“Me and my wood …

… we are versatile. ” Did you already know that Albrecht is not just a hotelier and hobby architect, but primarily a forest farmer with body and soul?

Surely you already knew that, because Albrecht prefers nothing more than to roam his Husquarna through his forest to check that everything is in order. In the forest and in nature, he feels at home, safe, can relax and at the same time recharge his batteries. We would like to give you exactly this feeling at Diana and make your holiday with us unforgettable. That is why we used natural materials when rebuilding the Diana and of course the wood from Albrecht’s own forest.

Albrecht grew up on the mountain farm in Obereggen and was therefore always closely rooted in nature and the surroundings of the Latemar. The close relationship to the forest has been in his family for generations. So his father said that in 1920 he went with his father to the forest after a storm night. When they climbed the hill in front of them, they saw the whole debacle, the forest was uprooted on the ground. Then tears came to the eyes of the otherwise so strict and hard peasant. Albrecht’s father had never thought that this strict “despot” could cry. And so it was clear that even as a little boy, Albrecht had to help with the forest work and get to know and love the trees. In general in the valley, the farmers practice very extensive forestry, not according to economic criteria, but with a generation-spanning thought of conservation for the future of the family. The awe of this, around 200 years old living being around us, gives us the trees back through the feeling of security and warmth. For the renovations and new buildings in the Hotel Diana, it was immediately clear for us, Albrecht and Sonja, to focus fully on the surrounding wood. In conversation with our carpenter Markus Pichler and in cooperation with our architect Dietmar Fäckl, the structural engineers and fire protection technicians, it soon became clear to us, contrary to popular belief, that a multi-storey hotel can also be built in wood. And how do you do that? The technicians immediately started talking about the panel construction with glued wood from industry. After sounding out from the manufacturers (luckily) did the result come that the delivery times were extremely long (too long)? And now?????????? How further? Then our carpenter Markus said, why should we actually buy expensive industrial goods that previously used the monopoly to get the timber from the farmers at dumping prices? Let’s take the solid wood from our forests, cut by the local sawmill!

„Massivholz Städerbauweise mit Brettstapeldecken aus Massivbrettern könnte die Lösung sein“, sagte Markus. Natürlich waren wir sofort begeistert von der Idee und nach Abklärung mit den Technikern zur Umsetzbarkeit im Hotelbau hatten wir schnell entschieden ?

Markus spielte dabei natürlich die zentrale Rolle und übernahm dann auch mit seinem unmittelbaren Fachwissen und seiner CAD Kentnisse die Ausführungsplanung des Holzbaues. Bei Holzbauweise bekommt  unweigerlich das Thema Schallschutz im Hotel große Aufmerksamkeit. Lässt sich das überhaupt vereinbaren??  Da kam uns ein erfahrener Bauberater zu Hilfe, der eine Lösung hatte, zwar sehr aufwändig, aber erfolgsversprechend. Weiters war uns wichtig, das Holz im Raum auch zu sehen und zu spüren, die tragenden Decken bestehen immerhin aus 26 – 28 cm Vollholz in Form von zusammengenagelten 4 cm Brettern! Unser erfahrener Brandschutztechniker hatte dann nichts gegen die Holz-Sichtdecke einzuwenden, nachdem der Statiker die Holzstärke entsprechend der vorgeschriebenen Abbrandzeit überdimensioniert hatte. 

Holz verkohlt im Brandfall an der Oberfläche und bildet damit eine Isolierschicht die das Holz darunter gut vor Hitze schützt und dieses steine statische Festigkeit beibehält. Damit ist Holz sogar unter Umständen besser als Stahlbeton bei dem bei Überhitzung recht schnell der Kollaps droht.

Wie den Trittschall unter Kontrolle bringen?  Das geht wohl nur durch das Einbringen von Masse. Also die Instalationsebene auf der Holzdecke mit einer Schotterschüttung füllen =  8 cm verfestigter Schotter, darauf mit Fasserdämmplatten eine weiche Schicht aufbringen und darauf der 6 cm Estrich und darauf die Holzböden. Alles zusammen eine 45 cm starke Konstruktion mit erstaunlich guten Dämmwerten ?

“Solid wood, a staircase construction with board stack ceilings made of solid boards could be the solution,” said Markus. Of course we were immediately enthusiastic about the idea and after clarifying with the technicians about the feasibility in hotel construction, we quickly decided ? Markus naturally played the central role and then also took over the execution planning of the timber construction with his immediate specialist knowledge and CAD knowledge. When it comes to timber construction, the topic of soundproofing inevitably gets a lot of attention in the hotel. Can that be agreed at all ?? An experienced construction consultant came to our aid who had a solution, very complex, but promising. It was also important to us to see and feel the wood in the room, the load-bearing ceilings consist of 26 – 28 cm solid wood in the form of 4 cm boards nailed together! Our experienced fire protection technician then had no objection to the exposed wooden ceiling after the structural engineer had oversized the wood thickness in accordance with the prescribed burning time. Wood chars on the surface in the event of a fire and thus forms an insulating layer that protects the wood underneath from heat and maintains its static stability. This means that wood may even be better than reinforced concrete, which can quickly collapse if overheated. How to control the impact sound? That can only be done by adding mass. So fill the installation level on the wooden ceiling with a ballast = 8 cm of solidified ballast, apply a soft layer on it with facade insulation boards and then the 6 cm screed and then the wooden floors. All in all a 45 cm thick construction with surprisingly good insulation values ​​?

