Planning and designing a farm requires careful consideration. There are regulations that must be adhered to and measures that can be taken which could save a great deal of time and money.
The weather plays an important role in determining where and how a building should be placed in the landscape. If possible, an open-ended shed should always face north or northeast. There is a slight risk that a shed facing in 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, enclose the building by sheeting it down halfway.
This needs to be a minimum distance of 60m from public/private wells. 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.
In the case of new farmyards, these should be located not less than 50m from any water body. For an extension and/or modification to an existing facility, the distance is not less than 10m.
Carefully consider animal and machinery movement within the farmyard. The shed needs to be designed to allow large machinery to work easily. Allow adequate space for turning and backing.
Also, think how animals are going to move around the yard. For example, there might be 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 can operate.
When possible, make use of existing buildings and combine them with the proposed new building(s). Is there an old hay shed that isn't being used anymore? Put a new standalone shed beside it and the existing hay shed can 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 carefully considered in a new design or layout. Safety when building beside an existing shed is incredibly important. It is vital to make sure proper supports are in place when the new building work is being carried out. Be honest about your own building skills. Is it better to hire qualified labour?
If you require specialist help with any aspect of farm planning or design, please get in touch.