hut is going to be both deluxe and almost 90% energy self-sufficient when it is completed in 2009.
For the Swiss Alpine Club (SAC), one of Switzerland's biggest athletic unions, the building of the new chalet is a construction milestone. With its combination of cutting edge architecture and pioneering eco-technology, the project is expected to open a new chapter in high alpine construction.
The Swiss Federal Office for the Environment, a principal partner in the project, is enthusiastic about the new construction of the hut, not only because local wood material is being used but because the construction project is 2,883 meters above sea-level. The project will show that it's possible to build in extreme conditions with low CO2 emission levels and build in such a way to protect resources. The third partner in the project is ETH Zurich (the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich) They chose the Monte Rosa Hut to be their premiere project in commemoration of the university's 150th anniversary.
Franz Steinegger, Chairman of the Project Management for the new Monte Rosa Hut and former Central President of SAC, sums up the ambitious construction project with, “To attempt a project of this kind, you have to have the guts to take risks. Mountaineers are used to handling danger and know that you have to take a calculated risk if you want to reach the summit.”
The cost for the Monte Rosa Mountain Hut is 6.4 million CHF (US$5.5 million).