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Beware Flawed Agricultural Building Design
2011-03-01

An Agricultural Buildings Show seminar aims to raise awareness of the good, the bad & the ugly of building design.

Texel ewe lambs

One building design is much the same as another one, right? Wrong!

Sometimes they can differ significantly in terms of their technical design specification, and every once in a while a manufacturer who designs a building that isn’t up to scratch gets found out. And that is exactly what has happened over the last two winters – with disastrous results.

Thanks to Mother Nature’s snow fall in late 2009 and 2010 literally hundreds of farm buildings have succumbed to the weight of snow. Some of these buildings failed because they were old, others because of the sheer volume of snow, one or two because they were next to another building, and the snow fell off one, and through the other. A few buildings, however, failed because they were structurally inadequate. Including brand new buildings!

One such collapsed building visited by Geoff Simpson, RIDBA vice chairman and managing director of building fabricators Simpson & Allinson (S&A), had never had an animal inside of it, and the owner and the stockman on the farm narrowly escaped with their lives when suddenly, without any warning whatsoever, it collapsed behind them. This was a kit building – not an S&A building, and nor were the manufacturers RIDBA members, he hastens to add. And it wasn’t the cheapest of the quotes that the farmer had received either!

But the building was structurally deficient in a number of areas. The weight of the steel used was not right for the size of the building, and steel bracings which would have cost a few hundred pounds extra were not in place. There were other design flaws too.

In a bid to educate farmers as to the technical reasons why buildings fail, to try to help ensure it doesn’t happen again, and to generally illustrate what to look for in a building quote, Geoff Simpson will be presenting a seminar at the Agricultural Buildings Show on March 29th at the NAC, Stoneleigh. The talk will be entitled “Buyer Beware: the good the bad & the ugly of building design”, and will include diagrams, photographs and video footage of collapsed buildings.

“I want to raise the awareness among farmers about why buildings have collapsed and help farmers understand that similar priced quotes might be very different in terms of their technical specifications. I also want to ensure that RIDBA members adhere to the highest standards, so that when farmers think about buildings they think about RIDBA, and insist on the work being carried out by a company affiliated to the organisation.”

For further information on the Agricultural Building Show visit www.farm-smart.co.uk/abs/ or contact 0845 4900 142.

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