Dairy Barn Milking Parlors
, United States | 1993
As with many industries, public sentiment and ever changing regulations dictate the future plans for the agricultural industry. With PETA and other humanitarian groups, along with the public’s new push for produce that is cage free, the staff at Versova had a lot to keep in mind while planning their new barn structures for the future. Not far from the top of the list of importance, was the need to make their investments into the future actually last into the future. Versova chose hot dip galvanizing to help protect that plan and investment. With its low life cycle cost, environmentally friendly zinc properties, and quick reliable applicaiton, hot dipped galvanizing offered a value that is unmatched for the barn.
cage fee facilities protected by hot dip galvanizing will set Versova up to rule the roost in the cage free market well into the future.
Versova had the project designed and fabricated by Star Brand which Versova was extremely pleased with. This facility will be home for about 200,000 chickens as they grow from 1 day old to 18 months old. The exoskeleton design of the building has structural beams exposed to a multitude of different elements as it rests in a large corn field out in northwestern Iowa. There are almost no trees around the facility to slow the wind as it will carry the cold winter air and snow into the sides of the building over the years. With rain, debris, hail, sun and many other weather possibilities in Iowa at any given point of the year, the building has to be ready to take a beating.
The inside of the facility will also face challenges from concentrated amounts ammonia found in livestock excrement. With all of these known forces working against the building from the very start, protection of the steel was paramount in planning to keep this building capable for decades to come. Versova anticipates getting 30-40 years of life out of the barn, and with proper care down the road, the structure protected by hot dipped galvanizing will be an example in the agricultural industry of just how good a forward thinking investment into cage free barns can be. With galvanizing extending the life of the facility and even assuming the harshest rural conditions, the expected time to first maintenance is closer to 70 years. With its low life cycle cost and superior corrosion protection, hot dip galvanizing was used on all of the structural steel, along with guard rails, gates, and conveyors.
The building itself is 80’ by 600’, with 142’ of the length dimension being a separated storage area for the chicken droppings as it is brought on a conveyor belt from the chickens living area. The galvanized conveyor will be able to move its end position to allow for multiple piles of the excrement to be stored and then recycled back into the soil for the farmer’s crops. Keeping the site as green as possible was an emphasis for Versova. The facility is a cage free environment for the chickens as they grow to roughly a year and a half before heading to Hawkeye Pride Farms. The facility also has bio-security accounted for in its design to keep the bird’s safe inside. Any visitor to the facility must be at least 3 days removed from any other farm, shower in and wear approved clothing and gear, then shower out. Being environmentally friendly and humane to the chickens was a conscious effort for Versova, and with hot dipped galvanizing’s rich zinc properties, the corrosion protection for the steel is truly a go green choice. Zinc is not only found naturally in the air, water, and soil, roughly 5.8 million tons of it are naturally cycled through the environment annually by plant and animal life, rainfall and other natural activity.
The quick application for hot dip galvanizing was also seen on this project. Getting the barn move in ready for these baby chickens took less than a year from the pouring of foundations to completed structure. In that time, fabrication of the steel beams, guide rails and conveyors needed to take place. Along with fabrication, hot dip galvanizing application and erection of the facility needed to be done quickly enough to then allow for the state of the art computer monitoring system, amenities, and chickens to be put in. When accounting for transportation of all of the materials to the job site, a 1 year start to finish time frame of a 48,000 sf building is no small feat. Proper communication from the fabricator, galvanizer, trucking, and placement crew was crucial to this time frame being met.
The hot dipped galvanizing market looks to have the chance to increase in the agricultural industry. With its plan for the future and the smooth completion of this chicken barn in Sheldon, IA, Versova has planned multiple other similar barns in Iowa over the next couple of years. These cage fee facilities protected by hot dip galvanizing will set Versova up to rule the roost in the cage free market well into the future.
Food & Agriculture
Sheldon, IA United States
Coating Durability, Corrosion Performance, Life-Cycle Cost, Prior HDG Experience, Sustainability, Turnaround Time
structural beams, guard rails, gates, conveyers
AZZ Galvanizing - Dixon
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