HCC Net Zero Energy Agricultural Complex
Planned net-zero facility preps Heartland Community College for the future of high-tech agriculture
This facility’s greenhouses and labs, designed for agricultural science education, support flexibility and collaboration. Social spaces throughout the complex allow for incidental interactions and mentorship. The 29,500-square-foot building integrates technology throughout, from the rooftop photovoltaic (solar) array to the accommodations for precision agriculture — helping educators prepare students for the jobs of tomorrow.
The building, on track to achieve net-zero energy certification, reflects the college’s focus on regenerative agriculture. The building design stems from intensive energy modeling, passive solar principles, and solar compartmentalization, while the site design highlights stormwater management and flexibility of outdoor education. Legat helped the college apply for and secure a $2 million energy grant (see below). Construction bids arrived within budget and the project is slated for completion in fall 2023.
- Sustainable features: super-insulated building envelope, energy-efficient mechanical systems, geothermal system, radiant heating and cooling floors, rooftop photovoltaics.
- Structural strategy focuses on heavy timber as an agricultural reference point and a carbon-negative material.
- Large multipurpose lab accommodates interior drone flight, animal husbandry, and integration of agricultural partner groups such as FFA and 4H.
- Three greenhouses enable control of different growing environments including adjustments to humidity, temperature, solar exposure, and irrigation.