The Farm Buildings Handbook

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Farm Building ‘Bible’ 2nd edition launched by RIDBA in March 2013

An up-to-date edition of the agricultural buildings bible that is a vital reference for farmers and estate managers considering constructing or maintaining their structures is to be published by the Rural and Industrial Design and Building Association (RIDBA).

The Farm Buildings Handbook is also aimed at contractors and designers who may not have an in-depth knowledge of the particular requirements of agricultural construction such as how much space to allow livestock and how much waste stock produces.

RIDBA re-launched the handbook at the Agricultural Building Show at Myerscough College in Lancashire in 2009. Reading it makes it apparent just how much things have changed since the book was first published by MAFF in 1961.

Back then, there were grants towards the cost of constructing farm buildings and so the quality of design and construction was controlled. Now there are no grants, and as working farm buildings are not covered by Building Control regulations, there is no third-party check on their design and construction.

Back then, health and safety legislation was not as rigorous as it is now – the total number of deaths at work reducing from 5.6 to 0.7 per 100,000 workers between 1961 and 2009, and a reduction in construction accidents likely to show a similar trend.

Back then, it was accepted that building contractors were the experts in building so their farmer clients were not expected to ensure they were themselves competent in health and safety. Now, farmers are partly responsible for the health and safety practices of the contractors they employ.

And back then, the green issue was in its infancy. Now there are strict regulations on environmental impacts such as slurry storage, use and disposal, nitrates, the storage of chemicals, disposal of dead stock and hazardous waste.
This latest RIDBA issue of the Farm Buildings Handbook will cover all aspects of farm construction, from planning through to fit-out of all types of buildings, under sections such as legislation and regulations, construction technology, buildings for livestock production, storage and other purposes, and buildings for diversification.

Contained within approximately 200 A5 pages, it is not intended to be the-be-all-and-end-all for farm buildings, more a guide to what needs to be considered, with informed pointers to where more detailed information can be found.

For example, the planning system in the legislation and regulations section advises farmers that they may be eligible for free planning consultancy advice under the Rural Enterprise Scheme administered by DEFRA.

 

RIDBA The Farm Buildings Handbook

Pages 1 & 2 of the Farm Buildings Handbook can be viewed here:-