Silver Oaks Winery:Largest Production Facility to get “Living Building” Certification

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  • Silver Oak Winery and the International Living Future Institute (ILFI) have announced that the winery has become the largest certified Living Building in the world.
  • The certification was awarded after more than five years of careful planning and construction, followed by a rigorous one-year performance audit.

The Living Building Challenge is based on actual, rather than modeled or anticipated, performance. Projects must be operational for at least twelve consecutive months prior to final audit to verify compliance. Other noteworthy achievements of the Alexander Valley winery include:

  • Net Positive Energy, Net Positive Water Use.
  • Largest building to achieve net positive energy performance under any ILFI program.
  • 25th Living Certified project in the world.
  • 2nd Living Certified project in California.

Pic credit: Silver Oaks AV.

Silver Oak has focused exclusively on Cabernet Sauvignon aged in American oak barrels since 1972. The winery is also known for sustainable farming practices and winery innovation, having built the world’s first two U.S. Green Building Council LEED Platinum certified production wineries in the Napa Valley and Sonoma County.

“We approached the winery’s design with ambitious resource and material targets, but also a goal of building a model that can be replicated in other industries,” said Silver Oak CEO & Chairman David R. Duncan. “It’s important that the technologies and best practices we developed can be applied in other manufacturing environments of all scales.”

Pic credit: Silver Oaks.

“It’s inspiring to see such a beautiful facility earn the world’s most ambitious standard for regenerative design,” said Jason F. McLennan, the founder of ILFI and the Living Building Challenge. “The fact that a manufacturing facility with such unique challenges achieved Living Certification is a true tribute to the collaborative nature of the project and the power of good design.”

Pic credit: Silver Oaks.

“We saw this as an opportunity to shift the paradigm in how we think about our most enduring artifacts as an industry: vineyards, wineries and tasting rooms,” adds Haley Duncan, Silver Oak sustainability manager. “Symbolically, the winery is built to engender community relationships and also set a broader, global benchmark here in Sonoma County.”

Pic credit: Silver Oaks – cooling system.

As only the 25th building in the world to achieve Living certification, the Silver Oak Alexander Valley winery continues to draw attention for its sustainable, resilient design. Last year, the winery was recognized by Fast Company’s Innovation by Design Awards in the Sustainable Retail category and was also awarded the prestigious California Green Medal for sustainable innovation by the California Wine Institute.

Author: Bryan Groenendaal

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