Partners Jarrod Denton and Juancarlos Fernandez met early in their careers while working together at a Napa Valley architecture firm. Due to similarities in values and work ethic, they combined their talents to found Signum Architecture in early 2011. Signum is a full-service architectural firm, focused on winery, residential and custom commercial projects.

Our mission is to engage the power of architecture to stir emotion and invoke reflection while setting the stage for inspired living.


Approach and Qualifications

Signum Architecture believes that successful architecture springs from the trusting relationship we develop with our client. As a smaller, more intimate firm, we are able to be personally involved in your project, starting with our initial conversations and exploration through to its completion. We rely on this same relationship when we hire our staff, employing intelligent, energetic, and forward-thinking people who both grow in and contribute to our firm.

We understand the impact of architecture on a businessís brand and bottom line, so we have made it our business to learn the language and mechanics of producing and selling fine wine. This ensures that our designs effectively showcase the sights, sounds, smells and functional beauty that are integral to the wine-tasting experience, whether our client is a well-seasoned vintner or a first-time winery builder.

Our architecture is sustainable by design, with each project reaching the highest level possible given client needs and interests. We designed the first (HALL) and second (CADE) LEED Gold wineries in California. Jarrod is a pioneering expert in use of the German Passive House technology in the United States. While these standards provide valuable guidelines for design, it is not only the sustainable use of natural resources that is required to create responsible architecture. We believe that a deep understanding of site specific conditions of a project enables us to plan and innovate the design program accordingly.

Our passion is about bringing fresh design ideas and appropriate, innovative technological solutions to architectural challenges, regardless of size, purpose or budget.

AIA, LEED AP BD+C, Certified Passive House Consultant
Registered Architects in California, Washington, Hawaii, Mexico


Passive House Technology:
Fundamental Principles and Benefits

The essence of the passive house approach to energy efficient building can be summarized in 5 fundamental strategies:

  1. Orientation and design of building to take advantage of natural heat and light conditions of the site to achieve balanced solar gain
  2. Super-insulated, airtight building shell
  3. Fresh air ventilation system which includes heat recovery
  4. Appliances and lighting that conserve energy, especially solar hot water heaters
  5. Augmentation, as needed, by renewable energy sources such as photovoltaic panels

Benefits go well beyond low or non-existent energy bills and a smaller carbon footprint to a markedly improved quality of life. Inhabitants of passive houses enjoy:

  1. Quiet. The interiors of a passive house are insulated from outside noise
  2. Elimination of drafts
  3. Elimination of condensation which can lead to mold
  4. Fresh air. Passive house ventilation systems create an indoor air quality that is far superior to outdoor air

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