#12 – The latest on 3-D Printing Buildings and Materials

4,000 Meters above Sea Level

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Atop one of the seven summits sits, at 4,000 meters in altitude, the new eco-hotel located on the Southern side of Mount Elbrus, Russia: LEAPrus 3912. The building resembles a space station with its three separate LEAPs1 units and two newly designed s2 units in tube form.

Stefano Testa, one of the two founders of LEAPfactory, described the most innovative aspect of the building as such: “Being able to realize a comfortable and efficient refuge on Mount Elbrus, in Kabardino Balkaria, at 4,000 meters above sea level, in the middle of an endless glacier, in just one season.”

A team of highly trained technicians waited on the slopes of Mount Elbrus for the modules to be transported by helicopter. Italian Research Company for design solutions, LEAPfactory, completed the eco-hotel in September 2013.

Environmental sustainability remains a hot topic. The research team dug deep to render this project suitable for such an intense climate, all while maintaining a tourist-friendly atmosphere. LEAP’s structural shells provide energy-reduced lighting, heating and indoor air treatment; they also contain a system for monitoring and remote management for all devices. This has been made possible through the use of a stand-alone hybrid system, which produces highly efficient energy, and “an innovative park for the ecological accumulation of sodium.”

The research team designed a sewage treatment plant specifically to work at high altitudes. LEAPecoR almost completely eliminates the dispersion of organic pollutants into the environment. After a quick ride with a medium-sized helicopter, depending on location, the ecoR is locked to the ground by mechanical fastening in a few hours. The ecoR can house various depuration systems depending on applications desired, and allows for optimal sizing of the equipment based on the volumes of waste to be treated.


About the Author

American artist Erin Tallman is a journalist for various online publications and is the Editor in Chief of AgriExpo e-magazine and ArchiExpo e-magazine. She has published three books, including her first novel.

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