Factory built of wood is energy-efficient, healthy, and beautiful
BC Passive House (BCPH) builds prefab panellized passive houses out of sustainably harvested wood, neatly tying up all of my obsessions in one package. They now do it in a factory that is a demonstration project exemplifying "their commitment to wood design and sustainable construction practices."
It actually has a number of different wood products, with a Glulam (glue laminated) post and beam structure, Cross-laminated timber (CLT) walls and prefab roof panels. The entire superstructure was set in just eight days. There was no value-management exercise going on here either; the subfloor insulation is foamed glass and pumice, eliminating the usual XPS foam. (Here's why you want to do that)
We often joke about how passive houses tend to be boxy, and consultant Bronwyn Barry coined the hashtag #BBB or "boxy but beautiful." Factories are generally boxy but this one, designed by John Hemsworth, is truly beautiful. It was built by Durfield Constructors and Equilibrium Engineering hit a nice balance.
The notes from the Wood Design Awards summarize:
The facility is the first of its kind in North America and will assist the company in its promotion of the Passive House standard and sustainable, energy efficient construction methodologies that use innovative wood based construction materials. Moreover, it demonstrates the efficacy of using wood in buildings that typically have been both plain in appearance and poor in performance.
Wood construction sequesters carbon, uses a renewable resource, eats up some of that pine beetle infested lumber that will rot if we don't put it to work, and just looks so beautiful. I will follow up with more on BC Passive House and their interesting prefab system.