Building Sustainable Barns and Other Farming Structures


| 10/9/2018 1:52:00 PM


The definition of homesteading has evolved significantly since the implementation (and subsequent repeal) of 1862’s Homesteading Act. But what hasn’t changed is the fact that outbuildings are a big deal in the homesteading world. For a self-sufficient homestead to truly function, you need a greenhouse as well as a barn or other type of farming structure.

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Photo by Pexels

The good news for DIY homesteaders is that building sustainable barns and greenhouses is easier than ever. There are myriad possibilities in the realm of sustainable barn design, and it starts with your personal needs. What is the barn or farm structure’s primary purpose? If your barn will be used to store tractors and other types of farming equipment, your design blueprints will differ greatly from those intended for a barn that houses horses and other farm animals.

No matter the size or function of your homestead, building a sustainable structure on your own is a lofty but achievable goal. Here are some points to consider when constructing eco-friendly barns and outbuildings.

Sustainability Issues on the Homestead

Many homesteaders are passionate about alternative power and dedicated to energy efficiency best practices. At the start of your sustainable barn project, do some research about your homestead’s location to determine the best alternative energy source for your property. In the Great Plains, for example, wind capacity is high, so a DIY wind turbine may be the best choice for optimal energy efficiency.



Where solar power is concerned, ample peak sun-hours are the key to maximum efficiency. Peak sun-hours are sunlight hours that provide at least 1,000 watts of photovoltaic power per square meter. Typically, the closer to the equator you are, the more peak sun-hours you will experience. Arizona, Nevada, and California top the list of U.S. states with the highest average amount of peak sun-hours.



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