Home' NZ Dairy Farmer : September 2010 Contents 84 The Dairyman SEPTEMBER 2010
SOMETIMES poor weather can be the primary reason for pro-
viding shelter for the herd, says wintering barn designer and
builder Kevin Waters from Redpath.
"We are seeing our shelters being used as wintering barns in
greater numbers now - and this has allowed our designs to be tested
in some pretty severe weather over the past few winter seasons."
The company says that there has always been some traditional con-
cerns from farmers with respect to using the flexible Durashelter
clear roofing material membrane especially on sites that get extreme
wind-load and snow load.
"This fear of durability and reliability can be very justified in some
designs of shelters however our background of 30 years experience in
using these types of membranes and understanding their strengths
and weaknesses give us the advantage of knowing what works and
what doesn't in New Zealand's somewhat changeable and testing cli-
Redpath has, in fact, sourced from Belgium a specialised clear ani-
mal shelter membrane called Durashelter which is considerably
thicker than the standard extruded membranes used in the agricultur-
al and horticultural industry.
"It became apparent to us some years ago that farmers had no inter-
est in building Wintering barns or Standoffshelters that would be
unreliable or require regular maintenance of the roofing material- so
we invested in developing the Durashelter membrane for the full
range of Dairy Shelter buildings that we manufacture," said Kevin.
"The result of this is a roof cladding that had to be thicker, have a
greater elongation (stretch), higher break strength plus last up to
twice as long as greenhouse style plastics in the field ( more than 10
years as a minimum).
"The Durashelter membrane achieved these goals -- yet still only
represents a 10 per cent value on the overall structure cost -- meaning
we can still offer a very competitive shelter system for dairy farmers
and still with a clear roof. The clear roof with 90 per cent light trans-
mission is very important they say -- as this is what keeps the shelter
warmer in winter and allows the floor and any flooring litter (if used)
inside the shelter dry.
Glen Williams, from the company, comments "In the winter, when
day-time length is short and the energy from the sun is at its weakest
-- then a Winteringbarn which has a clear roof will have a distinct
advantage over a shelter system with a solid or white clad roof sys-
"Light is our friend in a wintering barn as it helps to dry the floor,
keep the environment and herd warm and the UV portion of the trans-
mitted light helps to kill bacteria that can thrive if conditions that are
damp, darker and cooler."
The strength of the roofing membrane is supported by a dedicated
aluminum clamping system called "Duralock". This is a system
designed in house by Redpath and sold all over the world for secur-
ing flexible membranes to buildings.
"Duralock is a system that clamps the Durashelter roofing to the
building and it does this without puncturing the membrane. It is a sys-
tem that "self-locks into place and in actual fact the higher the wind-
load placed onto the covers the tighter the Duralock will grip (a bit
like the seatbelt of a car). This system along with the companies pol-
icy of lagging all of the RHS steel framework with a self adhesive
white polyester tape which stops the Durashelter from rubbing on the
framework when windy -- also substantially adds to the reliability and
durability of the covering, said Redpath.
In extreme locations such as Alpine areas and sites with exposure
to the sea -- we will automatically upgrade the buildings so that they
can withstand wind-loads or snow loads that exceed 160kph gusts
and more than 50kg of snow per metre.
Kevin said their companies slogan was "Built Stronger -- To last
Longer" and that this was very much at the forefront of any design
that we supply and we understand that our buildings reliable per-
formance in severe conditions is of primary importance to our com-
panies reputation in the dairy sector.
"This is why we absolutely stay with all bolted main-frame con-
nections, and our designs have a 'return period' minimum service life
of 25 years".
The company said that these philosophies had held it in good stead
with its customers since 1974 with its solid engineering principles
and comfortable strength tolerances helping to speed the process of
building permits with local councils and their engineers. They also
warranty what they build (including the Durashelter covering), for
peace of mind ownership.
Check out the company's designs at www.standoffshelters.co.nz
for more information and price-lists for herd housing of sizes
between 100-800 cows.
Dairy shelters weather the storm
0800 666 754
Guy Pilkington 021 371 829
• No Acid • No grooves
• Just 100% traction
10 year guarantee
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