By June Scott,2014-08-17 12:21
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    Minimum Specification For Milking Premises And Dairies

The receiving of this specification does not imply approval of a grant application.

    However, if written approval is issued, then this specification becomes part of the contract between the applicant and the Department of Agriculture and Food. This is a minimum specification. Where the word “SHALL” is used, then that standard (at least) must be followed in a grant-aided building. Where a procedure is “RECOMMENDED”, this is advice only on good practice.

    Note that all references to other Department Specifications are to the current edition of that specification [available on the Department of Agriculture and Food Website ( under Farm buildings]. Similarly, references to Standards are to the current edition of the Irish, British or European Standard, as appropriate.

This specification covers the construction of

    a) dairy

    b) milking parlour

    c) other milking premises (cow byre etc.) where cows are milked where housed.



    Applicants are reminded that they have a duty under the Safety, Health, and Welfare at Work Act 2005 to provide a safe working environment on the farm, including farm buildings, for all people who may work on that farm. There is a further duty to ensure that any contractor, or person hired to do building work, provides and/or works in a safe environment during construction.


    Farmer/Applicant Responsibility: Certain construction dangers may be

    encountered in the course of building or conversion work. Neither the Minister or any official of the Department will be in any way liable for any damage, loss or injury to persons, animals or property in the event of any occurrence related to the development and the applicant shall fully indemnify the Minister or any official of the Minister in relation to any such damage, loss or injury howsoever occurring during the development works.

    Dangers: If any or all of the work is undertaken by the applicant/farmer he/she should seek competent advice and undertake all temporary work required to ensure the stability of excavations, superstructure, stanchion foundations and wall foundations, also to divert any drains, springs or surface water away from the works, and to guard against possible wind damage, or any other foreseeable risk. Power lines: Farm buildings shall not be constructed under or nearer than 10m to an overhead power supply. If advice is required, or if power lines need to be diverted, it is the applicant’s responsibility to contact, in writing, the local ESB supervisor before construction commences, and then to follow the ESB conditions.

Danger to children: It is the applicant’s responsibility to prevent children from

    playing or spending time in the vicinity of any building work.


    All farm buildings require regular maintenance to ensure the health and safety of personnel and animals. After each winter-season buildings should be thoroughly washed and cleaned out. Fittings such as slats, electrical fittings, drinking arrangements, etc., should be periodically checked, and all defective items replaced. 2. SITE

    a) The site shall be at least 10m distant and as far as reasonably possible from uncovered slurry/manure stores. Slatted tanks in holding yards are allowed, subject to Clause 5 but the door of the dairy shall be as far as possible from such tanks. The site should also be as far as possible from any other source of contamination, (silage store, diesel store, pig housing, poultry housing etc.) b) The site shall be convenient to the animal routes, proposed or existing housing, shall be readily accessible to farm roads and the public road with ample space for vehicle turning. The access to public road requirement may be relaxed where the public road to the property is not adequate for milk tanker truck or where the farmer is constrained by a narrow right of way over land owned by others and the farmer must transport milk by mobile tanker to a collection point on a trunk or secondary road.

    c) The site shall be developed so that cows en route to and from the milking premises will not pass by the dairy entrance/milk collection area.

    d) The site shall not be less than 10m from surface waters in the case of an existing farmyard and 50m in the case of a new farmyard. It shall not be less than 50m from a public water supply source and up to 200m in vulnerable locations. It shall where possible be on a higher level than other adjacent effluent producing structures (raised by suitable consolidated hard fill if necessary) and shall facilitate the provision of an integrated system of effluent, soiled and wash water disposal. Rain water shall be disposed of separately to clean water outfall. e) The milking premises and dairy shall be adequately separated from all sources of contamination and shall not share a common wall with silage or ensiled material, or a diesel store, or any stored contaminant, or a pig or poultry house. There shall be no risk to contamination by silage effluent or any contaminating liquid or any likely airborne contaminant such as dust from an intensive source. f) Milking premises shall be separated from areas where cows are loose housed, (cubicle or straw bed) by doors or by gates with entry to milking premises only at milking time.

    g) Where possible the site shall be sheltered, be down wind of the farm dwelling and upwind of other livestock facilities.

