The Passive House Factory in British Columbia is the functioning embodiment of the very ideals that it is promoting. The factory was made from the same prefabricated wood it produces for other eco-friendly buildings. This meta maneuver was brought to life by Hemsworth Architecture, whose expert design helped to create the first facility of its kind in North America.
The firm estimates the factory will produce 971 fewer metric tons of carbon dioxide each year, when compared to a facility built from concrete. A heat-recovery ventilation system and incredibly well-insulated walls help reduce carbon emissions, making the BC Passive House Factory as efficient as any of the houses its products build.
Screens made from two-by-fours make up the building’s facade, with each side featuring unique spacing between the wood to accommodate its relation to the sun. The firm stated, “The two-by-fours were prefabbed into screens and left unfinished to naturally weather over time.” Natural light from clerestory windows is abundant for the workers inside, creating a warm complement to the wooden walls. The ceiling is an especially unique tribute to responsible construction, as the beams are made from cedar wood felled from a nearby forest fire.
Recently, the 1,500 square meter site was awarded the coveted 2016 Governor General’s Medal in Architecture. The factory hopes its accolades and commitment to sustainable and energy-efficient design will help to promote the presence of passive houses near and far.
Images via Ema Peter