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The Dilmun Hill Barn


Intended Project Goal: The project aims to leverage the human resources and partnerships available at Cornell University to design and build a barn structure that will implement innovative and ecological design and technology to serve as a model for both small and medium-sized farming operations, in addition to other college farms seeking sustainably designed infrastructure. 

Specific research areas:

  • Fine-grained building temperature control via IOT
  • LEED building design, architecture, and certification
  • Off-grid power harvesting and storage, perhaps low-head water power, or hydraulic ram, or solar.
  • Rainwater collection and control.
  • Diversion control, storage monitoring, and warnings.
  • Root monitoring and water monitoring of small plants via impedance tomography.
  • Schedule-based irrigation with leak detection.  This project includes IOT water valve development and base-stain visualization systems to monitor water flow and system issues. This project will also establish a farm-wide network for other field-based projects
  • Community research

Campus and Research Benefits:

  • Model LEED-certified building on campus, improve green building inventory
  • Reduce carbon emissions
  • Model excellence in design performance 

Knowledge Gained:

  • Model for collaborative, high-performance build for other small and medium-sized farming operations, including other partners on the Cornell campus

Additional Project Potential

If you are a student with an idea relating to design or technology that you believe fits into the Barn Project, you can become part of our group as a researcher/developer. With a faculty advisor, you can structure your research as an independent study, senior design or master’s project, or thesis. You can work independently, or as a leader of other students.

We currently have existing research groups within the Architecture, Mechanical Engineering, and Electrical Engineering departments. Please email us and let us know what your interests are regarding the project, and we will help you get involved.

If you are a member of Cornell faculty or staff and would like to become part of the project, please email us with your ideas, and let us know how you would like to get involved.

Institutional Outcomes