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The Farm Buildings Handbook has been updated by the Rural and Industrial Design and Building Association (RIDBA).

An updated edition of the agricultural buildings bible that is a vital reference for farmers and estate managers is now available from the Rural and Industrial Design and Building Association (RIDBA).

Also aimed at contractors and designers, the pocket-sized Farm Buildings Handbook is on its second update (the first was in 2009) since it was first published by MAFF in 1961.

This latest RIDBA issue of the Farm Buildings Handbook will cover all aspects of farm construction, from planning through to fit-out of all types of buildings, under sections such as legislation and regulations, construction technology, buildings for livestock production, storage and other purposes, and buildings for diversification. 

New to this latest update is a section on preparing to build which contains advice to ensure the design and construction of a new farm building not only runs smoothly but delivers a result that all parties are proud of.

Significant changes to planning laws have been captured and provide valuable guidance on how to ensure planning applications are submitted in a manner that affords the greatest chance of success.

And with alternative revenue streams being utilised to maximise farm incomes, another section gives insight into how to deal with planning matters associated with a building's proposed change of use.

With all farm buildings required to be CE Marked by July 2013, another new section explains the implications - contractors being forced to charge higher prices to help them meet the cost of accreditation.

The Farm Buildings Handbook was written by Richard Langley, lecturer at Harpers Adams University College, and updated and extended by Jim Loynes, former ADAS buildings design specialist and now assistant head of engineering at the college.

Sponsored by steel building specialists A Steadman & Son to keep the cost down to £12, it is available direct from RIDBA at http://www.ridba.org.uk/Farm_Buildings_Handbook.htm 


Note to editors: 

Back in the 60s, there were grants towards the cost of constructing farm buildings and so the quality of design and construction was controlled. Now there are no grants, and as working farm buildings are not covered by Building Control regulations, there is no third-party check on their design and construction.

Back then, health and safety legislation was not as rigorous as it is now - the total number of deaths at work reducing from 5.6% to 0.7% per 100,000 workers between 1961 and 2009, and a reduction in construction accidents likely to show a similar trend.

Back then, it was accepted that building contractors were the experts in building so their farmer clients were not expected to ensure they were themselves competent in health and safety. Now, farmers are partly responsible for the health and safety practices of the contractors they employ.

And back then, the green issue was in its infancy. Now there are strict regulations on environmental impacts such as slurry storage, use and disposal, nitrates, the storage of chemicals, disposal of dead stock and hazardous waste.

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