WASHINGTON, D.C. -- To celebrate the 40th anniversary of Earth Day on April 22, architect John Blackburn, one of the country's premier designers of equestrian facilities, is introducing Blackburn Greenbarns(R), a line of pre-designed but adaptable barns for eco- and cost-conscious horse owners.

To further the cause, Blackburn Architects, P.C., will donate 10 percent of its first-year profits from Greenbarns(R) to help offset carbon emissions.

Blackburn believes well-designed barns can positively and dramatically impact the environment and he wants to make "green" barns available to more of the country's estimated two million horse owners. But Blackburn's vision of the "greening of rural America" extends far beyond horse lovers. He thinks the vast majority of barns and farm and ranch storage buildings and out-structures should operate without electrical or mechanical dependence, and that the large roofs of these structures can and should be energy generating.

"Imagine how much energy you could generate -- not just save, but actually produce -- if you equip one-half of those millions of roofs with active solar panels," Blackburn explains. "The energy could be sold back to the gird or stored and used on the properties. This is a revolution waiting to happen."

Using energy-saving "passive design" elements, Blackburn Greenbarns® rely on natural lighting and ventilation and, in most climates, do not require electricity for lighting and cooling. Eco-friendly materials and finishes are paired with optional add-ons such as solar panels and greywater collection systems. The "ready-to-construct" barns resemble LEED-designated facilities in many of their qualities and functions, although the popular certification system currently does not include a category for agricultural buildings.

In order to connect his clients with the latest in composting, greywater and rainwater harvesting, solar power, and engineered bamboo products, Blackburn has formed partnerships with leaders in sustainable technology. Site planning, design modification, and design of other facilities such as storage buildings or residences are available as additional services in conjunction with the Greenbarn line.

Blackburn Architects, P.C., has offices in Washington D.C. and San Francisco.

SOURCE: Blackburn Architects, P.C.