The agriculture of the future passes through architecture, Saxum Vineyard Equipment Barn
Located in the Templeton Gap area of West Paso Robles, California this simple agricultural storage structure rests at the toes of the 50 acre James Berry Vineyard and the adjacent Saxum Winery sitting just over 800 feet away. Designed as a modern pole barn, the reclaimed oil field drill stem pipe structure’s primary objectives are to provide an armature for a photovoltaic roof system that offsets more than 100% of power demands on the winery and to provide covered open-air storage for farming vehicles and their implements, workshop and maintenance space, and storage for livestock supplies.
Designed to harnesses the local climate to maximize cross ventilation, daylight and solar energy, the recycled oilfield pipe structure holds a laminated glass photovoltaic roof system that reduces the purchase of electric energy by 171% (roughly 88,697 kWh per year), eliminating the dependence of grid tied power for the winery and the vineyard irrigation wells through net metering. Utilizing the laminated glass solar modules as both the actual primary roof and the renewable energy generator, offset any additional costs to construct an additional roof with separately mounted crystalline solar panels.
Minimalistic materials were selected to withstand the particularly dry climate, for regional availability, long-term durability and to minimize the need for maintenance. The primary column and roof structure is constructed of welded Schedule 40 reclaimed drill stem pipe, in 2”, 3” and 3.5” diameters, left to weather naturally. The lateral load resisting system, consists of diaphragm rod cross-bracing and vertical tension only cross-braced frames. Laminated glass solar modules, serving as both the solar system and the roofing, are supported on wood and WT steel flitch purlins welded to the pipe trusses. An 8” diameter Schedule 40 half-pipe gutter is situated at the low end of the roof to accommodate future rainwater harvesting.
22 gauge Western Rib Cor-Ten corrugated perforated steel panels provide shading and filtered privacy to equipment bays.
Salvaged materials do more with less. Barn doors are clad in weathered steel off-cuts that were saved for reuse from the adjacent winery shoring walls, re-used in a "calico" pattern to fit the oddly shaped panels to tube steel framed door leafs. Storage boxes are skinned with stained cedar siding with the interiors clad with unfinished rotary cut Douglas Fir plywood.
Foundations limit the amount of cast-in-place concrete by including pervious gravel paving for all open vehicle storage bays and livestock pens, maximizing the amount of rainwater that is filtered back through the soil into the watershed. In addition, providing an engineered deepened earthwork program allowed the structural foundation requirements to be more efficient with their utilization of cast-in-place concrete.
Sitting sentry as the foremost structure present upon entering the vineyard lined property, the barn and its renewable energy system speak to the winery's commitment to sustainability and subservience to the natural landscape. This structure is completely self-sufficient and operates independently from the energy grid, maximizing the structure’s survivability and resilience.
Paso Robles, California
Brian Korte FAIA (Principal), Josh Nieves, Derek Klepac
SSG Structural Engineers, Pacific Energy Company, Power and Communications Engineering
Clayton Korte is an interdisciplinary design firm based in Austin and San Antonio, Texas. With professional services including architecture, interior design, brand and identity, the firm handles clients’ needs to deliver rich experiences in the built environment. Clayton Korte seeks to create high quality, individualized spaces tailored to specific client needs. Projects share a similar design spirit: they are detailed, inspirational, authentic, and humanist, and offer a true sense of the specific place where they exist. The firm built its reputation on historic, residential renovation, and to be sure, that work established the firm’s bedrock. The firm has steadily expanded its capacity to deliver more complex, innovative projects coordinating complex teams including multiple clients, consultants, and other stakeholders. Today, Clayton Korte’s portfolio is balanced with a mix of residential and commercial projects including restaurants, hotels, wineries and public projects.