The tasting room at Cowhorn Vineyard & Garden has officially earned Living Building Certification, making it the first commercial building in Oregon and the first winery to earn what’s regarded as the world’s most rigorous green building standard.
Developed by the International Living Future Institute (ILFI), Living Building Certification requires actual, rather than modeled or anticipated, performance across environmental, social and community impact imperatives. As of May 2018, only 20 buildings worldwide have achieved Living Building certification, according to the ILFI.
The 2,200-sq.-ft. tasting room, which includes a case storage area, had to be operational for at least 12 consecutive months prior to achieving Living Building Certification.
Since opening in May 2016, the building’s 15.96 kW photovoltaic system produced 175% of the building’s total energy needs. All of the building’s water requirements are met by an appropriately sized, closed-loop system, where water is supplied by an on-site well and wastewater is treated on site and restored to the groundwater.
As part of the certification process, the ingredients of every material slated for installation — ranging from hardware to drywall — were rigorously reviewed to verify that they were free of toxic and bio-accumulative substances pervasive in most building materials. In addition, only Forest Stewardship Council–certified wood was used in building construction, according to the ILFI.
“The tasting room at Cowhorn Vineyard and Garden is a beautiful example of what a business can achieve when it engages a unified design-build team right from the start,” says Amanda Sturgeon, CEO of the ILFI and author of Creating Biophilic Buildings.
For more information, see the International Living Future Institute’s case study here.