Sustainability meets technology for whiskey processing facility

Friday, 01 July, 2022

Sustainability meets technology for whiskey processing facility

Sustainability meets technology in the recently completed Woodinville Whiskey facility, where the age-old process of distilling whiskey is married together with green technology in the form of Kebony, a sustainable wood. Situated in rural Quincy, Washington, the site is home to Woodinville Whiskey’s small-batch bottling, barrelling and aging facilities.

Designed by Seattle-based Graham Baba Architects, the two completed warehouses are part of what will eventually be six, 25,000-square-foot (2322 m2) structures, spread across a generous 10-acre (4-hectare) complex, with the third build to be completed this July.

Maintaining the simple, rectilinear gabled form and dark brown hue of the Woodinville distillery, the new complex’s structures are clad in Kebony and dark metal siding. Kebony wood was selected for its eco-friendly credentials and durable nature, which will stand strong against the extremes of the Washington climate.

A Norwegian company, Kebony uses a patented technique to transform sustainably sourced softwoods with hardwood-like properties such as dimensional stability, without compromising on appearance.

The transition between office and process areas is demarcated with a long vertical window that folds from wall to ceiling, transforming into a skylight. Horizontal windows on the north wall of the processing area frame the adjacent agricultural landscape and farmstead. A row of skylights provides natural daylight into the processing space, while south-facing photovoltaic rooftop panels provide a renewable source of electricity.

Selective elements demolished at the Woodinville distillery (steel and old growth Douglas fir stairs and steel railings) were salvaged and repurposed for the new complex, keeping them out of the landfill while creating a spiritual and physical link between the two sites.

Founded by friends Orlin Sorensen and Brett Carlile, Woodinville Whiskey reflects their passion for a product that blends craft methods with the historic tradition of bourbon whiskey production.

Susan Tillack, Associate Principal at Graham Baba Architects, commented: “Kebony was a natural choice for the front facades as the clients wanted the warmth of wood, but the material had to be durable enough to withstand the extreme heat and cold of eastern Washington’s weather, without requiring continuous maintenance. For us, it was a perfect fit due to the beauty of the product, its sustainability and the ease of installation with the use of Kebony’s rainscreen system.”

Nina Landbø, International Sales Manager at Kebony, added: “It is pleasing to see that Woodinville Whiskey’s newest addition recognises the importance of using sustainable materials in construction. By pairing recycled materials with Kebony, the warehouses work to minimise their environmental impact, maintaining this with the generation of green energy. The visually impressive structures pay homage to rural America, displaying the Woodinville brand for all to see.”

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