The Robotic Milking Facility is the first livestock building in the U.S. to receive Leadership in Environmental and Energy Design (LEED) certification.
Achieving LEED certification for the Pasture Dairy Barn allows KBS to demonstrate its own commitment to sustainability and ways that farmers can conserve natural resources and reduce costs. Several practices during its design and construction helped the Robotic Milking Facility receive LEED certification; these practices included:
- Energy Conservation – Our barn is 38% more energy efficient than industry standards of 2009.
- Construction Waste Recycling – Over 11 tons of concrete, wood, and metal were recycled or redirected when building and, concrete waste was used as the base for the driveway and parking area. Additionally, we have a recycling plan to reduce the amount of paper, plastic, and other wastes going to landfills.
- Use of Regional Materials – Over 34% of construction materials were recovered, harvested, or manufactured within 500 miles of Hickory Corners Michigan.
- Internal Air Quality– Paints, sealants, and adhesives used during construction were selected from a LEED approved list of compounds producing a low level of volatile organic compounds
- A Green Housekeeping Policy was developed at the dairy to reduce the exposure of building occupants and maintenance personnel to potentially hazardous chemical contaminants.
- Working with LEED Accredited Professionals – To ensure that LEED appropriate design and construction principles were included in the dairy barn the design team worked closely with LEED Accredited Professionals throughout all phases of the design and construction process.
Design and construction practices to achieve LEED certification for the KBS Pasture Dairy Barn were not without additional costs. LEED certification is typically reported to increase project costs by 2.5 to 11% (or more), depending on the size of the project, certification level. Achievement of LEED certification for the KBS pasture dairy barn increased project costs by approximately 4.5%, but the the energy efficient design and green building principals at the dairy barn will return that money to the dairy over time through lower operating costs.
We’re proud to be part of broader MSU Sustainability efforts.