    3. DAIRY

    The dairy shall be a hygienic “Food Standard” type premises, which can be readily washed, cleaned and disinfected. The size of the dairy is dictated by the

    dimensions of the bulk tank, which vary according to the type of cooling system and the number of stored milkings. The dairy shall be adequate to accommodate the following equipment and to provide adequate work and circulation space: -


    a) A fixed bulk tank to hold at least 5 milkings at peak production. Where milk collection is at less frequent intervals or where less frequent collections are likely in future, the area requirement for the bulk tank shall be increased accordingly. b) Mobile tankers shall have the equivalent storage capacity as the fixed bulk tank as set out in (a) and shall be located in the dairy. Facility shall be provided for external washing of the tank prior to return to dairy.

    c) Allow for a clear space of at least 600mm all around the bulk tank to facilitate cleaning. This space is exclusive of space required for other equipment. d) A double trough washing/rinsing unit with a minimum 900mm space to work at trough (this space may include 600mm around the bulk tank). Each trough shall have a capacity of 14 litres (3 gals) per milking unit. A wash hand basin, preferably of stainless steel, hot and cold water, paper towel dispenser and soap dispenser.

    e) A stainless steel topped table/shelf minimum size 1.0m x 0.5m with a minimum 900mm space to work at table.

    f) A washable enclosed non-corrosive and lockable cabinet for chemicals and medicine (where there is not a separate room for these items) and a brush rack. g) Other washable items of equipment as follows which are an integral part of the milking/dairy plant and which cannot be located elsewhere.

     i) Immersion cooler for herds up to 10 cows.

     ii) Milk pump driven by a sealed motor.

    h) Water heating equipment, if not located elsewhere within the building.

     i) Water treatment equipment where necessary (softener/filter/clorinator

     etc.) if not located elsewhere.

    3.1 No Common Airspace

    There shall be no common airspace with any other building.

    3.2 Ventilation

    2 area shall be provided. Permanent external ventilation of 0.2m

    3.3 Vermin Proof

    Constructional details shall ensure that there is no possibility of entry of vermin from any source, external or from adjacent buildings. Doors on all entrances, including entrance from milking premises shall be vermin proof. All ventilation openings shall be fitted with fly screens. Drain outlets shall be trapped with a water seal and have PVC or metal, rodent-proof, grid covers.

    3.4 Dairy to Cowbyre

    A cowbyre shall not communicate directly with a dairy: access shall preferably be by a covered ventilated space, or by other external entrance.

    3.5 Ceiling

    A ceiling shall be provided to the dairy as specified in Clause 8.7 - Ceiling to Dairy.

    3.6 Washable Surfaces

    Walls, floors, ceilings, fittings, doors and equipment, mechanical and electrical, shall have hose-proof surfaces, easy to wash, clean, and disinfect.


3.7 Ope for Installation of Bulk Tank

    An ope of sufficient width, not less than 1.8m wide x 2.1m high to facilitate the installation of the appropriate bulk tank shall be provided.

    3.8 Natural Lighting

    Natural Lighting shall be provided within roof or walls; lights shall be non-opening 2. Roof lights shall be properly integrated with ceiling with a minimum area of 0.5m

    materials. Windows shall be installed flush with the inner surface.


    The motor/pump shall be housed in a room separated from the dairy by a solid concrete block wall and with a separate door entrance either external or from the milking premises. The floor area shall be adequate for the installation and subsequent 2maintenance of the equipment. Permanent external ventilation of 0.1m shall be

    provided. Condensing unit (other than small washable condensing unit mounted on bulk tank) shall be housed outside the dairy. It shall preferably be placed externally, fitted with a proprietary cowl, or in a lean-to structure, approx. 2m high at eaves and with roofed area adequate to protect the equipment from the weather. Ice builders, if used shall be located in the plant room. If a condensing unit is located in a plant room, the room shall be fitted with a thermostatically controlled extraction fan to an external wall. If the electrical distribution board is located in the plant room it shall be kept clear of obstructions and be readily accessible.


    It is recommended that a secure lockable store room/office should be provided, particularly with large herds, to provide for storage of chemicals, medicines etc. and to facilitate record keeping. Entrance to the store room/office shall be either external or from the milking premises. With small herds the store/office may be part of the plant room.


    The milking premises shall be a building, which can be readily washed, cleaned and disinfected. Hence the same general standards shall apply as in the dairy except that a ceiling is not required. Rough surfaces to the underside of the roof, ledges or other dust traps shall be avoided. Feed hoppers shall be covered to exclude dust and birds. Steps at entry and exit to the milking premises should be avoided where possible. Where steps must be provided they shall be of uniform size and slip proof. In milking cowbyres there shall be at least 2m between the end of cow standings and the back wall of the byre.

