The Mason Lane Farm Operations Facility is a new complex for farm equipment servicing, re-fueling & 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.

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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. Incorporating design strategies rooted in the simplicity of regional farm buildings, the project employs sustainable strategies that are decidedly ’lowtech’, favoring simple construction methods & ordinary materials over specialized systems.
Consolidating the various programmatic elements into two barn buildings and a grain silo, the majority of the project site is allocated to the circulation & access requirements of large-scale farm equipment. Taking advantage of the existing topography, the porous, drivable gravel surfaces are pitched to channel stormwater into two ’rain gardens’ planted with native vegetation.
Excess run-off is collected within these basins and allowed to percolate back into the ground water table. In order to minimize maintenance, building roof gutters are eliminated and replaced with ’site gutters’, a system of drivable, shallow concrete swales located below each roof eave, which directs stormwater to the collection basins. The remainder of the project site is planted with native & regionally-adapted plants that do not require irrigation.
Barn ’A’, with fully enclosed storage & work areas, utilizes a prefabricated wood truss frame clad with corrugated metal panels. Interior finishes employ common building materials (pressure-treated wood planks, oriented-strand board panels, particle board, and homasote) that are detailed to emphasize the layering of construction and to reveal the ’raw’ natural finishes of each component. Building elements that are typically hidden, such as fastening screws & alignment lines, are incorporated as design features. Insulated areas are heated through heating coils embedded within the concrete slab, and utilize an external boiler fired with wood debris from the property. Natural light is provided to all interior spaces through fullheight operable windows.
Barn ’B’, a large covered shed used to store both hay & equipment, is clad in a lattice grid of locally-harvested bamboo. Considered a fast-growing invasive ’weed’, the bamboo is a material nod to the square-bale hay that is stacked at each end of the barn, while also providing a breathable skin that allows the hay to dry.
In concert with the Owner’s principles for responsible stewardship of the land, the project incorporates sustainable strategies that are rooted in the specificity of the site & program. In particular, the environmental emphasis of the project has been guided by a local & regional focus that places importance on low cost/low maintenance approaches. The project has been submitted for a Leadership In Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) Gold Level certification.
Type: Agriculture Operations Facility
Location: Prospect, Kentucky
Project Cost: $821,361
Total Gross Floor Area: 15,880 sq ft
Completion Date: January 2009
Architects: De Leon & Primmer Architecture Workshop