The #IceBoxChallenge is a contest.
It’s also a public science demonstration that invites the public to discover the benefits of high-performance buildings.

An experiment in high-performance building design and construction

The Ice Box Challenge comprises two small structures. One is built to the Standard Building Code, and the other is built to the super-insulated Passive House Standard. Each Ice Box contains 1 ton of ice. The Ice Boxes are left outside in the summer sun for one month. Then they are opened and the amount of ice left in each box is measured. How much ice is left indicates how well each Ice Box keeps out the summer heat.

Comfortable & efficient design

High-performance buildings are reliable, affordable, comfortable buildings that keep the indoors in and the outdoors out. They stay comfortable and quiet throughout the year, including through summer heatwaves, winter storms and power outages.

The buildings use up to 90% less energy for heating and cooling than other buildings do, while maintaining good indoor ventilation and air quality. They are easy to maintain. They are also affordable to build, own, live in, and work in.

Sustainable from the ground up!

Don’t forget to look down when you visit the boxes. We partnered with SYNLawn to place the Ice Boxes on top of their sustainable bio-based artificial turf. Their EnviroLoc Backing Technology replaces more than 60% of petroleum-based polymers with bio-based polymers such as renewable soybeans, thus using less fossil fuels and reducing carbon emissions.

About the organizer

The Challenge was made possible by the Brussels-Capital Region and Brussels Invest & Export /, organized with the Building Energy Exchange and NYC Mayor’s Office of Sustainability, and partnered with NYC Department of Transportation, Garment District Alliance, A2M Architects, New York Passive House, North American Passive House Network, 475 Building Energy SupplySteven Winter Associates, and SYNLawn.

The Challenge was brought to New York City to celebrate the sustainable building and environmental leadership in both cities, and to commemorate the Brussels Days – an annual series of events and activities which take place in order to promote the Brussels-Capital Region. Taking place in a different city every year, New York has been chosen to host the 13th edition of the Brussels Days from May 22-24, 2018.

A Brussels delegation will be led by the Minister-President, Mr. Rudi Vervoort; the Secretary of State in charge of Foreign Trade, Mrs. Cécile Jodogne; and the Minister of Promotion of Brussels of the Federation Wallonia-Brussels, Mr. Rachid Madrane. They will visit New York to foster the economic, commercial, political, and cultural ties.

Visit Brusselsdays for more info.

Did You Know? 

The Ice Box Challenge took place around the globe before making its way to New York City. It was in Brussels, Vancouver, and Seattle! The Ice Boxes’ original design was by Stark Architecture, and was inspired by The Lions peak in Vancouver. These mountains are unique and are easily recognized as a Vancouver landmark.

About the artist, Olivier Binamé

Mr. Binamé is a Brussels-based street artist whose colorful murals and sculptures have been featured all over the world, and beyond. This includes Godiva Chocolate’s 90th Anniversary packaging! Learn more about his artistry here.