If you were in Olympic Village in the past month, you might have noticed a strange sculpture in the square across from Terra Breads.

This wasn’t a public art display, but a demonstration of BC Building Code-grade energy efficiency, versus Passive House energy efficiency.

What was the Ice Box Challenge Vancouver?

Inside the two concrete polyhedrons was a 1,000 kilogram block of ice. Placed under the hot summer sun, one polyhedron was built to BC Building Code standards. The other was built to Passive House standards.

The installation appeared in Olympic Village Square on July 27. It was called the Ice Box Challenge.

Then, on August 14, both sides were opened, and the amount of ice inside that remained was measured.

Inside the Passive House, 639 kilograms of iced remained and inside the BC Building Code house, only 407 kilograms remained.

It was clear when the boxes were opened that the extra insulation in the walls, floor and ceiling of the Passive House box made a significant difference. As you can see in the photo bellow, the ice inside of the Passive House was still solid with straight edges while the BC Code insulated house’s ice block’s top layer had melted significantly and the rest of the block had lost all of its sharp edges.

passive house ice box challenge - energy efficiency - draft on site services burnaby

Photo credit: Ice Box Challenge

Energy efficient home design

Homes designed with energy efficiency in mind are more comfortable, more sustainable, and often last longer with homes built without care for efficiency.

Plus, with Vancouver’s goal to have new buildings in the city be net-zero by 2030, and all structures retrofitted to net-zero standards by 2050, homeowners and builders who adopt energy efficient design standards for their homes today are already ahead of the curve!

Want to know more about Passive House design standards? Read about them here.

Featured image photo credit: Passive House Canada