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Kingspan TEK beats the snow in the Alps

The Kingspan TEK Building System has been installed as part of a luxury ski chalet in the French Alps, helping the project to be completed within the tight schedule of the Alpine building season.

In the traditional yet lively town of Morzine, Gourmetski.com has been welcoming holidaymakers to enjoy a combination of luxury accommodation, fine food and skiing since 2007. In order to continually offer their guests the best possible experience, owners Richard and Fiona Lambert decided to build a new ski chalet that reflected their passions for both their business and for sustainable design.

400 m2 of the Kingspan TEK Building System was specified to complement the green oak frame designed and constructed by Westwind Oak. The System comprises of structural insulated panels (SIPs), which are pre-cut to each project’s exact specifications, limiting on-site alterations and waste. This bespoke approach, combined with the panelised system construction, helped to maintain the fast and predictable installation programme needed to complete the build.

As Rupert Newman, Founder and Managing Director of Westwind Oak, explains:

“There is a very tight window for building in the mountains before the snow comes, typically between May and November. Using the Kingspan TEK Building System, pre-cut to fit with the oak frame, meant the chalet could be made water tight in just two weeks.”

The very nature of the design of a traditional ski chalet meant there were some specific design requirements to take into consideration.

“Being a luxury mountain chalet in the Alps, we designed the building to have many traditional aesthetic elements such as large roof overhangs and extrusions of the oak frame outside of the SIP panels,” Richard described. “We also designed a first floor viewing deck with a large angled overspan of the roof to maximise the views of the spectacular mountain setting whilst protecting the building from the elements.”

As the snow load on the roof can be up to 2 m deep, extra beams were also added and reinforced to support the Kingspan TEK panels. The roof angle also had to be low to ensure that the snow sits on the roof, helping to further insulate the roof in the coldest months.

As well as creating a stunning chalet, it was very important to the Lamberts to build a chalet which had excellent energy performance. The high level of fabric performance provided by the Kingspan TEK Building System has helped to minimise heating requirements of the chalet.  The highly insulated core of the 142 mm Kingspan TEK Building System panels can allow them to achieve U-values of 0.20 W/m2.K and below. The main joints are taped with a special tape stretched to allow the green oak frame to move, maintaining an airtight structure.

Both the Kingspan TEK Cladding Panel and Kingspan TEK Building System panels are also available in a 172 mm thickness, delivering U-values of 0.16 W/m2.K or better, without the need for additional insulation. The manufacturing facility where the panels are produced carries both FSC® (FSC®-C109304) and PEFC Chain of Custody certification.

All photography by gourmetski.com.