flexiblefullpage -
billboard - default
interstitial1 - interstitial
catfish1 - bottom
Currently Reading

Luxury farm resort uses CLT framing and geothermal system to boost sustainability

Mass Timber

Luxury farm resort uses CLT framing and geothermal system to boost sustainability

The Middle Tennessee property is focused on agricultural innovation and responsible, productive land use.

By Peter Fabris, Contributing Editor | May 23, 2023
Luxury farm resort uses CLT framing and geothermal system to boost sustainability
The entrance to the Spa at Southall features sustainable wood materials from managed forests. McHugh Construction used cross-laminated and heavy timber to construct most of the resort’s four interconnected buildings that serve as the hub of activity at Southall in Franklin, Tenn. Photo courtesy of Southall

Construction was recently completed on a 325-acre luxury farm resort in Franklin, Tenn., that is dedicated to agricultural innovation and sustainable, productive land use. With sustainability a key goal, The Inn and Spa at Southall was built with cross-laminated and heavy timber, and a geothermal variant refrigerant flow (VRF) heating and cooling system.

The four interconnected buildings totaling 95,000 sf feature 62 guestrooms, an executive boardroom, 15,000 sf spa, all-day dining restaurant and bar, and a 3,700 sf signature seed-to-fork restaurant, January, featuring items grown on-site. Many guestrooms include wood-burning fireplaces, exposed wood beams, and large windows overlooking the natural landscape.

Cross-laminated timber (CLT) and heavy timber were used to frame the structures. Sloped CLT for the lobby eliminated the need for cross bracing and framing to create a large, open space at the main entrance.

The HVAC system employs a water-source geothermal variant refrigerant flow (VRF) system. This system consists of 110 geothermal wells 400 feet deep under the parking lot connected to a geothermal loop within the building. The geothermal system is also used to produce hot water for the guestrooms, spa, and kitchens.

The Inn and Spa at Southall
McHugh Construction has completed construction on the Inn and Spa at Southall in Franklin, Tenn. The luxury resort, set on a 325-acre destination farm, features 62 guestrooms, an executive boardroom, 15,000-square-foot spa, all-day dining restaurant and bar, and a 3,700-square-foot signature seed-to-fork restaurant, January. Photo courtesy of Southall

Conceived seven years ago as a biodynamic working farm, Southall, located near Nashville, includes orchards, greenhouses for hydroponic production, and a seasonal farm stand. The working farm employs both advanced farming technologies and heritage farming techniques—from hydroponics and aquaculture to rotational grazing, permaculture, and terracing—to create a farm of the future with an old-world reverence, according to a news release.

Southall also includes an event center and 16 standalone cottages. Outside of the sustainable working farm and luxury resort, 97% of the property will be maintained as green space.

“Southall’s emphasis on nature and sustainability drove the design, construction and material selection,” said John Sheridan, Executive Vice President of McHugh Construction. “We’re so accustomed to going vertical and building luxury hotel and mixed-use projects in urban areas with tight construction sites; the opportunity to apply our hospitality expertise in building a five-star resort among the bucolic rolling hills of Middle Tennessee was an honor, a challenge and, frankly, a magical experience.”

On the building team:
Owner and/or developer: Paul Mishkin
Design architect: 906 Studio Architects + Interiors
Architect of record: 906 Studio Architects + Interiors
MEP engineer: MMEA Engineers
Structural engineer: McHugh Engineering Group
General contractor/construction manager: McHugh Construction

Related Stories

Mass Timber | Jun 29, 2022

Mass timber competition: building to net-zero winning proposals

The 2022 Mass Timber Competition: Building to Net-Zero is a design competition to expand the use of mass timber in the United States by demonstrating its versatility across building types and its ability to reduce the carbon footprint of the built environment.

Mass Timber | Jun 2, 2022

Brooklyn is home to New York City’s first mass timber condo building

In the Brooklyn neighborhood of Park Slope, the newly completed Timber House is New York City’s first mass timber condominium building and its largest mass timber project (by height and square footage). 

Mass Timber | May 31, 2022

Tall mass timber buildings number 139 worldwide

An audit of tall mass timber buildings turned up 139 such structures around the world either complete, under construction, or proposed.

Mass Timber | Mar 8, 2022

Heavy timber office and boutique residential building breaks ground in Austin

T3 Eastside, a heavy timber office and boutique residential building, recently broke ground in Austin, Texas.

Mass Timber | Jan 11, 2022

As trends shift toward mass timber, AEC firms are watching the demand curve

Swinerton’s New York office expects its first projects to be luxury residential.

Mass Timber | Nov 28, 2021

Henning Larsen reveals design for large-scale timber building

The project is located in Copenhagen.

Sponsored | Mass Timber | Nov 17, 2021

Mass Timber Brings Warmth, Flexibility to Commercial Building

Design visionaries are creating game-changing commercial facilities with mass timber. Discover how to use mass timber in your next project.

Mass Timber | Nov 5, 2021

Large-scale mass timber office building completes in Kirkland, Wash.

LMN Architects designed the building.

Mass Timber | Nov 1, 2021

A new mixed-used building in L.A. could set the stage for greater mass timber use for western construction

Part of a trend that’s seeing CLT gain acceptance for bigger projects across the country.

Sponsored | BD+C University Course | Oct 15, 2021

7 game-changing trends in structural engineering

Here are seven key areas where innovation in structural engineering is driving evolution.

boombox1 - default
boombox2 -
native1 -

More In Category

halfpage1 -

Most Popular Content

  1. 2021 Giants 400 Report
  2. Top 150 Architecture Firms for 2019
  3. 13 projects that represent the future of affordable housing
  4. Sagrada Familia completion date pushed back due to coronavirus
  5. Top 160 Architecture Firms 2021