Market & Building Type


About the Project

Set on a steep site on the shore of Okanagan Lake in Summerland, this 700 m2, three-storey structure will be the first wine making facility in the world designed to meet the Passivhaus Standard.

Recognizing the practical benefits of the Passivhaus approach for the design of a facility where temperature control is crucial, in an environment with extreme temperatures, the philosophy also aligns with the Owner’s commitment to sustainability and their choice to produce organic wines.

Taking advantage of the sloped site, the structure will be buried on the South and West side over two stories (the production areas), and will feature a green roof planted with native species.

The exposed walls to the North and East will be clad with gabion walls, using the rocks collected from the excavation, minimizing maintenance requirements and giving the impression that the building has simply emerged from the native ground. Insulation of renewable and recyclable materials will be used, as well as highest energy performance wood windows.

The heating energy consumption will be under 15 kWh/m²/year and the building will not require cooling, despite the need for cool ambient temperatures associated with winemaking and the scorching summers of the Okanagan. The structural system will feature solid wood panels to minimize the use of concrete.

Location: Summerland, British Columbia

Client: Rick and Leah Thrussell

Energy concept, shell & envelope design & site supervision

Equilibrium Consulting Inc.