British Standards Relevant to Agriculture

British Standard Summaries

BS5502: Part 49: 1990
Building and Structures for Agriculture.
Design and Construction of Milking Premises.

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

This part of BS5502 gives recommendations or the design and construction of milking premises including parlours, milk rooms and their associated facilities. It does not include buildings used for housing dairy cattle, cow sheds or the processing of milk.


  • There are two main types of milking system (a) bringing cows to the milking shed and (b) milking them where they are housed.
  • A 'milk room' is required on all registered dairy farms where it is filtered, cooled and stored.
  • Milk rooms must be hygienic, be constructed in a manner suitable for the purpose, have waste disposal facilities, ventilation, lighting and washing facilities.
  • Milk storage facilities must have suitable refrigeration equipment and be separate from premises used for housing or milking livestock.
  • Various dairy hygiene regulations govern milk production.
  • Livestock should be kept away from the milk room.
  • Pigs and poultry must not be housed in the same building where milk-producing animals are kept (e.g. cows, goats, sheep and buffaloes).
  • Full attention must be given to the Cattle Welfare Code.
  • Vermin exclusion and control must be undertaken.

Design and construction

  • Milking parlours should provide good access for the collection and dispersion of cattle.
  • Milking parlours should be sited where there is minimal risk of contaminating milk.
  • Consideration should be given to coping with weather extremes such as freezing.
  • Milking parlours should have facilities for restraining cattle.
  • Floors should be impervious, capable of bearing the imposed load and have suitable and appropriate equipment.
  • Milking parlours should be constructed so that they can easily accomodate hygiene standards.
  • Adequate ventilation and lighting should be provided.
  • The full Standard provides details of space rquirements.


  • Electrical services, water and drainage supplies should be in accordance with BS5502:25.
  • Electrical equipment and wiring should be protected against corrosion, dust, and moisture.
  • Hot and cold potable water supplied should be provided.
  • Recommendations for drainage systems are given in the full Standard.
  • Ancillary facilities such as a motor room for housing plant and milking equipment may be required.
  • Toilet and washing facilities should be provided and kept hygienically.
  • Office accommodation may also be required.
  • Storage rooms may be needed for equipment, medical supplies, spare parts etc. Provision may also be needed for storing outdoor clothes. Personal lockers are desirable.
  • The full Standard provides details for collecting and dispersal yards.
  • Fire precautions should comply with BS5502:23.

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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