British Standards Relevant to Agriculture

British Standard Summaries

BS5502: Part 20: 1990
Building and Structures for Agriculture.
General Design Considerations


The text herein is not a a full reproduction of the British Standard. It is summary based upon interpretation of the original text and not intended as a replacement for the full text. It should be used for general guidance only.

BS5502 is sub-divided into a number of individual standards. These can be broadly broken down as follows:

  • Part 0: Introduction
  • Parts 10 - 19: Reference information
  • Parts 20 - 39: General designs
  • Parts 40 - 59: Livestock buildings
  • Parts 60 - 79: Crop buildings
  • Parts 80 - 99: Ancillary buildings

BS5502 Part 20 provides general recommendations for general design considerations for agricultural buildings. However, it does not cover construction materials, structural design, loading, fire precautions, energy management or services which are covered in detail by other parts of BS5502.

  • The function of the farm building should be well defined and should pay due regard to the constraints of statutory legislation.
  • Consideration should be given to possible extension or improvement of the building or a change of use.
  • Regulations and planning requirements are summarised in BS5502:11.
  • Site surveys should be carried out to establish site boundaries and proximity of other buildings, roads, watercourses, ditches etc.
  • Site investigations should be carried out to assess safe bearing pressure of ground, groundwater levels and any soil contamination.
  • Site surrounding should be duly considered. For example the space around buildings, aesthetic issues, and issues which may affect disease control, access, airflow, ventilation and health and safety.
  • Consideration should be given to the proximity of gas, electricity, water and drainage services.
  • Access roads and hard-standings  should ensure harmony between the new development and exisiting buildings.
  • Materials, shape, colours, textures and form of the new building should be in keeping with the existing surroundings.
  • The full Standard details requirements for general design considerations such as building size and the internal environment including lighting, heating and ventilation, temperature and humidity, insulation against temperature extremes and noise.
  • The full Standard also covers energy conservation issues.
  • Safety issues should be given full consideration. These include issue ssuch as hazardous atmospheres, fragile roofs, chemical stores and the housing of dangerous animals.

A British Standard nor this summary does not, necessarily, include all the necessary information for correct implementation of the Standard to any specific application. This is purely the responsibility of the user. Standards are updated by either amendment or revision. Users should ensure that they are using the latest version.


The full text of this Standard can be obtained from the British Standard Institution

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