Germany’s first organic efficiency house is in Poing in Upper Bavaria, not far from the regional capital of Munich. For the Alpenchic show home, the eco home pioneer Baufritz created a balance between the traditional and the modern. With fuel cell heating, natural products in wood, steel and glass, a holistic health concept – and a bathroom ensemble consisting of a free-standing bath and washbasin in steel/enamel by Bette. The material is not all that convinces – so too does the precision manufacture of the bathroom products
“The Alpenchic show home is without doubt one of the most innovative show homes in Europe,” states Thomas Zoller, the building’s interior designer. Its rectangular structure, generous roof overhangs and the façade of wood shingle are a clear link to the typical alpine building style. “We transfer these trusted, old construction details into a modern, contemporary architecture, and enrich it with Bauhaus elements and specifically positioned design details.”
The modern features are, above all, in the technology. “The house has its own recycling cellar and an independent energy concept with fuel cell technology, photovoltaics, and its own wind power plant in the garden.” This means the building is large self-sufficient. In the real plus energy house, thanks to a solar power storage unit, the building’s consumption of its own power increases to about 80 percent. The Alpenchic also contains lots of other technology. The whole building is controlled by a touchscreen, which is integrated in the hall cupboard mirror. And a centrally controlled system of air pipes organises the air conditioning in the rooms.
Highest sustainability and health standards
The focus of the concept was quite clearly on the health of the inhabitants. The dominant material is elegant wood – all the way to the organic insulating material of spruce chips, which was developed by the eco house pioneer personally. Two certificates confirm the exceptionally high standards for the building. The Alpenchic show home not only holds the Sentinel health certificate for healthy buildings, but it is also the first ever building in Germany to bear the strict Swiss “Minergie-A-Eco” label. Factors such as energy efficiency, the use of renewable energies, healthy living and the building’s construction ecology are all rated.
A healthy naturalness also determines the design of the bathroom, which is a light, high room with a wooden ladder against the wall. Wood again dominates here, as in the rest of the house – which is actually quite unusual for a bathroom. “Working mainly with wood initially contradicts what we are used to seeing and doing. However, the material not only has a very special feel and sound to it, but it is also an inherent part of alpine architecture.”
Made-to-measure ensemble of washbasin and bath
The focal point of the room is an ensemble consisting a of free-standing bath and matching washbasin by the Delbrück-based steel/enamel specialist Bette. The washbasin and bath were joined together for the Alpenchic show home in the company’s manufacturing department, where the washbasin was also drilled individually for the fittings. It is directly connected to the bath in the show home, and in the same puristic design. The BetteOne Relax Highline bath and BetteOne washbasin are from the same series, the design of which is the work of the Potsdam offices of Tesseraux und Partner.
The bath rim is only 28 cm high, which is a characteristic of the bath and creates a reduced effect – and with the back designed along the lines of a recliner, provides plenty of comfort. Special feature: thanks to the BetteSpring tap, the water fills from the bottom up. This means filling the bath is very quiet and uncomplicated.
“Sustainability is a topic that has involved us for a long time,” says Sven Rensinghoff, marketing director at Bette. “So the co-operation with the eco pioneer Baufritz really is the logical conclusion for us. Steel/enamel has a number of very clear, proven advantages in terms of sustainability and ecology, ranging from the natural materials to the long lifetimes and complete recycling.” Baufritz has been collaborating with the steel/enamel specialist Bette for years. “There are numerous excellent reasons for the co-operation with Bette,” explains Zoller. “Including that Bette makes free-standing baths from one material with perfect craftsmanship. Bette can also tailor individual solutions. That goes perfectly with our philosophy.” In the approximately 200 houses that Baufritz builds every year, individuality in design is always much in demand – and that includes the made-to-measure bath.
The material steel/enamel from which the Bette washbasins, shower trays and baths are made, is durable, hygienic and just as exclusive after decades as it was on the day of purchase. An important argument for Zoller: “Value and durability of the materials are tremendously important to us. And steel/enamel struck us as being the right material for sustainable planning.” Steel, wood and glass – these materials are used for the high-quality architecture in the Alpenchic show home, since they combine comfort with energy efficiency and a noticeably healthy living climate.
The ecological quality of the entire Bette range is confirmed by the Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) issued by the Institut Bauen und Umwelt e.V. This EPD equates to standard ISO 14025.