Ice Box Challenge comes to Vancouver to demonstrate the benefits of high-performance buildings

Category : Media Releases

For Immediate Release

July 20, 2017

VICTORIA – Join Passive House Canada at 11:30 A.M. to 1:00 P.M. on July 27, in Vancouver’s Olympic Village Square, located at Manitoba Street and Athlete’s Way, to kick off Canada’s first-ever Ice Box Challenge.

Ice Box Challenge shows how effective, high-performance design and construction can turn the heat down in Vancouver, save residents money, keep them comfortable, and lower their carbon footprint. It pits the BC Building Code against a super-insulated international high-performance building standard under the hot, summer sun. On July 27, Passive House Canada will fill two small structures with ice, then leave them outdoors. One structure is built to code, the other to the high-performance Passive House Standard.

How much ice will remain in each after 18 days? Vancouver-area residents can enter their estimates online at for a chance to win the Ice Box Challenge contest. On August 14, the Ice Boxes be opened and the ice measured. The winning estimate will also be announced.

“People around the world are benefitting from living and working in high-performance buildings,” says Passive House Canada CEO Rob Bernhardt. “The City of Vancouver’s Zero Emissions Building Plan will help to bring those benefits to Vancouver residents, and industry leaders from across the region have come together to demonstrate the benefits to the public with Ice Box Challenge.”

High-performance buildings are comfortable, affordable, and healthy buildings and, because they use up to 90% less energy and require little maintenance, they cost less to run than other buildings.
Dozens of new high-performance buildings are currently in design or under construction in Vancouver. They include family homes, apartment and condo buildings, and commercial, community, institutional and mixed-use buildings.

Modeled on similar events held recently in Europe, Ice Box Challenge is run by Passive House Canada, with support from the City of Vancouver, Vancity, and members of the local construction industry.

About Passive House Canada

Passive House Canada is a national non-profit professional association advocating for the Passive House high-performance building standard and working to educate and train professionals in the building industry. The Passive House Standard is recognized internationally as the proven best way to build for comfort, affordability and energy efficiency of residential, institutional and commercial buildings, through all stages of design, construction and liveability.


For more information:
Rob Bernhardt, CEO
Passive House Canada – Maison Passive Canada

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