On-Grade Cold Storage

Last March Jen and I had the pleasure of touring St Lawrence Nurseries and visiting with  Bill Mackentley who has run the nursery with his wife Diana since 1973.  After several hours of touring the various alternative energy projects he has on the go and tasting various farm delights, Bill took us into his new cold storage facility.

It was an “ah ha” moment for me.  He had designed and built the most efficient cold storage buildings I’d ever seen.  It cost him about $12.000 for the two buildings, each one measuring 20×40 feet.  Part of the reason the cost was so low is that he scrounged all used materials except for the concrete.  Bill said that if he had bought the steel new it would have been much more expensive.

If all goes well, we will be building a version of this come spring and will keep posting on our progress.

In order to save further on costs and make the design more accessible, we are looking into using concrete barrel vaults to support the ceiling instead of steel I beams.  Any thoughts on this would be helpful.

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