This article is part of gb&d‘s Green Typologies series, Farm to Class.
Location Lexington, KY
Site 82 acres
Cost $15.5 million
Architect Tate Hill Jacobs Architects
Client Locust Trace AgriScience Farm
Awards 2011 AGC Build Kentucky Award
Lexington, Kentucky — Although the phrase ‘Locust Trace’ sounds like it came from the lines of a sci-fi adaptation of a John Steinbeck novel, the Locust Trace AgriScience Farm is a net-zero project that is truly down-to-Earth. Designed by Tate Hill Jacobs Architects and completed in 2011, the $15.5 million project has the third largest solar array in the country, helping it get to LEED Gold. The project is driven by Fayette County Public Schools (FCPS) and hosts a program for 250 students with an educational focus on green-collar career education.
The project was first conceived in 2006 as an outgrowth of the horticultural and animal science programs active at FCPS in partnership with Eastside Vocational Technical School. The program called for a new greenhouse, and at the time, the Department of Education had announced it had an 82-acre piece of land available in Fayette County. “Open land in the county is scarce,” says Mary Wright, COO for FCPS. “We had already identified the land for a possible project, but as we studied the land, it became clear that it would be a natural fit for expanding our agriscience program.”
The farm includes a 47,088-square-foot classroom building with a connected greenhouse. It features an exterior of stone and insulated concrete forms and is built along an east-west axis. Adjacent, and separated by an interactive outdoor classroom space, is the 19,350-square-foot arena, which features stalls and training space for equine activity. A livestock barn and accompanying composting bins line an outer path behind the arena.
In total, four acres are given to vegetable and grain cultivation, 20.5 acres are for hay, and 3.5 acres are set aside for native grass and forestry. And on the south side of the classroom building are an orchard and community garden, with adjacent vineyards and constructed wetlands.
“Lexington has a very active agriculture community that has been immensely supportive of this program,” Wright says. “We had an agriscience program in place, but this farm has taken it to a whole new level.”
This article is part of gb&d‘s Green Typologies series, which in each issue explores a single type of building. For more of our most recent collection, Farm to Class, choose from the list below: