The Whistler Blackcomb Foundation has granted $150,000 towards the completion of Austria House, a unique energy efficient building at the entrance to Lost Lake Park that is being built by the Austrian Olympic Committee and Austrian Passive House Group to serve as a home base for athletes during the 2010 Olympic Winter Games.
After the Games the two-storey building will be handed over to the Resort Municipality of Whistler, which in turn will make it available to the Whistler Nordics and Whistler Off Road Cycling Association.
"The Whistler Blackcomb Foundation is proud to be a partner in the Passive House project," said Mei McCurdy, executive director of the foundation. "The fact that the building will be a community-operated facility post-Games makes the Austria House an amazing legacy for Whistler."
Austria House employs a passive house building design, using unique design and insulating properties to operate with little or no energy. Over 10,000 of these houses have been built in Europe, but Austria House is a first for B.C., and one of less than a dozen such houses in all of North America.
The house is being constructed by three Austrian builders - the Austria Passive House Group - to showcase building methods, materials and energy efficient designs during the Games. Most of the building is being constructed at factories in Europe, then shipped to Whistler for assembly on site.
Durfeld Log Construction is the local contractor working on the project, and will be watching closely to see whether it makes sense to use the same building methods and materials in Whistler and elsewhere in B.C.
The Whistler Blackcomb Foundation raises funds at events like the Telus Winter Classic and the annual Telus Mountain Valley Golf Classic on Sept. 18. For more information visit ww1.whistlerblackomb.com/wbfoundation/.