Monograph 2020 Erdy McHenry Architecture 
marks 20 years!
Controlled Environment Agricultural Research Complex (CEARC)

Client: The Ohio State University

Location: Columbus, OH

Status: Under Construction

Area: 104,000 sq. feet



AIA Silver Medal





The Controlled Environment Agricultural  Research Complex is a research facility for the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences. This research facility will help develop transformative solutions to create greater food security through improvements in agricultural vitality. The facility will contain a 24,000 SqFt processing lab and headhouse to support the 80,000+ SqFt of growing space for both research and production.


It will provide a state-of-the-art facility for interdisciplinary agricultural research while creating opportunities for teaching, events, tours, and outreach programs that will increase the visibility of OSU’s research associated with advanced methods of food production. Surrounded by research fields, the facility is designed to celebrate both indoor and outdoor food production studies. The complex will include a headhouse supporting administrative, teaching and lab functions, along with a large attached production greenhouse and a separate, affiliated research greenhouse.


The greenhouses, which read as separate structures, will be constructed with innovative envelope systems and will be compartmentalized to allow for separate research that may require a variety of growing conditions. Piping, ductwork, and conduit throughout the complex will be predominantly exposed for functionality and as a bold display of the building’s working components. Landscaped basins define pedestrian paths leading to the building, manage the site stormwater, naturally filter fertigation wastewater, and recharge groundwater.


“The focus is unique in this facility,” said Chieri Kubota, PhD, professor of controlled environment agriculture in the CFAES Department of Horticulture and Crop Science. “It also will be interdisciplinary research and innovation.”