Technical Features

NSSS 7th Edition

NSSS 7th Edition

The National Structural Steelwork Specification (NSSS) has been a familiar fixture on the desks of steelwork fabricators’ engineers and workshop supervisors since its introduction in 1989.  The most recent incarnation of this bible of structural steelwork, the 7th edition, has recently been published by the BCSA with important implications for RIDBA members.  The...

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Selecting the Correct Steel Grade

Steel is a remarkably versatile construction material and has so many uses within modern agricultural and industrial buildings.  In addition to the structural frames, which are usually made from hot-rolled carbon steel, galvanized cold-formed steel is often used for the purlins, cladding rails and the roof and wall cladding, while steel bolts hold the structural elements together and reinforcing...

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Energy-saving Opportunities for Pig Farmers

Efficiently run livestock housing is key to productivity, health, welfare and, ultimately, the success of the industry. Proficiently balancing inputs and outputs places some businesses ahead of others and creates more resilience in navigating through the uncertainty of the future while we live through these unprecedented times.

In 2019, English...

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Light: Adding Value to a Steel Frame

Design guidance on lighting for livestock buildings has remained rudimentary for years. BS5502: part 40, (1990) states that natural lighting should be provided for cattle where possible, with supplementary artificial lighting where appropriate. Target light levels recommend 50 lux as standard service illumination and 300 lux for inspection. Similar guidance is given for...

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Installation of Photovoltaic (PV) Arrays on Agricultural Buildings

Photovoltaic (PV) panels are becoming an increasingly common sight on buildings across the UK, as owners attempt to turn sunlight into cash while doing ‘their bit’ for the environment. Farm buildings are no exception, especially where electricity is required to power plant and processes within the building. If, however, the PVs are not installed correctly,...
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Snow Loading on Agricultural Buildings

The United Kingdom is blessed with a fairly mild winter climate, but it is not uncommon for a significant snowfall to occur at least once every winter, bringing with it the usual transport chaos and school closures. In Scotland and North East England, heavy snow is more common and the problem increases with altitude. For...
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Wind Loading on Agricultural Buildings

All buildings and other external structures are subjected to wind loading which, over the 20 to 50 year design life of the building, may on occasion be sufficiently strong to cause damage to the cladding and even the building structure. It is therefore essential that this loading is properly accounted for during the design and...
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Farm Building Design and the Well-being of Livestock

RIDBA Technical Consultant, Dr Martin Heywood, looks into some of the key areas that should be addressed by building designers and farmers to improve the well-being of their livestock. Introduction It is essential that animal housing provides a comfortable, clean and dry environment, free from hazards and health risks. The design of the building and specification of...
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Codes and Standards for Agricultural Buildings

Agricultural buildings in the UK are designed to a British Standard and for the structural aspects of the design that standard is BS 5502-22:2013. This standard is only the tip of an iceberg concerning design documents - which a structural engineer has to use to determine the loading on the building, and to design a...
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