The grounds of a protected 15th century manor house in Schwyz, Switzerland, provided the architects with the challenge of constructing two new homes where a number of developments over the years had already provided a range of building styles – from the Renaissance to the 21st century.
The difficulty lay in incorporating a sizeable new property into this established and relatively constricted area with protected building status, to provide two family homes of equally high quality for light, air and space in accordance with the latest MINERGIE® standard.
Creating two individual apartments within a three-storey building – one on the ground-floor and one in the loft – meant both apartments being able to benefit from maximum sunlight, high-quality living environment and environmentally-friendly products and standards:
● Clad in dark, natural slate tiles, the structure blends perfectly into its historic context and, with its plywood panels and larch windows the building looks both simple and elegant and fits perfectly into the landscape.
● The architectural design is complemented by a state-of-the-art concept for the domestic engineering services and the use of innovative construction techniques.
● In line with the MINERGIE® standard, the building was constructed with 18 cm thick insulation, pellet heating, controlled ventilation and larch windows, ideal for heat insulation.
● Pilkington Insulight™ Protect, consisting of Pilkington Optifloat™ Clear and Pilkington Optilam™ Therm S3 with WarmEdge spacers, has a centre-pane Ug value of 1.0 W/m²K. Insulated spacers rather than aluminium further improve the insulation performance. The use of highly efficient Pilkington glass with the insulation properties of timber framed windows and a low-conductivity spacer bar between the glass panes means the window as a whole can achieve high levels of thermal insulation, required for reduced energy use and comfort.
The combination of the MINERGIE® standard and the type of glass used produces a bright interior environment and perfect insulation, reducing the need for energy (lighting/heating) in this location, where weather conditions can be very harsh in winter.
MINERGIE® is a widely accepted registered quality label for new and refurbished low-energy consumption buildings in Switzerland. At its heart lies user comfort through high-grade building envelopes and continuous air renewal. In meeting the standard, architects and engineers have complete freedom in their design and choice of materials and in their choice of internal and external building structures.