The construction of Apple Orchard Leeb, the new fruit production facility of Vera & Albert Leeb, was completed in August 2009. The fruit orchard is located in St. Andrä am Zicksee town, in the state of Burgenland, Austria.

Leeb Fruit Orchard includes a fruit production facility as well as a sales outlet. The facility offers different varieties of apples and products made from the fruit. The heat requirement of the entire structure is 16.10kWh/m²a per year.

The total cost of the project was €450,000. Building costs of the project amounted to €350,000, interior and landscape costs €50,000 and other costs stood at €50,000.

The owners laid emphasis on the environmental and sustainability aspects of the building. The facility was nominated for the Environmental Prize 2009 by the Austrian Society for Environment and Technology ÖGUT.

Leeb Fruit Orchard construction

“The facility was nominated for the Environmental Prize 2009 by the Austrian Society for Environment and Technology ÖGUT.”

The plan of the fruit orchard facility was drawn in 2008. The construction began in 2009 and was completed in six months. 

The facility was constructed using "passive house technology" standards. Passive house technology is an energy efficient building model, which offers high standards of energy for buildings. The use of this model reduces as much as 90% of the building’s heating energy consumption. Comfortable interiors are achieved and thereby no use of heating or cooling is required.

The site area of the project is 3,500m² while the gross floor area is 450m². Renewable and recycled materials were the primary materials used in the construction of the structure. The furniture in the facility is made from upcycling.

Leeb Fruit Orchard design

Leeb Fruit Orchard consists of a big main shed and a fruit shop. The main shed houses a cold storage unit whereas the fruit shop includes adjoining spaces. The main shed was constructed using insulated wooden box frames. The wooden frame construction is a prefabricated structure and is not heated. The façade of the structure is made from oriented strand board (OSB) panels. Brown and green colours varnish the structure.

“All the products at the facility are prepared without adding any additives.”

The entrance to the facility is through two 5m by 6m sliding doors. The main street can be seen from the fruit shop through a triple-panel glass installed therein. Aluminium frames, which can be folded, offer shade. These frames are covered with used advertisement banners in order to avoid overheating during summer. The shelves and cupboards inside the facility were made from used laminated wood panels, the sales desk being covered with used printer plates. Old inner tubes of bicycles were used to create spherical ceiling lights.

The outdoor pavement and parking lot was built using used concrete vineyard posts, which allow percolation of rainwater. The roof of the structure features two evaporation basins where the rainwater is captured.

Leeb Fruit Orchard contractors

Architects Collective ZT was the architect for the Leeb fruit production facility. It offered schematic design, design development, construction documents as well as site supervision. The facility was constructed by Subau Baugesellschaft. Carpentry was done by Weissenseer Holz-System-Bau, whereas the steel construction was undertaken by SK Stahlbau. Furniture was provided by Gabarge Upcycling Design.

Fruit production facility products

The shop at the facility offers different varieties of apples such as early gold, gala, golden delicious and braeburn. The early gold variety, which is the early golden delicious summer apple that tastes sour, is available in July / August.

The Gala apple is available in the months of August / September. This apple has a sweet taste, is small in size with a bright red skin and yellowish pulp. The gala variety has further sub-varieties such as royal gala, imperial gala and gala schniga.

Golden delicious is the main apple variety available at the Leeb Fruit Orchard shop and is sold in September / October. The apple has a high proportion of glucose in it. Braeburn, a relatively new variety, is the winter apple available in October.

The fruit production facility produces apple juice, apple cider vinegar, apple brandy, apple brandy in oak and apple chips.

Apple processing

The apple juice is prepared by pressing apples. The juice contains only apples; a little more than 2kg of apples are pressed for 1l of juice. The juice is heated and filled into bottles without adding any sugar or additives.

The apple cider vinegar consists of pressed apples and 5% acid. Apple brandy contains 40% alcohol by volume; around 18kg of apples are present in a half litre bottle of apple brandy. All the products at the facility are prepared without adding any additives.