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Jealous Fruits
Kelowna, BC

Design/build team neatly fits the building to its purpose

By Heather Johnston, AIBC and Cody Walsh

Jealous Fruits has been growing the finest cherries since 1903. Based in the Okanagan region in the northernmost extension of the Sonoran Desert of central British Columbia, Jealous Fruits describes itself as, “staunchly focused on quality at all levels of our vertically integrated firm.” 

The ownership had a clear vision for how their new facility would look, feel, and function. Jade Bay Constructors originally began this project with layout options to fit their existing property. Ultimately the decision was made to buy a new site, and this is where the facility was built. Knowing the efficiency of design/build, and the quality that Eagle Builders consistently delivers, Jade Bay brought the project to Eagle Builders’ design/build team when the new site was chosen.

Design/build is a team effort. PLACE Architects, Jade Bay Constructors, and Aggregate Design Studio were responsible for the building design as well as permitting and construction follow-through. Jade Bay Constructors’ design department led the charge on interiors. Eagle Builders’ precast concrete team then worked with the design and engineering team to develop detailed precast panel layouts that streamlined production and ensured a quality build.

Jade Bay has some history with Jealous Fruits, including the expansion of its original Packaging Facility and renovation of existing interior spaces to accommodate more product volume. This gave the Jade Bay team an in-depth understanding of Jealous Fruits' needs, and the general function of its operation. We originally began working on building layouts to fit with the existing property before the owners decided to purchase the land where the new building now rests.

The grade of the new site was very well suited to the building needs: we were able to design the building so that packaging materials are delivered to the second floor via external roadways rather than using interior lift systems, while the fruit comes in at grade. In this way, the design allowed for minimal traffic cross-over for incoming fruit vs outbound packaged goods, while also keeping the Office Support Staff and Public Produce Market area very separate from the Industrial-use areas.

We worked directly with Unitec, the supplier of the sorting, conveying and packaging equipment to ensure the building design was tailored to the equipment, rather than the other way around. Security was another key factor. When product is bound overseas, knowing exactly what goes into each box is a must – so designing a floor plan to consider required secure zones was another critical program element. Jade Bay’s interior design department had primary authorship of the interiors.

They worked directly with team leads from Jealous Fruits’ internal departments to determine the spatial needs, adjacencies, privacy requirements, and even the paint colours and art for each office and support space. Close collaboration with the client meant that Jade Bay was able to pitch and carry out design concepts with few revisions – saving time and money in the design process.

The biggest challenge through design was the ever-changing needs of the client. From early concepts to completion required nearly four years, meaning a good amount of adaptation and adjustment on our part because of changes in the client’s cherry volumes, the effects of mother nature (good and bad), and equipment and technology updates.

We recommended precast concrete construction for its:

  • Longevity: The client wanted a building that will perform long into the future.
  • Durability: Forklifts and other equipment take a toll on buildings, and precast concrete is hands-down the best option to stand up to abrasion.
  • Speed: This one speaks for itself: cutting down on the construction timeline had multiple benefits.
  • Flexibility and Expansion: Jealous Fruits is a growing company (no pun intended), and precast concrete allowed us to plan for the future by designing walls to withstand future truss loads, with the precast concrete panels acting as firewalls between structures (current and future).

Heather Johnston, AIBC is principal of PLACE Architects, and Cody Walsh manages the Design Division of Jade Bay Constructors.

Prefabrication meets needs of state-of-the-art factory
By Eagle Builders

PLACE Architects and Eagle Builders worked closely with Jade Bay to design, manufacture, and build the precast concrete and structural steel office and processing facility. With an extensive project scope and unique requirements, it was essential that the building design would perfectly accommodate state-of-the-art cherry equipment while maximizing workflow efficiencies.

The facility required specific precast concrete pieces with special cutouts that would work in conjunction with Jealous Fruits’ equipment layout. We were able to complete this in our manufacturing plant in advance rather than on-site, increasing productivity and reducing the installation timeline. Within the processing facility, the thermal efficiencies of precast concrete panels improve effectiveness of the facility’s freezers and coolers.

Inside the building, hollowcore precast concrete floor slabs were cleverly used, helping to accommodate different floor heights requested by the client while minimizing the building height. Another distinctive feature of this facility highlights the beautiful outdoors of Kelowna with an open air patio area on the second floor.


  • Building size: 13,080 square metres (140,801 square feet)
  • 529 Insulated precast concrete panels
  • 435 Precast concrete hollowcore slabs
  • 15 days Precast concrete hollowcore production
  • 18 days Precast concrete wall panel production
  • 4 months for the precast concrete building shell

PHOTOS : Laws Lens Photography
Jealous Fruits
PLACE Architects and Aggregate Design Studio
Jade Bay Constructors
Precast Supplier:
Eagle Builders
Structural Engineer:
Grubb Engineering
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