The primary goal for Barn Beach Reserve was to create an environmentally responsible facility adapted to its particular place. A consortium of the NW Central Washington Audubon, the Upper Wenatchee Valley Museum, and Watershed Arts shares the facility. The Reserve provides exhibits and programming that connect science and nature, the arts, and cultural history in the Greater Wenatchee Valley.
Bassetti situated the barn-inspired building so it nestles into a slope, open to river and mountain views. This orientation provides ideal southern exposure for solar panels. The panels generate energy for heat and light and save the non-profit group thousands of dollars in energy costs each year.
Working closely with the contractor and sub-contractors, Bassetti designed a cost-effective heating, cooling, and ventilation system. A floor slab heated by solar hot water panels provides comfortable radiant heat. This system allows facility users to enjoy open windows in warm-to-cool weather. In extreme weather, a separate mechanical system provides ventilation air that is tempered to 70 degrees.
Translucent skylights and carefully placed windows provide natural daylight, allowing the building to operate without electric lighting whenever it is light outside.