Passive Solar Barn Plans

Barn Construction

The design and construction of our passive solar barn has many of the same features as our passive solar greenhouse. It is stick-frame construction and will be insulated with blown cellulose (hopefully before winter hits). There are three double-pane windows and 2 doors that provide ample ventilation when open. The interior is painted with white exterior house paint in order to protect the walls from animal droppings, as well as to brighten the space. The chicken coop occupies one side of the barn and is situated on a concrete pad that can be easily sanitized.

Click here to download a PDF version of our small barn plans.

Egg Laying Chickens & Breeding Rabbits

We designed this barn to house our chickens, as well as our rabbits. The chicken coop is located on one side of the barn, while the rabbits cages will be placed on the opposite side of the barn. We plan to keep between 10 and 20 egg laying chickens in the coop for a steady supply of eggs. Click here to learn more about our chicken coop.

Rabbits will be one of our main sources of meat and we will be keeping at least one buck and two does for breeding. Click here to learn more about our breeding rabbits.

Benefits of a Passive Solar Barn

The roof overhangs the South side of the structure and its placement is designed to let light in during the winter and to block light during the summer. One of the South facing windows is located in the chicken coop. During the winter light will pass into the chicken coop and heat the concrete pad. The thermal mass of the concrete pad will store the heat and help to keep the chickens warm during the winter months. Once the structure is insulated the daytime heat will be stored within the barn to offset colder nighttime temps. We hope that during the winter the warmer temperatures and extra light will keep our chickens happy and that we will continue to get eggs throughout the colder seasons.

On the other hand, rabbits don't like to be too hot. The ventilation provided by the windows and doors should keep the rabbits cool during the summer. In addition the roof overhang will block out solar heat during the hottest months, which will also contribute to the coolness of the structure.

Click here to learn about the seasonal changes of the sun and how a passive solar structure can be engineered to maximize solar heating and cooling.

Barn Construction Photos


Food Storage

We've also installed shelves above the chicken coop and the rabbit cages that will provide space to store animal food and hay for the chickens and rabbits. The food will be kept dry on the lofts and will be relatively safe from scurrying mice.

Automated Watering

Though still in the planning stages, we will be installing automated watering systems for both the rabbits and chickens. During the winter the watering system will be warmed by a solar hot water heater to prevent freezing.

The same system will also deliver water to our garden beds. The drip irrigation system will be equipped with temperature sensitive valves that will manage and control drain back of the outdoor irrigation lines to prevent freezing.

Click here to download a PDF version of our automated watering system that we plan to use for our barn and also for our garden irrigation system.