farm orientation

Email Subscription

07.23.10

Barn Placement: How to Position your Stables for Maximum “Green” Efficiency

Where your barn sits on your property is one of the first decisions you’ll make when planning for a new barn. Grade, drainage, proximity of service roads, prevailing winds, and barn angle in relation to the sun all play a key role in the health and safety of your horses.

Equestrian site planning can help you avoid mistakes that can have significant health consequences for your horses, as well as improve the efficiency of daily operations. Here are a few points to consider when site planning with the environment in mind.

Building orientation as it relates to the path of the sun and prevailing winds.

This single decision—where to place your barn—has a huge impact on energy efficiency as well as the health and comfort of your stabled horses. Harnessing passive solar heat energy and prevailing breezes can keep your barn cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Design decisions that include the placement of façade openings, overhangs, skylights, roof vents, and more allow a building to work with solar energy passively.

Drainage lines, water conservation, prevention of pollution.

Barns and arenas create large footprints with massive roof spaces. Water displacement should be considered so that water draining from the barn site doesn’t contaminate local streams with hazardous runoff, cause soil erosion, and water loss. Storm drainage can be collected and returned to the ground or conserved for other purposes.

Site disturbance

Construction machinery can cause soil erosion, damage root systems of timber, and destroy sensitive grassland. Stockpiles of materials can create similar damage to the natural ecology. Thoughtful placement of machinery and materials is important. Where paving is necessary, choose recycled, permeable materials. Plan adequate paddock spaces and establish a paddock rotation plan so that horses can rotate the use of outdoor areas to avoid damage to sensitive grasslands.

Glenwood Farm photo by Steve Roe

Posted in Equestrian News, Sustainable Design | | 1 comment >