Going Green to Save Green: How Building Sustainability Affects Your Business For Years
If you’re a winery or a brewery, going green, being eco-friendly and saving the planet might not spring to your mind first when you start to think about a new building or expanding your current operations. To those unfamiliar with sustainable building, it might sound like a fancy way to spend more money. But in reality, sustainable building works with the environment to lower costs, both during the building process as well as day-to-day operational costs.
In designing the Nedloh Brewing Company (soon to be Other Half Rochester), we took advantage of natural resources and the beauty of the area, while preventing future problems. Highlights of the sustainable design include: building orientation, use of sunlight, thermal cooling, water management & conservation, and building materials.
We intentionally designed the building’s orientation so that a wall of windows faces north. This allows daylight to enter the brewery from sunup to sundown, but it does so without raising the temperature in the building with direct heat from the sun. It also allows for a spectacular view overlooking the Bristol Hills. Walking up the hill where the building now sits, the majestic view of the hills slowly open up the higher you climb. Taking this into consideration, we raised the floor level in the tasting room to give the best view possible.
A roof overhang on the south side of the building is another heat-reducing feature. It blocks direct sunlight in the summer, reducing cooling costs. That same roof overhang was designed so that the sun can provide heat in the winter when the sun comes in at a lower angle.
In this case, it was important that we find a solution to help the brewers keep their product cold. The beer coolers they had each hold up to 5,000 gallons of beer and need to be kept cold at all times. By installing the coolers below the ground, not only are they protected from outside heat, but it ends up costing them less in the end to keep the beer cold.
Water Management & Conservation
A stone parking lot allows rain water to flow directly into the ground and a rain garden collects run-off waters for decorative plants. On-site ponds also collect rain water and a green septic system reduces strain on the municipal system.
Carefully selected building materials also work for sustainability and energy savings. For this project, high-performance insulation reduces energy use in winter and summer. A high-tech rainscreen system is part of the wall construction. It involves a moisture-resistant barrier underneath the siding, with a gap in between. In doing so, any water that manages to get through the siding is trapped by the barrier and either drains out or evaporates away.
Building sustainably offers many advantages to craft beverage makers and their brand. By not rushing through the design and planning processes, their facility becomes more than just a place to craft, it becomes an ultimate reflection of their brand.