Everyone knows that horses are big fans of the earth – don’t they deserve sustainable housing too? Luckily, Blackburn Architects, an award-winning design firm, has catered their services to our equine friends and recently introduced a line of sustainable horse barns called Blackburn greenbarns™. Starting with four pre-designed models, these barns maximize light and ventilation through passive principles of design and specify eco-friendly, low-VOC materials and finishes. Also offered are optional systems such as solar panels and rainwater harvesting to take Blackburn greenbarns™ to the next level in sustainability.
According to the 2008 Agricultural Census, the number of farms in the U.S. are estimated at 2.2 million. While the US Green Building Council currently does not have a LEED classification for agricultural buildings, Blackburn greenbarns™ designer, John Blackburn, believes that barns are untapped resources with an enormous potential to positively impact the environment.
“Assume every farm or ranch has two or three barns or out-structures,” Blackburn explains. “Imagine how much energy you could generate – not just save, but actually produce – if you equipped one-half of those millions of roofs with active solar panels. The energy could be sold back to the gird or stored and used on the properties. This is a revolution waiting to happen.”