UC Davis Opens Sustainable Winery Building

USDavisThe University of California, Davis, has opened its Jess S. Jackson Sustainable Winery Building.

When fully equipped, the $4 million structure will enable the adjacent teaching and research winery, brewery and food-processing facility to operate in a self-sustainable manner through onsite capture of energy and water, the university said. It was made possible by a $3 million pledge from the late Jess Jackson and his wife, Barbara Banke, proprietor of Jackson Family Wines.

The one-story, 8,500 square-foot building will eventually house equipment and systems for capturing and sequestering carbon dioxide from wine fermentation, and for filtering and recirculating water for wine, beer and food processing. It is expected to be the first building at any university to be certified net zero energy under the Living Building Challenge and only the second such building in California.

The building was constructed to include 10 dedicated, modular spaces that will accommodate equipment needed for a variety of processes including high-purity filtration of rainwater for use in cleaning fermentors and barrels in the winery. Some 90 percent of the water and chemistry from each cleaning cycle will be captured, filtered through a semi-permeable membrane and reused in the next cleaning cycle, eventually being used as many as 10 times.

The water filtration and recirculation system is expected to be installed next year, and a system for sequestering carbon dioxide captured from all fermentations in the winery will follow. The carbon dioxide collected from the fermentations will be converted into calcium carbonate, or chalk, once the sequestration system is completed.

A solar-powered ice maker will be use to produce chilled water. The building can also generate hydrogen gas by electrolysis, fueling a hydrogen fuel cell for nighttime energy use.

To minimize the impact of hot weather on the building’s interior temperature, the building is also super-insulated, meeting R-59.5 insulation standards in the walls and R-76 in the roof. In the evening, natural ventilation is used to flush warm air from the interior.

The building’s slab contains a tube system that will allow cold water to provide additional cooling in summer and hot water to provide winter heating, as well as pipework for a future, below-ground rock bed that will provide additional thermal mass to offset heat released from the various installed systems.

In order to decrease the carbon footprint of the new building, concrete blocks that permanently sequester — rather than emit — carbon dioxide were used, along with a 90-percent cement replacement mix. These techniques, intended to protect the atmosphere against emissions of this greenhouse gas, resulted in a 50-percent cement replacement in the building’s slab and foundations.

In November 2012 Jordan Vineyard & Winery released a video detailing its refrigeration efficiency measures, pipe insulation and other sustainability strategies. That same month J. Lohr Vineyards and Wines also released a video explaining how it saves over 32,000 kilowatt hours and 20,000lbs in CO2 emissions per year through the installation of two high-speed roll-up doors in their barrel rooms.

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