The Mason Lane Farm Operations Facility is a new complex for farm equipment servicing, refueling & storage, as well as providing seasonal storage for grain & hay. The facility supports a 2,000-acre property utilized for agriculture, recreation, wildlife habitat and conservation purposes. The facility program includes: enclosed storage for farm vehicles & implements, covered (roofed) hay & equipment storage, grain storage, insulated work area & tool storage, farm manager’s office, kitchenette, shower area, recycling area, and vehicle fueling station.
Rooted in the simplicity of regional farm structures & local building traditions, the project employs sustainable strategies that are decidedly ‘low-tech’, favoring conventional construction methods & ordinary materials over specialized systems. In particular, the project implements strategies that take advantage of the cross-synergies between site & building design, focusing on a holistic approach where both components work as a single integrated system. For reasons of both economy and ease of maintenance, the farm complex utilizes simple, passive strategies that are specifically based on an understanding of the regional climate and the nuances of the landscape. Utilizing only these design approaches, the project has achieved a Leadership In Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) Silver Level certification.
Consolidating the various programmatic elements into two large barn buildings and a grain silo (in order to minimize building footprints), the majority of the project site is allocated to the circulation & access requirements of large-scale farm equipment. The remainder of the pre-existing cleared area was restored with native planting. Because facility water usage is minimal and site landscaping is limited to native & regionally adapted plants that do not require irrigation, site-wide stormwater strategies focus on returning runoff to replenish local aquifers. Taking advantage of the existing topography, the porous, drive-able gravel surfaces are pitched to channel stormwater into two ‘rain gardens’ planted with native vegetation that provide additional wildlife habitat. In order to minimize maintenance, building roof gutters are eliminated and replaced with ‘site gutters’, a system of drivable, shallow concrete channel swales located & aligned below each roof eave, which directs stormwater to the collection basins. In this manner, the site and buildings work together as a large-scale integrated drainage system. Other than the footprint of the barn buildings, the entire site is pervious.