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Chic But Eco

Chalet KiwiChalet Le Kiwi Vert was built in 1960, but was never fully fitted out, and when we purchased it in 2009 it had been uninhabited for some years. Our principle in renovating the chalet has been to create luxury accommodation whilst creating as small a carbon foot print as possible. This chalet is truly green, and not one which pays lip service to it's eco credentials.

To achieve an eco chalet it was first essential to reduce the energy requirement through the use of good insulation.  Chalet Le Kiwi Vert was no exception but the materials used were quite different.  Fermecell boarding, a homogenous material made from recycled gypsum and cellulose fibres derived from recycled papers, mixed with recycled water with no additives or preservatives was used for the walls ceilings and partitions to ensure a high level of insulation.

Heating is provide by a ground source heat pump which extracts heat from the surrounding ground and delivers hot water to the under floor heating coils. Don't be surprised to see snow in the garden when it has disappeared from Samoens, this is a sign that the heat pump is working hard to keep the house warm. It also heats the boot warmers, and the cedar wood outdoor hot tub.

The heat pump is complemented by Solar Panels on the South facing roof, so when the sun shines hot water is produced and electricity is generated at minimal cost to the environment. Any surplus energy can be put back into the grid.

Ground Source HeatAir extracted from the bathrooms and basement is passed through a heat exchanger to recover heat in winter and to cool the chalet during the summer months.

Water is a scarce resource in the world so at Kiwi we have installed a water recycling system to enable bath water to be recovered, cleaned and sterilised before it is reused in toilets and washing machines.

Where possible the wood used for the renovation has been either reclaimed or from renewable sources, even the hot tub is made from cedar wood rather than plastic, and a highly efficient Italian wood burner ensure the heat produced doesn't escape to the atmosphere.

The duvets are made from a non-allergic merino wool, and the towels are made from either bamboo, which regenerates faster than cotton and is super absorbent, or are Italian waffle sheets which are extremely soft and quick drying. The mattresses, which people tell us that they are the most comfortable that they have slept on, I have watched being made, with layers of wool and felt, over pocket springs, to ensure a really comfortable and relaxing night's sleep.

Chalet Le Kiwi Vert was designed to have as small a carbon footprint as possible and to re-use scarce resources wherever practical. It uses the latest technologies, techniques and materials to conserve resources but at the same time provides guests with a luxurious and stress free environment in which they can relax, unwind and enjoy themselves.