The Austria House is a uniquie structure not only to Whistler, but to all of Canada. The Austrians have built what is called a Passive House to house their delagates and media crews during the 2010 Winter Games. It it the first house of its kind in Whistler and the first registered passive house in all of Canada.
What is a Passive House?
“A passive house is a building which is warm and cozy in winter and comfortably cool in summer. The construction is air- and windproof, thermal bridge free, the thermal insulation is particularly good, and it has also a heat recovery system and disc glazing. The construction of a passive house is very compact and if possible south facing. These houses use up to 90% less energy than conventional constructions, and expend a minimum amount of energy. Passive houses are constructed according to state-of-the-art building physics: they are airtight, particularly well insulated and use natural resources like sunlight and terrestrial heat for energy generation and calorific requirements. A passive house is the most intelligent answer to the difficult situation in the global energy sector. Due to the passive house’s minimal need for fossil fuels, it has its share in reducing CO2 emissions globally and therefore also prevents damage to our climate.
The passive house is a substantial development for the protection of our future and our living environment from both an ecological and economic point of view.”
(courtesy of http://www.oesterreichhaus.at)
Once the Games have passed, the Austrian government, Resort Municipality of Whistler and Whistler Blackcomb Foundation will leave a lasting legacy by giving this passive house back to the community. The excited new tenants, the Whistler Off Road Cycling Association (WORCA), are looking forward to having the opportunity to make their home here.