Sustainability achieved through design that is considerate of context.
In formulating a conceptual design for the new barn, the our passive system design team set out to create a plan that focused on incorporating sustainable technology and infrastructure in order to emphasize energy-saving features.
Several grading systems including Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) and Living Building Challenge will serve as guidelines for the mission of the barn’s design.
Some of the intended systems to be installed include a rainwater collection system, solar panels, passive ventilation, and maximized natural lighting. Systems will be designed and installed by students, in line with our goal of maximizing the hands-on, educational aspects of the project.
With the ultimate standard of a net-zero energy structure in mind, our passive system design team is focusing on both minimizing the barn’s energy needs and developing plans for renewable energy installations to meet the remainder of structure’s energy requirements.
The main energy sink of the barn will be the refrigeration system for the farm’s produce, which will be mitigated by strategically designed insulation and ventilation systems. Likewise, natural, zoned, and long lasting lighting systems will ease additional energy demands so that refrigeration can be more readily addressed.
After researching the various resources available to maximize sustainable infrastructure, we have identified the following goals:
- Sourcing reused and local building materials for the barn’s structure and interior furniture.
- Confronting and combatting water loss through better drainage systems connecting to produce wash stations and and the installation of a rainwater collection system.
- Restructuring the farm managers’ work path to reduce the physical demands of transporting crops from harvest to distribution, creating a more efficient system to increase output.
By the late stages of the project, the barn will present sustainable features in a way that serves as a model for designing ecological, sustainable environments.
The final phases of the project will involve creating an educational format by which we can articulate our design process to meet our net-zero energy goal. The barn will serve as an easily-accessible resource to reference for those seeking to design and build structures through the lens of human-centered design.