British Standards Relevant to Agriculture

British Standard Summaries

BS5502: Part 71: 1992
Building and Structures for Agriculture.
Design and Construction of Ventilated Stores for Potatoes & Onions.

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 for the design and construction of ventilated buildings used for storing potatoes and onions in bulk normally in boxes.


  • Consideration should be given to the siting of the building. Avoid areas prone to flooding. Other important issues are access especially for large vehicles, ground with adequate bearing capacity, the location of services and potential noise nuisance to neighbours.
  • There are three main types of store:
    • Bulk - crop is loaded in bulk by tipping trailer or moveable elavator
    • Box with circulating ventilation - crop is stored in boxes with slatted side
    • Box with positive ventilation - crop is stored in boxes with solid sides.
  • All types of stores may be refrigerated.
  • Consideration must be given to all the appropriate legislation e.g. BS5502:11.
  • Buildings, structure, walls and floors should be capable of handling the maximum potential loadings.
  • Materials and treatments should not impart odour or taint.
  • Windows and doors should be bird, pest and vermin protected.
  • Size and layout will be determined by the enterprise nature and scale.
  • The building should be protected against weather.
  • Floors should be level with an even surface.
  • Store interiors should be designed to facilitate easy cleaning.
  • Access and walkways will should be safe, have hand rails where necessary and ladders should be fixed.
  • The full Standard provides details of store geometry and suitable layouts for building design.


  • Moisture content and temperature should be maintained below critical level. The full Standard provides tables of crop storage periods, humidity levels and temperatures for guidance.
  • Potatoes and onions stored after March may require refrigeration.
  • Storage life is determined by rate of respiration. This can be temperature controlled.
  • Electicity services will be required.
  • The full Standard provides details of the correct storage environment for potatoes and onions.
  • Ventilation will be required.
  • Good lighting will be required.
  • Water supplies and drainage facilities will be required.
  • Protection against infestations will be necessary in accordance with BS5502:30.
  • Fire precautions will be required in accordance 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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