“One key to a building’s long-term value is its ability to adapt to future uses,” said Chik Brenneman, Winemaker and Winery manager with UC Davis. “The JSWB was designed and built to be a living building, leading by example as one of the lowest-energy buildings in the UC system.” Davis has a cooling-dominated climate with extreme summer temperatures that can reach 102 °F. Design strategies for making the JSWB a self-sustaining structure encompassed building orientation, building form and a super-insulated envelope to minimize heat gain, plus the use of thermal mass to help cool the building throughout the day and natural ventilation to flush the building at night. The building used a super-insulated envelope consisting of R-59.5 walls and an R-76 roof. “Form and materials are used in the JSWB to help the building fit into the campus context as well as to enhance performance,” said Nancy Malone, Principal and Lead Designer with Siegel & Strain. “It includes a number of forward-thinking features and technologies that highlight what’s possible with sustainable, passive building design.” Technical highlights of the JSWB building include:
- It is considered ‘tight’ as designated by ASHRAE, which reduces energy use. Infiltration rates were reduced by ensuring a tight envelope and extremely tight roll-up doors. To verify this, JSWB was one of the first commercial buildings to use a blower door test to validate a low air infiltration rate (1950 cubic feet per minute at 50 Pascals) and showed that the building is as tight as a passive house.
- The roof form serves dual purposes. Deep porches at the east and west facades shade the building and provide reduced heat island effect. The roof area was increased for a photovoltaic array, which was designed to accommodate an expansion of up to (272) additional panels to offset future energy usage of equipment installed in the building by the owner or to offset power needs of the adjacent BWF building.
- The project reduces carbon through its use of concrete. The JSWB building uses more than 2,500 specially manufactured concrete masonry units (CMUs) made using Carbon Cure technology, which permanently sequesters carbon dioxide into the units. This building was the first installation of CarbonCure by Basalite Concrete Products. The CarbonCure blocks , combined with the first use of Central Concrete’s low-CO2 90% cement replacement mix, makes this the lowest-carbon CMU wall built to date. Fifty percent cement replacement was achieved in slab and foundations.
- Pre-installed process piping connects to future systems that will assist in achieving net-zero water and energy usage. The process piping supports reverse osmosis, carbon dioxide sequestration, clean-in-place and purified water systems, with filters for rain water and also to support the adjacent BWF building.
- The site is designed to be easy to maintain, due to elements that include a pollinator garden, nomow grasses, lower albedo surfacing and Natural Pave driveways.
- The building includes means of adapting to increased loads in the future. For instance, the JSWB will eventually house a range of process equipment, which is likely to add internal heat gain. To dissipate this heat, radiant tubing was installed in the concrete slab and the building’s duct and fan system, which assists with night flushing, was supplemented with two ducts for future connection to a rock bed that will be used at peak sun hours to create a cooling effect.
- The performance of the building’s commissioned systems— such as electrical, HVAC and renewable energy technologies—were verified through a third-party Quality Assurance (QA) Manager, Environmental Building Strategies. This rigorous QA process ensures that these systems are operated and maintained for net zero energy performance over time.
“The building’s combination of good basic design, the integration of advanced technologies and a well thought-out plan for the future have laid a path toward achieving Net Zero Energy Building Certification over the next year,” said Jim Coyle, senior project manager, Pankow Builders. “Pankow appreciates the opportunity to be a part of UC Davis’ vision of sustainability. We commend UC Davis for building a new facility that reaches a new level in conservation of water, energy and natural resources for an institutional building”.
The $4 million, one-story JSWB was made possible by a $3 million pledge from the late Jess Jackson and his wife, Barbara Banke, proprietor of Jackson Family Wines. The project has been submitted for the Living Building Challenge: Net-Zero Energy Building Certification, which will verify that the building is truly operating as claimed – harnessing energy from the sun, wind and earth to exceed net annual demand.