Chemeketa Community College Agriculture Complex

Salem, OR

How do we create a collaborative hub to serve the agricultural communities and industries of Marion, Polk and Yamhill Counties?

FFA Architecture and Interiors, Inc.partnered with Lango Hansen Landscape Architects to work closely with Chemeketa Community College and its partners from educational extension programs, local businesses and community outreach groups to design a new, highly sustainable Agricultural Complex. The vision for the Complex was guided by the idea of establishing an agricultural hub for this broad community that is a center for teaching and learning in this growing Oregon region.

Anchored at the north edge of the eight-acre site is the new 15,000 square-foot academic building. A light-filled, double-height space acts as the collective center of the building with views out through a large glass wall and an overhead door that opens onto demonstration gardens to the south. The building houses flexible learning and research areas along with working spaces for students, faculty, staff, and partners. The primary structural system features Mass Plywood Panels (MPP) and mass timber from the region.  A covered arcade is designed to protect the building along the south façade with a photovoltaic roof structure that serves double-duty as shelter and to harness energy from the sun to support the building which is on track to achieving Net Zero Energy.

To reinforce the “collective hub” concept, the Agricultural Complex is defined by a central courtyard amphitheater space that functions in several ways and will contribute to public and educational needs while supporting outdoor group training, industry events, presentations, festivals, community outreach activities, and farmers’ markets.

The main building is oriented East-West to harness prevailing North-South winds for passive ventilation provided by automated operable windows and wind-driven roof turbines.  The automated windows enable the collection of cool night air during the summer while flushing out hot air from the day, allowing the building temperature to re-set nightly.   The orientation also capitalizes on solar exposure, enabling the PV arrays on the roofs and covered arcade to generate energy.  External overhangs shade south-facing windows during hot summer months with high-angle sun, while allowing solar exposure during colder winter months with low sun angles.


This central space is defined by the academic building and several outbuildings; greenhouses, a headhouse lab, and an open multi-use outdoor classroom pavilion. These structures will be flanked by a variety of different learning garden zones including a Tree Specimen Meadow, Water-Wise, Shade, Xeric, Upland Natives, and a Botanical Rainwater Garden.  To the south, large agricultural fields will be devoted to various academic and research activities including a Woody Ornamental, Organic Vegetable, Orchard Lab for cultivation research, and a Pollinators’ Garden.

Watch a short one-minute video of this project, which was selected as a 2023 Wood Design Awards winner. View the full award gallery here.

Version History
  • Project uploaded by FFA Marketing on 02-28-2022
  • Project last updated by FFA Marketing on 06-10-2024
Project Details
  • Year Built


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  • Bldg system

    Mass Timber

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  • Material Types:

    Mass Timber
    Glue-Laminated Timber (GLT or glulam)

Project Team
Version History
  • Project uploaded by FFA Marketing on 02-28-2022
  • Project last updated by FFA Marketing on 06-10-2024
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