The First Swiss Alps Hotel with Plus Energy Award
At an altitude of 2,456 meters above sea level in the Swiss Alps, there is a luxury hotel that had been renovated in 2010 with plus-energy concept in mind. This means that the hotel can generate more energy than it consumes yearly. The Romantik Hotel Muottas Muragl is located on one of the vantage points along the slopes of the Blais da Muottas (2,568 m) in the Engadin St. Moritz region. It is the first plus-energy hotel in the Alps which was awarded the Swiss Solar Award 2011, the PlusEnergieBau (PEB) Solar Award 2011, as well as many other environmental and tourism awards.
The Romantik Hotel Muottas Muragl was built in 1907 following the building of the Muottas Muragl Railway, the first funicular railway in Graubünden that allows people to reach a vantage point without climbing up a steep mountain. The Berghotel Muottas Muragl underwent extensive renovation and expansion project in 2009-2010. The hotel reopened again at the end of December 2010 as an environmental-friendly hotel powered by solar energy. Then, in 2011, the 104-year old hotel has proved to be one of the great example of sustainable building, and has been rewarded with the PlusEnergieBau and many other awards.
Even though the hotel is situated at 2,456 meters above sea level among snow and cold weather, it is also situated in the second sunniest location in Switzerland. As a result, the development team had come up with a renewable energy concept as a power supply for the hotel. With solar and geothermal heating system combining with excellent thermal insulation, the hotel can generate enough power by itself to heat the whole building and water. Although the hotel is 50% bigger after the expansion from 1,700 sq. meters to 2,700 sq. meters, it now uses only one-third of energy to heat the floor space comparing to before the renovation, decreasing from 436,000 kWh per annum to 157,400 kWh per annum. Everything comes from solar energy without the need for heating oil and electricity.
The large solar panels are installed on top of the roof and the photovoltaic system are installed 228 meters along the railway track. Both of them can produce more than 165,000 kilowatt hours a year. The excess energy from solar panels is stored in the thermal loop field extending 200 meters into the ground, and can be extracted using a heat pump regenerating the geothermal mass. Apart from the heating system, the additional necessary electricity is fully covered with solar panels. The waste heat from the cooling units, the kitchen exhaust air, the control room, and the operation of the funicular railway are also being recovered to be used within the building as well. The hotel actually produces more energy that the amount it needs.
As you can see, the Romantik Hotel Muottas Muragl is one of the best sustainable buildings that combine various sources of renewable energy and operate with energy efficiency. It achieves the goal of energy independence. Apart from that, the hotel is a perfect holiday destination with beautiful Alpine views, attractive accommodation with a gourmet restaurant. There are many activities that you can enjoy both in summer and winter. It is a great place for hiking, snowshoeing, and tobogganing. You can also arrange a guided tour to learn more about the hotel’s energy concept for free.