SPA-Bungalow

Location Gutshof Neu Schauenburg, 4133 Pratteln Switzerland
Building Year 2017
Products Used Kerto LVL

SPA-Bungalow is made of wooden modules built with Kerto LVL Q-panels

The SPA-Bungalow offers visitors a unique sauna experience at an altitude of 2,690 metres, with spectacular alpine views. The bungalow at the Lötschenpass Hut hotel in Switzerland is built entirely out of Kerto® LVL Q-panels, an ideal fast, light and green material for this exclusive design.

Laminated veneer lumber SPA-Bungalow

Kerto LVL Q-panels met every requirement

Building in Switzerland is extremely expensive. Swiss designer and wellness facility developer Roger Bernet has worked with numerous five-star hotels that have extensive budgets. When he envisioned the SPA-Bungalow, he knew he needed to find an exceptional material.

Bernet’s vision was to create a modular building entirely from one material. It needed to be strong and dimensionally stable enough to endure alpine conditions. It also needed to be lightweight enough to allow easy helicopter transportation. He wanted the interior to be fire-safe and moisture resistant to withstand steam from the sauna – and have a wood finish that could be left visible on nearly every surface. In addition, the material had to be ecological and fast to build with. All this was needed, because Bernet wanted to create a unique, cost-effective concept for hotels with smaller budgets, but exquisite locations.

To realise his vision Bernet teamed up with two of his long-time partners: Christoph Lädrach and Beat Biedermann. Lädrach is Managing Director at carpenter company Lädrach Holzbau AG Konolfingen, and Biedermann is a Diploma Sanitary Planner at Kannewischer Bern, a company specializing in building technology. In the project, Lädrach was responsible for construction and installation, while Biedermann took care of heating, sanitary technology and electrical engineering. As for finding the right material, Lädrach immediately knew the solution: Metsä Wood’s laminated veneer lumber Kerto LVL is a state-of-the-art, lightweight engineered wood product that met every requirement Bernet had.

“Kerto LVL Q-panels fulfilled all our technical requirements – strong yet lightweight, fast to build with, ecological, and fire- and moisture-resistant,” Roger Bernet explains.

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Green and fast building    

Kerto LVL Q-panels enabled building with hardly any waste material

SPA-Bungalow consists of three wooden modules, all built exclusively from Kerto LVL Q-panels. Kerto LVL is a fast, light and green building material. It is dimensionally stable and does not warp or twist. Kerto LVL Q-panels are excellent for building stiff and high-quality floor, wall and roof structures. Construction of the first SPA-Bungalow took two workers approximately four weeks. Future versions can be produced in less than half this time.

The builders used Kerto LVL Q-panels in two sizes: 69 X 6000 X 2500mm for exterior walls and the roof, and 39 X 6000 X 2500mm for inner walls. Elements built from Kerto LVL Q-panels were first mechanically bolted and glued together. After this, the modules were lifted with a crane, to enable covering all the exteriors with fiberglass-reinforced plastic. Once finished, SPA-Bungalow was completely weather-resistant from the outside.

Building with Kerto LVL Q-panels was fast. It also enabled ecological and cost-effective solutions. As Kerto LVL is lightweight and extremely strong, less overall material is required for building. The material cut out for windows, for example, was utilised in the bedframe and cabinet. There was hardly any material left over in the process.

Kerto LVL Q-panels provided sufficient load-bearing capacity for the wooden modules. Likewise, choosing lightweight but strong Kerto LVL as the building material meant that the SPA-Bungalow structure did not require any additional bracing. The cost of the finished SPA-Bungalow was only 100 000 Swiss Francs (88 550€). This is less than the cost of building an average hotel room in Switzerland.

Kerto LVL also for sauna

SPA-Bungalow is heated with a sauna stove

From the outside SPA-Bungalow is entirely white. Inside, almost every surface is wood. The bungalow combines a sauna, a relaxation area with a bed, and a bathroom with a shower. The base area is approximately 45 m2 including terraces.

Due to its small size, SPA-Bungalow can be heated solely by its sauna stove. The stove provides sufficient warmth even for over-night stays in sub-zero temperatures. Electricity is provided by a wind turbine and shower water is melted from snow.

All the interior walls of SPA-Bungalow – with the exception of certain parts in the bathroom – are made of Kerto LVL Q-panels. Kerto LVL Q-panels are fire-safe material with improved moisture resistance. They create a beautiful finish that does not suffer from the steam of the sauna. In the event of a fire, the surface of the material chars. This insulates the panels from heat and slows down the charring of the structure.

Lightweight modules   

Durable in extreme alpine conditions

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. On site, it was assembled and ready for guests to use within a few hours.

Winter storms at Lötschen Pass can have wind speeds reaching over 160 kilometres per hour. The solid structure of the SPA-Bungalow has proven durable even in these extreme conditions.

“The wood finish of Kerto LVL Q-panels allowed creating a timeless interior. The entire atmosphere of the bungalow can be renewed by merely replacing three art prints and the linens. This makes it a versatile option for hotels on a tighter budget. I am looking forward to using Kerto LVL Q-panels in future projects. Based on my experience, I would not change a thing about Kerto LVL,” says Bernet.

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