Save the Date: Ice Box Challenge launches July 27

Passive House Canada invites members from Vancouver and beyond to help launch Canada’s first-ever Ice Box Challenge. The kick-off to this science demonstration and contest takes place at noon, July 27, in Vancouver’s Olympic Village Square.

Stark Architecture concept for Ice Box Challenge structures onsite

Ice Box Challenge 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—one built to code, the other to the Passive House Standard—with ice, then leave them sealed outdoors in the Vancouver waterfront park for 18 days.

How much ice will remain? Vancouver-area residents can enter their estimates online for a chance to win the Ice Box Challenge contest. The contest website will include daily temperature readings and a camera feed to the location.

Passive House Canada will open the Ice Boxes and measure the remaining ice on August 14. The  contest’s winning estimate will also be announced.

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.

Why High-Performance Buildings?

Vancouver’s summers are getting hotter. Its winters are getting stormier, with more power outages. These local effects of climate challenge communities, residents, developers, architects and builders to find effective, highly energy-efficient solutions. High-performance buildings such as those built to the international Passive House building standard provide a viable, affordable and achievable solution. They stay comfortable and quiet through heat waves, winter storms and power loss. Costing only slightly more to build than other buildings, they use up to 90 per cent less energy and are built to last, lowering fuel and maintenance costs and reducing greenhouse gas emissions and smog.

Ice Box Challenge shows that effective, high-performance design and construction can help turn the heat down in Vancouver and lower greenhouse gas emissions. The City of Vancouver’s Renewable City Strategy and Zero Emissions Building Plan focus on high-performance buildings becoming widespread in the region in coming years to meet city emissions targets and maintain quality of life in Vancouver.


Ice Box Challenge runs from July 27 to August 14. The contest closes at 11:00 A.M., Monday, August 14, 2017, with the Ice Boxes opened and the ice measured at 12:00 noon.

For more information, visit the

map to Olympic Village Square