Succeeding with a low-tech concept

The low-tech concept for a building with minimal technology was not initially on the competition agenda for the expansion of the agricultural school in Salez. That was, until the client saw the potential in architect Andy Senn’s winning project to create a low-tech building. The high ceilings, clear building grid and shading on the building facade due to the balconies created the ideal conditions for being able to dispense with building services engineering and save on energy and maintenance costs. Accordingly, the project stakeholders reduced the technical facilities in the overall planning process and used aspects of the architecture to achieve the desired level of comfort. For example, there is no ventilation system in the building at all. Instead, budding farmers regulate the indoor climate in their classrooms themselves through regular cross ventilation.

We were in charge of the detail planning and implementation of the building shell as well as the production and assembly of the wall elements and support structure using oak, spruce and pine wood. The new building meets the requirements of the 2000-watt society with its energy-saving low-tech concept, sustainable timber construction, wood-chip heating system and solar energy production.

Project details

Client:
Kanton St.Gallen, Hochbauamt
Architecture:
Andy Senn
Project type:
Education and research, Residential construction apartement building
Construction type:
Wood element construction
Services:
Timber construction
Construction:
2018
Locality:
Salez, Switzerland
The entrance area of the centre has large wooden surfaces.

Generous foyer bathed in daylight

Gallery

Photograph of the interior of the agricultural school in Salez

High ceilings are beneficial to the indoor climate

Classroom in the agricultural school in Salez with wooden shelves and a light wooden wall as well as a timber ceiling structure

Bright work areas and common rooms

The lobby provides sufficient space for visitors.

Construction allows low-tech concept

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