Passive House Office & Warehouse Facility
Hidden from the adjacent highway by a small rise and surrounded by meandering creeks, grasslands and stands of pines, four dark grey walls provide shelter from the winter winds of an extremely cold climate. Inside, a flourishing insulation company stores its materials and perfects its operations. 5,000 square feet of office and operations space is housed on the east end of the facility. 12,000 square feet of warehouse space facilitates the receiving and distribution of hundreds of tons of insulation per year.
The dark grey walls are interrupted just once, on the east side, by a swath of vertical wood cladding that marks the public entrance to the facility. A lobby and reception area look out onto the green surroundings through large floor-to-ceiling windows and are warmed by morning light descending down a staircase that rises to the second level. Building owners, contractors and suppliers are greeted by material displays and full-scales mockups of industry-leading insulation practices. Work spaces for management and office staff are adjacent, yet private, to insure efficient collaboration and workflows. A large gathering space, accessible from the north, provides field technicians a place to plan and strategize for each job. A large second-floor area houses the owner’s office, a storage and mechanical space and offers the possibility for future office expansion. In the warehouse, ten large overhead doors provide efficient material distribution to job sites, while a large covered storage area on the west provides protection from the elements and insures safe unloading of large deliveries.
With nearly 9,500 heating degree days (more than Moscow, Russia) and seven months of winter, protection from the elements, both for man and material, is imperative. But heating a large indoor space in a location served solely by electricity can be very costly. To reduce long-term operating costs, the facility will employ an extremely well-insulated envelope, with the office portion of the building meeting the ultra-stringent Passive House energy-efficiency standard.