The greatest potential for energy saving is in existing buildings. It is therefore important to follow the energy-plus principle in the case of new buildings. Energy-plus buildings are zero-energy buildings with a positive annual energy footprint. These buildings generate more energy than they acquire from external sources (for example, in the form of electricity, gas, heating oil or wood fuels). The energy required for heating and hot water is generated in or at the building, particularly through thermal solar systems and photovoltaic systems.
In the construction of all new cable car systems, we focus on environmentally friendly and sustainable construction methods. We also follow these methods in the demolition of existing lifts. The timber for new cable cars is made from Graubünden solid wood and comes from sustainable forestry in the region. All trees are felled in the canton of Graubünden, sawed in Seewis and processed by local wood construction companies. This enables us to reduce transportation routes to a minimum.
If you wonder how it is possible to glide almost silently through the air on our new cable cars, it's because all of our new cable cars are fitted with efficient direct drives. The new cable cars, such as the six-seater Lavadinas chairlift, are subsequently 15 decibels quieter than conventional chairlifts and also use 5 per cent less energy than the old cable cars. It is also no longer necessary to dispose of any transmission oil. The heat generated by the engines of the cable car systems is also used. It doesn't just fizzle out unused into the air, but is converted into heating energy and process hot water by means of heat recovery systems.
Be it natural or technical snow, preserving and making optimal use of snow until the end of season is a challenge. We also see vast savings potential here. Our snow management begins with construction of the slopes, influencing the technical facilities and placement of snow makers, such as snow canons and snow guns, and incorporates snow depth measurement and management during operation.
We record all slopes and snow parks down to the centimetre. So we can tell you precisely how much snow we have at any time. This allows drivers of snow groomers and those responsible for technical snow production to work with optimal efficiency. We also ensure that we only produce technical snow in the right places.
In close cooperation with the environmental construction support, we make improvements to our slopes and snow parks every day. By removing stones and unevenness in the ground or by moving soil, we are again able to save on the use of technical snow. For example, we achieved huge savings through the earth shifts carried out for the superpipe and kicker pro-line on Crap Sogn Gion. The superpipe initially had a length of 140 metres. We expanded this to 200 metres through the earth shift, although the pipe subsequently only needed 28,000 cubic metres (m³) of technical snow rather than 30,000 m³ as before. This corresponds to a saving of 7 per cent. We achieved a huge saving of 58 per cent in the case of the kicker pro-line. Although we added a fourth kicker, we no longer needed 50,000 m³ of technical snow, but rather just 21,000 m³.