We drove North on the Sea to Sky, past our cafe and store in Whistler, to the peaceful snow-laden Soo Valley area. The beautiful space for our winter photoshoot: the passive house, carbon-negative SoLo cabin, nestled away between mountains and river. A sustainable architectural feat of timber with strong environmental values, brought to life in the beautiful landscape of B.C. It seemed like an authentic fit with our own ethos and a place we were stoked to spend the night as we soaked up the surroundings and captured shots of everyone in our winter-worthy gear. Including our new Fisherman Sweater and lounging in premium comfort in the lounge in our new ZQ-certified 195 Merino Collection.
Heading into the valley and seeing the snow fall around us, we knew this photoshoot was going to be an adventure. Our first glimpse of the house rising up amongst the snow had us all excited — exploring its rooms, sauna, and details before unpacking.
A development by Delta Land Developments inspired by European alpine villages. Their focus for this project was making it not only eco-friendly itself, but a positive contribution to the planet in its ability to store carbon. Their mindset in both the design and features is that you recognize yourself as a visitor to this land and place.
Just some of the passive and carbon-negative features of the cabin include:
it stores 180 tonnes of CO2e a year — the equivalent of taking over 40 cars off the road each year!
the sun is the primary source of energy for the house — a 32kW photovoltaic array integrated into the South side of the house generates 90kWh/day in summer and 25 kWh/day in winter
for the days the sun doesn't shine (we're in the PNW mountains after all!), a battery stores 96kWh of energy (roughly the equivalent of typical residential use for 3 days)
This next one's definitely a feat you can't visualize from the outside:
five 61m deep wells capture naturally occurring heat from the earth in fluid that's cycled through them in a closed loop. A simple heat pump then extracts the heat for use in the house!
- A hydrogen fuel cell (clean, safe, emissions-free) provides backup power. A set of 16 cylinders store hydrogen gas, each providing 120kWh of energy.
- The house is insulated with 60cm thick mineral wool
A 90m deep well provides naturally high quality water for the house.
- And the house is able to treat, digest and disperse its waste water all by itself. With plumbing fixtures in the house using 40% less water than typical.
The SoLo cabin has many more features we loved geeking out on between shots. All coming together to allow it to tick the highest possible rating available in Canada for energy performance. Beyond its eco-focused technical details, the mix of wood and large windows really contributed to blurring the lines between nature and cabin. The vista of snowy trees and winding river setting the mood for the shoot and our stay.
Dining together beside sizeable pieces of First Nations art on both interior walls that we all commented on. Relaxing with a coffee on the couch and having a few games of cards. Lighting the fire pit outside as the snow came down to share some laughs and make some final memories before heading out.
One of the pieces in the cabin we were lucky enough to take in, is titled "Spirit of Place, Presence of Power" is by Indigenous artist Levi Nelson. In their words, ''The title Spirit of Place, Presence of Power, 2020, Illuminates illuminates the ancestral lines which have inhabited the Lil'wat Nation for millennia. Where supernatural meets innovation, the spirit of this place gives rise to harmonious relations and the harness of powerful and renewable energies''.
We have huge thanks for the team at Delta Land Development, including Kirk for his awesome hospitality and help during our stay! You can learn more about their work and the SoLo Cabin specifically over on their website: www.deltalanddev.com. Discover more photos from our getaway on our Instagram and Facebook. And sign up to our email list below to be first to know where we're headed on our next adventure and get more exclusive behind-the-scenes!