AGRICULTURAL BUILDINGS: WEATHERING THE WINTER STORMS

 With unpredictable weather all-year-round here in the UK, particularly during the cold and wet winter months, it’s vital agricultural buildings are able to withstand all conditions.

During recent winters, many farm buildings have collapsed under the weight of heavy snow, perhaps indicating they may not have been fit-for-purpose. For example, during the winter of 2010/11 (the coldest on record), more than 5,000 farm buildings collapsed.

But according to the Metal Cladding and Roofing Manufacturers Association (MCRMA), wind is more likely to affect a building than snow. The MCRMA advises that the only way to be confident a building will survive the worst weather is to ensure that wind loading is calculated, and that the cladding and fasteners are specified accordingly.

Now that CE marking is mandatory for many of the construction materials supplied in European Union member states, the Rural & Industrial Design & Building Association (RIDBA) warns that insurance companies are unlikely to pay out for the rebuilding of a collapsed or damaged building, if its relevant contents do not carry this label.

This demonstrates the need for farmers to check the credentials of the building material manufacturer before they commit to suppliers for construction projects.

CE marking is not a quality mark, rather it is a declaration by a manufacturer that its products have been made, tested and assessed to European standards. In other words, products that carry this label are fit for purpose. Steadmans was well ahead of the game in terms of complying with the CE marking requirements that came into force last year and this. The CE marking legislation affects a wide range of products manufactured by Steadmans, including single skin cladding profiles and AS35 insulated panels, purlins and rails.

Among the products now marked are the company’s Agri-Steel. This provides cost-effective cladding for uninsulated farm buildings. It’s very widely used in new build and refurbishment and is a robust and protective alternative to traditional fibre cement materials. This product has eight layers of protection to the steel substrate, including a 35 micron coating to both sides of the material, giving it excellent corrosion resistance and making it suitable for buildings with aggressive, high humidity atmospheres, such as livestock housing.

Agri-Steel also provides excellent levels of resistance against many chemicals found in agricultural environments, comes in a choice of rurally-suited colours and with a performance warranty of up to 15 years. Like all Steadmans’ cladding, Agri-Steel is manufactured in a process certified to ISO 9001:2008 and the substrate complies with BS EN 10346:2009.

Being a manufacturer, as well as a supplier, means Steadmans has complete quality control over the process leading to its products arriving with the customer. Therefore, farmers can be safe in the knowledge that they are using the highest quality products available if the materials they use for their buildings come from the company.

For more information call Steadmans on 01697 478 277 or email [email protected]