There are many benefits to having an energy-efficient outdoor shop or barn. Aside from saving energy, an efficient outdoor building can keep the environment around your structure healthy and safe, save money on your water bill, keep your animals happier and healthier, and save you from costly structural repairs.
Whether you are looking to build a new structure, or make changes to an existing structure, there are many ways you can make your outdoor shop or barn more energy efficient.
- Location matters. If possible, carefully consider where you build your shop or barn. Consider drainage, sun exposure and how the building may affect your neighbors.
- Start with a sustainable design plan. According to the U.S. General Services Administration, this includes the ability to use environmentally preferable products, protect and conserve water, enhance indoor environmental quality, and optimize operational and maintenance practices.
- If you are hiring a contractor to help build your structure, make sure you look for companies that specialize in “green” buildings and energy-efficient practices.
- Choose efficient building methods. Pole barns offer reliable shelter without costly excavation, concrete foundations or general site disruption.
- Use indoor and outdoor LED bulbs, which are much more effcient than CFLs or incandescents.
- Install motion detectors to reduce energy consumption when not in use.
- Plant trees around your metal shed or barn. In colder climates, trees act as a windbreak, and in warmer climates, trees have a natural cooling effect that can reduce temperatures in your metal building 3 to 6 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Consider adding a ceiling fan to circulate air. Typically, there is a 2 degree Fahrenheit temperature increase for every one-foot increase in ceiling height.