The Schneefernerhaus on the southern escarpment of the Zugspitze summit is the environmental research station with the highest location in Germany. In spring 2012, the recreation room for researchers and students was comprehensively modernised. Fußboden Gröschl experts from Garmisch-Partenkirchen used Uzin installation materials for the floor renovation work on the highest construction site in Germany and overcame logistical challenges along with the vagaries of the weather.  


Building type Educational institutions (International)
Country Germany

The Schneefernerhaus, which was built as a hotel in 1930, has been used as environmental research station since the late 1990’s. The building has offered a common platform for high-altitude, climate and environmental research in the high mountains to universities such as the TU in Munich, the LMU in Munich and the University of Augsburg, along with companies and non-university research bodies, such as the Fraunhofer and Max-Planck Institutes. So that researchers and students from around the world can use the extraordinary location for a long time, along with labs, decks for measuring, conference and office areas, there are also options for spending the night or staying around, which are now energetically redeveloped and modernised.

Renovation with the highest logistics requirements

“Logistics played a large role in renovating the common area,” says Robert Kärstedt of Josef Gröschl GmbH from Garmisch-Partenkirchen, “because the special challenge in this project was unusual location of the job site and thus the combined planning and organisation.” The environmental research station is accessible to people year-round via cable car, while materials are transported by cog railway. All the building materials and tools for the flooring work had to be calculated precisely in advance and carefully packed. “For transport, we had only two pallets with specified dimensions, which we had to deliver to the cog railway station in Grainau,” recalls Kärstedt, “because everything had to be perfectly matched.” This is why the flooring experts cut all skirting boards to size during preliminary stages in precision work. Because of the narrow time window, the floor construction and installation of the vinyl covering at the station was done in just two days.

Weather-proven: reliable materials for floor construction

"The influences of the weather made things exciting too, as we had a lot of snow at that time, so we needed a certain amount of experience and reliable materials," said the flooring expert. The materials not only had to brave major temperature fluctuations, they were also exposed to extreme sunlight and high levels of humidity. The planks of the luxury floor covering were only 3 mm thick and required a perfectly prepared substrate without any unevenness as well. “Clean work is vital here, because small mistakes are visible forever," says Heimo Danneberg, consulting expert from Uzin.

After thorough grinding and vacuuming of the flat hollow floor, the floor installers applied the UZIN PE 360 Plus dispersion primer to prepare the substrate. The ready-made universal primer penetrates the substrate particularly deeply, dries quickly, and is super low-emission. An innovative binding agent system with additional film forming properties reduces absorbency of the substrate and ensures a better binding agent to the subsequent levelling compound. Here, the installers decided on the highly-tempered premium cement levelling compound UZIN NC 170 LevelStar, which is characterised by excellent coverage, accelerated setting, and a very homogeneous and consistent surface appearance, thanks to its special formula. The advantage for another floor construction: The adhesive can be spread onto the absorbent substrate uniformly and effortlessly with a notched trowel so that the floor area appears smoother and more level, even when installing delicate resilient floor coverings. Consumption is also reduced, which is important for limited transport options. After all, the last cable car for the floor installers set off punctually at 4:15 pm for the valley.

After the weekend, installation started for the 95 cm long planks in the Classic Wood luxury floor covering, with the solvent-free dispersion-based adhesive UZIN KE 66. The fibre-reinforced wet adhesive has a hard adhesive ridge and is therefore ideal for floor coverings with low dimensional stability, even under heavy loads, since the joint shrinkage is minimised. The environmentally friendly adhesive also contributes to the healthy indoor climate, as it is very low-emission and has – just like the primer and levelling compound – the Emicode EC1 Plus and Blue Angel environmental labels.

Successful  floor renovation under unusual conditions

Fußboden Gröschl's practised team was able to succeed in carrying out the installation project  at 2,650 metres with great care and to perfection. The unusual framework conditions like limited transport options for the material or weather influence - for instance, extreme temperature differences or high humidity due to heavy snowfall - were able to be overcome with optimum planning and execution.

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