“…The Sokol Blosser Winery’s gentle slopes face south and east to capture the earliest rays of the sun, the well-drained clay-loam soil gives the vines just enough vigor, and the temperate climate is ideal for cool-weather Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris grapes. Because Sokol Blosser looks at their vineyard as a small ecosystem, they farm the land organically and seek biodiversity at all levels, from microbes in the soil and insects in the wildflowers to native birds, which control the insect populations.
The team incorporated Natural Step principles into the project goals and design, and the LEED(r) Rating System was utilized as a practical measurement and verification tool.
The owner’s program required a year-round temperature range of 55-64º F. In response, the design features a three-chambered underground concrete structure that utilizes the naturally cool temperatures of the soil while minimizing site disturbance. Excess heat and carbon dioxide are dissipated by a simple system of fans and fresh-air intakes called “earth tubes.”A single skylight in each chamber provides daylighting. The building is expected to use 57% less energy than a baseline air-conditioned building.
All excavated soil was reused, and no additional soil was required. There is no net increase in stormwater runoff. Water-efficient, regional wildflowers and grasses cover the building and the adjacent field to support the beneficial insect population of the winery. No permanent irrigation was installed.
More than 75% of the materials were extracted or harvested within 500 miles of the site. Material use was minimized to achieve cost, energy-performance, and aesthetic goals. Additionally, the contractor recycled 94% of construction waste.”