British Standards Relevant to Agriculture

British Standard Summaries

BS5502: Part 74: 1991
Building and Structures for Agriculture.
Design and Construction of Bins & Silos for Combinable Crops.

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 bins and silos used for storing combinable crops.


  • Consideration should be given to the siting of the building. Avoid areas at risk of flooding. Other specific issues are ensure ground has an adequate loading capacity, access (especially for large vehicles), the location of services and potential nuisance to neighbours.
  • The design of bins and silos depends upon:
    • Produce type
    • Storage duration
    • Drying method
    • Handling method.
  • 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.
  • Floors should be level with an even surface.
  • Weather-proofing may be required if bins are stored outside.
  • Store interiors should be designed to facilitate easy cleaning.
  • Reception pits should be self-emptying
  • Elevator pits should allow access for maintenance and repair.
  • Access, walkways, stairs and platforms should be safe for all operations, handholds should be provided where necessary and ladders should be secured.
  • Stores should be insulated. The full Standard provides details.
  • The full Standard provides store geometry details.
  • The full Standard provides design and construction details.


  • Crop storage life will be dependant upon the environmental conditions.
  • Moisture content and temperature must be controlled. Recommended storage periods and conditions are given in the full Standard.
  • Electicity services 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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