Weather and the orientation of the proposed building You should always try to face an open-ended shed north or northeast, if possible. There is a slight risk that a shed facing this direction will get snow at some stage during the year, but 90% of the time it should be a healthy shed for livestock. Try not to have the building facing the prevailing wind.If you are in that situation, try to enclose it by sheeting it down halfway.
Proposed animal housing or slurry storage This needs to be a minimum distance from a public/private wells of 60m. In existing farmyards, the minimum distance is 30m subject to a hydro-geological survey being carried out. This survey can cost €1,200 to €1,400 and there is no guarantee that this will allow the development to go ahead.
Storage facility for silage effluent/slurry/soiled water In the case of new farmyards, these should be located not less than 50m from any waterbody. It is not less than 10m in the case of extensions/modifications to an existing facility.
Consider animal and machinery movement within the farmyard. The shed has to be designed to allow large machinery to work at ease. Adequate space should be given for turning and backing. Also, consider animal movement around the yard. For example, you might have a race at the back of the shed where cattle can be directed to the crush or farm roadways and a clean area to the front where machinery or lorries operate.
When possible, utilise existing buildings & combine them with the proposed new building There might be an old hayshed that was used for storing hay or straw which is not being used anymore. If so, why not put a new standalone shed beside the old hayshed? The old hayshed can then act as a layback in the future. Building a brand new layback in the new shed could cost anywhere from €10,000 to €15,000.
Farm safety must always be considered in all new designs & layouts Safety when building beside an existing shed is important. It is vital to make sure proper supports are in place when the new building work is being carried out. If you are planning on carrying out building work yourself, you should consider your own abilities and not be afraid to hire qualified labour.