The building of Can Gasparó Rural Ecological Hotel

the Hotel Can Gasparó building was awarded the Pontos prize for ecological construction at the 2007 Frankfurt Fair.

The renovation that was carried out has sought to preserve the original antique elements, using the most advanced sustainable construction techniques, all thanks to the experience in this type of construction of its promoters and their passion for respecting nature.

The main ecological characteristics of the building are..

Hotel Rural Can Gasparó - Planoles, Pirineos de Girona


The original stone walls have been preserved and the necessary repairs have been made with the same type of stone to respect the original style and image. The wooden beams and planks of the original ceiling have been preserved. The new structural wooden beams are made of Frosch laminated timber from sustainable farms. It has not been possible to use stone slabs to the roof due to its low slope and the impossibility of being able to carry out proper maintenance. The original slabs that still remained in some areas of the roof were donated for the restoration of other old buildings and churches in the vicinity. 

The stone roller that was traditionally used in these old farmhouses to smooth every certain number of years the mud layer of the roofs, has been recovered and is part of the current decoration. To maintain safety it was necessary to make new pavements with a sheet of wood of 2 centimeters covered with an iron slab and a layer of concrete of 5 centimeters, on which the final pavement has been placed. It would have been preferred not to have to resort to iron slab but the security of the building and those who inhabit it made it necessary.

Hotel Rural Can Gasparó - Planoles, Pirineos de Girona


During the renovation, the geomagnetic fields under the building were determined because it is crossed by two subway water currents. The rooms were distributed in such a way as to avoid the impact of these fields and to ensure that all the beds are in places without telluric disturbances, thus ensuring optimal rest. According to some experts, the Chateaubriand room is crossed by a positive Peyre line. The electromagnetic fields created by the building's electrical installations have been naturally minimized by the grounding of the stone walls.
Hotel Rural Can Gasparó - Planoles, Pirineos de Girona


The power generation was based on a triple system: vacuum solar tubes: for the generation of domestic hot water (DHW) this system was chosen to avoid energy losses suffered by conventional plates in cold and windy climates. The installation carried out by Inygen and partially financed ICAEN. 30KW wood boiler: uses firewood from the forests of the same farm. Forestry is important to preserve the environment and keep forests clean. This boiler is used for heating and DHW, being the main source of the farm. It is a renewable source and as for the Kyoto Protocol it is considered that it does not emit carbon dioxide. It presents certain problems of regulation and low energy efficiency, since the predominant type of wood prevents the use of hot gas recirculation systems. 30KW propane boiler: for use in cooking and as a source of energy reserve by heating and DHW.

The heating system has been made with iron radiators because it is the best choice for a building with great thermal inertia.

Hotel Rural Can Gasparó - Planoles, Pirineos de Girona


To reduce energy consumption, the insulation of the building has been improved. The building has stone walls between 50 and 60 centimeters thick, which makes it have a great thermal inertia that has been tried not to alter. Therefore, no insulation has been put on the walls and excess clothing and furniture next to them has been avoided. Two thirds of the roof was repaired in the first instance and was used to improve its insulation, installing on top of its original framework of beams, a new structure with iron and wood slats, filled with cork sheets from the Hermanos Berná house. Above was placed onduline and aged tile. The remaining third was insulated in 2011 with 8-centimeter extruded polystyrene. Glass plays an important role in insulation. The supply and selection of glass and its characteristics according to the various orientations has been carried out by the house Saint Gobain Glass. It emphasizes the creation of a window in the north orientation that allows to take advantage of the white light of this orientation without losing more energy than the usual one of the stone wall. On the south façade, Bioclean glasses were incorporated thanks to a thin transparent layer of a photocatalytic and hydrophilic mineral that performs a self-cleaning function: the ultraviolet rays of daylight decompose the dirt deposited on the outside that the rain will eliminate later. If it does not rain, the glass offers a much easier cleaning. Improvements were also made in the carpentry of some doors that, when not adjusted perfectly, created energy losses.

Hotel Rural Can Gasparó - Planoles, Pirineos de Girona

Noise control

The environment is of total tranquility, which has allowed to open large spaces to the outside and thus take advantage of the views. To reduce the generation of noise inside the building and its transmission to other parts of it, anti-noise propylene pipes have been installed to the downspouts, the engine room has been isolated by adding a layer of cork of 500 kg / m3 and a wall of celucón to the existing stone wall of 50 cm. Other smaller units have also been isolated by the same procedure.

The type of pavement also reduces noise transmission. The White and Emerson rooms are equipped with an eco-friendly anti-noise carpet from Interface. To avoid the production of noise to the heating pipes, a system of power variation of the pumps has been installed that allows their adaptation to the heating needs of each moment, avoiding the excessive speed of water circulation.

Hotel Rural Can Gasparó - Planoles, Pirineos de Girona

Water management

The farm has its own collection of high quality water that meets all sanitary requirements according to the analysis of approved laboratories. The water is stored in a tank of 20 cubic meters. The wastewater treatment is done by own means in a Biotritt biological oxidation facility, as it is far from public purification systems.

There is a reserve pond of 120 cubic meters with filtration, purification and aeration system, where real carp were deposited to avoid the presence of mosquitoes.

Hotel Rural Can Gasparó - Planoles, Pirineos de Girona

Artificial lighting

This has been the main ecological problem of the construction. We opted for low consumption, long life and reduced magnetic field systems, but the performance in terms of aesthetics, light intensity and speed of response have forced us to change the type of lighting in a large number of installations. We must bear in mind that, being made of stone, the walls absorb a large amount of light energy, which forces us to increase the power of the installations. The disruptions in the power supply have made it necessary to install our own systems to avoid voltage surges and dips. In 2011 we began a change to LED technology lights.
Hotel Rural Can Gasparó - Planoles, Pirineos de Girona


Where feasible, reputable eco-friendly materials have been used. In the case of wood, as mentioned above, Frosch woods from sustainable farms were used. The paints are from the Monto house and are silicate paints that favor perspiration. In the common areas of the ground floor it has been painted with the typical blue color of the Pyrenees that according to tradition "does not let witches enter".

In the showers (which are made of glass and steel) Naturcal (lime with high natural silica content) with a waterproofing layer has been used. The walls have been coated with a fixing layer to prevent dust detachment. The beams and woods in general have been treated with an ecological paint that at the same time prevents the proliferation of woodworm. A negative aspect has been that the water-based paints used by the windows cause a certain degree of adhesion with the rubbers used to the joints to prevent the passage of air. Hubach, a local forger, has been the one who has done all the wrought iron work by stairs, railings, lighting supports, etc. Appliances and flat-screen TVs are energy-efficient and have the corresponding European eco-label. Much of the furniture is recycled and reused.