Tassel Ridge Winery

Tassel RidgeTassel RidgeTassel Ridge

Name : Tassel Ridge Winery

Location : Leighton, Iowa

Architect : Story Design, LTD.

Award Won : 2005 ABC of Iowa Excellence in Construction Awards

General Contractor and ABC member Story Construction approached Cunningham, Inc. late in 2003 for assistance with a new design-build project to be located less than 10 miles from Oskaloosa, Iowa. Mr. Bob Wersen, a well-respected Iowa business leader and a long-term customer, was planning the first phase of construction for a new winery.

Having no experience with wineries, we approached this project with an open mind and proceeded to model some various basic mechanical I HVAC options for consideration including ground source geothermal heating and cooling versus the more traditional methods of DX cooling and gas or electric heat. It was determined that because of the intended facility design requirements, the desire to maintain maximum flexibility for future building usages, and available electrical utility rates including rebates, the ultimate payback period of the more efficient geothermal system would not be the owner’s best value-engineered choice.

With that in mind an HVAC system was engineered to provide cooling and heating for both the upper level retail space and offices, and the lower level production areas using a single zone constant volume units typically installed on roof curbs. Ground locations were selected in lieu of the roof for both overall aesthetics and to minimize building roof loads, which would require a more expensive building structure.

The main retail area was to be a very open and inviting place. As numerous large windows abound in this area, providing their optimum open view of the surrounding lush vineyards and countryside, good airflow coverage is required to keep nuisance fogging and drafts to a minimum. Exposed spiral was selected here for both its appearance and its simplicity. As the lower production area was to be kept cool at 67°F, additional ceiling mounted, radiant heating panels were added in the lower lab and restroom areas to aid in occupant comfort without adding another dedicated HVAC system for these spaces.

The case goods storage room is located almost if not completely beneath grade. This helps reduce the cooling loads imposed by maintaining the optimum 54°F wine storage temperature. As this is too low a temperature for standard HVAC equipment, two relatively high temperature refrigeration systems were designed and installed to function in a redundant or tandem manner, providing back up in case of equipment failure and additional capacity when needed for heavy loading conditions such as during high bottling/packaging periods. The case goods split systems condenser units are located near the chiller in the exterior mechanical area at the rear of the building.

Overall, several of our in-house trades performed work on this 3,000 man-hour project including our industrial, piping, and service I controls divisions. Our cross-trained personnel facilitated easy scheduling of labor needs. Throughout the course of the project, our Safety Coordinator, Bill Jennings, conducted several unannounced jobsite safety inspections with our employees and routinely communicated any issues back and forth with Story’s Construction’s Safety Coordinator.

We wish to extend thanks to all ABC members who worked with us on this exciting project especially Story Construction and Menninga Electric, who provided the optimum environment for a safe and successful project and took the care to go the extra mile to insure everyone’s success. And in closing, a special thanks to Bob Wersen, who allowed us to assist in the accomplishment of his first phase of what will soon be known as the Midwest’s finest winery, Tassel Ridge.