Then the walls?

We have insulated the wooden stands with soft fiberboard, then the diagonal formwork with wooden boards, then pressed fiberboard and then the external plaster or the wooden cladding with larch boards. Of course, only our proven clay plaster was used on the inside. Albrecht got to know clay plaster years ago when he was looking for a biologically perfect surface at home early on and came across the clay plaster through a friend and restorer. In combination with wood, clay is the ideal building material for the surfaces. Clay is the ideal moisture regulator for interiors, quickly absorbs water from the air and releases it again. Above all, one can avoid breaking the walls with questionable paints. These were the colors of the clay, which we slightly colored with natural mineral soils and pigments, give an essential part to the well-being in the room. The rough surface, created under the bare hands of Sonja, avoid disturbing reverberation effects in the room. Ah yes …, Peter our colleague and all-rounder from earlier days knows exactly how we like it, he initially acquired his knowledge of clay and his enthusiasm with and with us and has undergone intensive further training in recent years. Together with Sonja, who is responsible for the surface structure, they put the icing on the cake on the walls. If you look closely you can see Sonja’s hands on the wall ?

Paradise is not just a place, but above all a unique feeling!

Now for expansion.

What are the obvious natural materials? Of course, only wood can be used for the floors. If you look out of the window at the famous Karerwald (from this forest Stradivari probably got his wood for the famous violins), you can see 4 types of trees: the spruce, the larch, the pine and very little pine. And exactly these down-to-earth woods should also be found in our rooms. Everyone is talking about sustainability and regionality today, we shouldn’t be any different. So spruce on the ceiling, the larch was probably predestined for the floor, due to its greater hardness, its warm reddish color and the lively structure and warmth of the surface, a gift from nature for our floors. The surface is of course treated with oil wax. One or the other quirk in the ground due to the lower hardness than e.g. One gladly accepts oak there ?

And the interior? What other trees do we have around the house? The pine is missing. A very special tree, rich in essential oils and with an interesting structure, it grows only at altitudes above 1600 m and is accordingly rare and in demand. But luckily we also have a little Swiss stone pine in our forest and of course we like to have it in the bo ot fetched. So the back of the bed was defined, but in what design? The boards were two or four meters long, but the walls were very different? How could you use the boards with the smallest possible waste? The result was in the air, or rather, looking at the rugged rock towers of the Latemar. We could stylize it on the wall and that’s what it looks like now ? The cabinets, bathroom furniture and sliding doors were taken over by our local carpenter, of course made of wood according to drawings made together with architect Dietmar. But the beds? We had had some of them made by our carpenter friend Peter in the past, made of solid Swiss pine and separable, because some of our guests want separate beds and we can fulfill this wish at any time. And the new ones ?? We already had an original solution ready, born of necessity, so to speak. For ourselves we needed a bed quickly two years ago and after I wasn’t in the mood for something off the shelf and I was always sawing in the forest … I quickly picked up the chainsaw and sawed a double bed into the good one Slatted frames fit. The result was stable and in line with our philosophy. So it was clear that these beds made of logs and the bedside tables had to go into the new rooms as well. I don’t want to know what the craftsmen thought ? so I also came with a large load of logs to the forest and started sawing around with the explanation that they should be in the rooms. But the result is not bad, what do you say? (and it smells good too ?)

Well and ceramics? It’s a great material, but is it also more original? Yes? architect Dietmar recommended us to a stonemason, and we found what we were looking for with the stone sink, that suited us and the furniture our carpenter built out of very solid larch wood. Oh yes there is still a tree missing, the pine. We also had a place for them in some rooms. The post that supports the top wall could be that, so we have also given this tree an important place in the room. Opps there is still something missing! Yes, the stunning view of nature all around. This should be possible from large windows. Folding our sustainability strategy, of course, was only wood again and found a partner in the South Tyrolean windows that offers excellent quality with great triple glasses. Together with the excellent insulation of the outer walls, our heating energy consumption in the rooms has dropped towards 0. The topic of sustainability plays an important role for us everywhere, so we heat with wood and our electrical energy comes from the hydroelectric power station at the back of the stream. we are members of the Welschnofen energy cooperative. We also want to continue the idea of ​​regionality in the kitchen and cellar. We buy local South Tyrolean products wherever possible.On the one hand we are convinced of the high quality, the short distances leave an optimal Co2 footprint and by promoting local farmers and producers, added value remains in the area and ultimately benefits everyone in the economic cycle. Just consider, for example, the maintenance of the rural landscape, which is an essential attraction of our South Tyrolean landscape, but is associated with a lot of effort and cost for the mountain farmers. So, enough waffling, you have to experience the feeling in the house, let the warmth and comfort of the natural materials work on you, you just notice the difference ?

Best regards,

Sonja and Albrecht