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New cotton classification complex: Model of energy conservationNew cotton classification complex: Model of energy conservation

Energy conservation is an important component of the new USDA Lubbock Cotton Classification Complex.

Shelley E. Huguley

July 5, 2021

While it may be under construction, the new USDA Lubbock Cotton Classification Complex, located on the Texas Tech University campus, is set to be the "flagship" of energy conservation when it comes to U.S. cotton classing offices, according to the Engineer of Record Scott Fanning. 

"Dollar per square foot per year, in terms of energy costs, this will be the flagship of the entire fleet of classing offices," Fanning said, who has designed most of the USDA cotton classifications facilities in the U.S.

Darryl Earnest, USDA AMS Cotton & Tobacco deputy administrator, who is overseeing the project, said when you compare this facility to others built in the past, the energy efficiency on this complex has been "stepped up."

In this video, Fanning discusses three systems being installed that will help USDA attain its conservation goals:

  1. Variable refrigerant volume system

  2. Free cooling cycle

  3. Heat recovery system

"That's one thing we were going for, we wanted to take advantage of as much energy conservation as we could from not only lighting but to the materials that we're using in the building, to Scott's point, all the equipment working in sync," Earnest said.  "This is going to be a very energy-efficient, air-tight, building and one that we will use as a model for any renovations or new ones we do in the future."

Learn more about why the complex is referred to a Yeti cooler from the lead architect Ryan Wilkins, Parkhill:

Watch this video to learn more about the energy conservation component of this project. 

About the Author(s)

Shelley E. Huguley

Editor, Southwest Farm Press

Shelley Huguley has been involved in agriculture for the last 25 years. She began her career in agricultural communications at the Texas Forest Service West Texas Nursery in Lubbock, where she developed and produced the Windbreak Quarterly, a newspaper about windbreak trees and their benefit to wildlife, production agriculture and livestock operations. While with the Forest Service she also served as an information officer and team leader on fires during the 1998 fire season and later produced the Firebrands newsletter that was distributed quarterly throughout Texas to Volunteer Fire Departments. Her most personal involvement in agriculture also came in 1998, when she married the love of her life and cotton farmer Preston Huguley of Olton, Texas. As a farmwife she knows first-hand the ups and downs of farming, the endless decisions that have to be made each season based on “if” it rains, “if” the drought continues, “if” the market holds. She is the bookkeeper for their family farming operation and cherishes moments on the farm such as taking harvest meals to the field or starting a sprinkler in the summer with the whole family lending a hand. Shelley has also freelanced for agricultural companies such as Olton CO-OP Gin, producing the newsletter Cotton Connections while also designing marketing materials to promote the gin. She has published articles in agricultural publications such as Southwest Farm Press while also volunteering her marketing and writing skills to non-profit organizations such a Refuge Services, an equine-assisted therapy group in Lubbock. She and her husband reside in Olton with their three children Breely, Brennon and HalleeKate.

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