    There shall be at least 1m of concrete between a milking parlour pit and the edge of the nearest slatted tank, in collecting yards.

    Natural lighting shall be provided where possible, preferably lights to the roof. Adequate through-ventilation shall be provided in the milking premises. A paper towel dispenser shall be fitted.



    7.1 Certificates

    Concrete shall be produced in an audited plant only: It shall not be produced on site. stAs and from 1 January 2008 the plant shall be audited to I.S. E.N. 206-1: 2002 by an rdindependent 3 party accepted by the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food. A numbered certificate, signed and stamped, shall be required for all concrete delivered to site. The certificate, the "Concrete Manufacturers' Specification Certificate", is produced in triplicate. The top certificate, printed on light blue paper, shall be retained by the applicant and given to and retained by the local AES Office of the Department of Agriculture for inspection upon completion of the works. 7.2 Concrete

    Concrete shall be purchased on the basis of a characteristic 28 day crushing strength 23of 35N/mm. Minimum cement content shall be 300 kg/m. Slump of unplasticised

    concrete shall not exceed 90mm, and maximum aggregate size shall be 20mm.

    If the Concrete Supplier requires further information the following shall be quoted to them: The concrete is to be to I.S. EN 206-1:2002: Strength Class: C28/35, 300 kg cement, maximum water cement ratio of 0.60, Exposure classes: XC4, XF3, XA1 (20 year life), Slump class: S2 (unplasticised), maximum aggregate size 20mm.

    If plasticised concrete is desired, the slump class shall not exceed S3. 7.3 Fibre Concrete

    Polypropylene fibres can be incorporated into the concrete mix to improve the properties of concrete. Only fibres, which have been tested and approved by National, or European approval authorities, may be used. The use of fibres helps to reduce plastic cracking and improve surface durability. However, they are not a substitute for structural reinforcement. Where fibres are used in concrete they shall be used in strict compliance with manufacturers' instructions and shall only be added at the concrete manufacturers plant. The Concrete Certificate (7.2 above) shall clearly show the amount and type of fibre added. The mix design, compacting, and curing of fibre concrete is the same as concrete without fibre.


    The following clauses apply to both dairies and milking premises except where noted:

    The superstructure shall conform to the current edition of Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food Specification S101. The floor to eaves height shall not be less than 2.75m in unlofted structures or to ceiling height in lofted structures. The headroom in the loft shall be a minimum 2.1m over 2/3 of the floor area. Foundations shall be excavated to a depth of 600m below original ground level or until firm strata is encountered. Footings shall be at least 225m deep and 600mm wide.

    Note: All exposed roof timbers in milking premises shall be smooth planed to facilitate cleaning, if a ceiling is not provided.


8.1 Walls

    External load bearing walls and wall between milking premises and dairy shall be 225mm concrete block; internal partitions may be 150mm cavity or 100mm solid concrete block. Walls between steel stanchions shall be minimum 150mm solid concrete. All walls shall have DPC at floor level.

    8.2 Roof Cladding Materials

    Cladding materials shall comply with the current edition of S102 and fixed in accordance with manufacturers instructions.

    8.3 Floors

    Floors shall be 100m concrete on 150mm well compacted hardcore foundation, with non slip finish. This can be achieved by adding 1 kg of carborundum powder or other 2abrasive material per m before the final trowelling. The parlour floor shall slope at 1 in 50 from the exit towards the entrance and the dairy and the parlour pit shall have similar slopes towards a trapped gully with a PVC or metal rodent-proof grid cover. Alternatively the fall to parlour floor may be towards the side walls away from the operator pit to allow washings discharge into a 100mm half round channel laid to falls of 1 in 60 to 1 in 100, covered with a channel grid.

    Note: Before concrete floors are laid to the milking premises, equipotential bonding conductors shall be laid and graded out into the collection yard, to comply with Annex 705 A of the National Rules for Electrical Installation ET 101/1991 (see clause 11). 8.4 Loft (not grant-aided)

    Feed bins for meal storage may be provided rather than lofts. Loft if included should 22be designed for a loading of not less than 4.8 KN/m (100 lbs/ft). It is strongly

    recommended that construction be of precast structural concrete slabs. Alternatively a timber loft may be constructed of 250mm x 50mm W.D. joists at 300mm centres with 2 rows of 250mm x 50mm bridging at 700mm each side of centre span and covered with 22mm T & G boarding fixed with flooring brads (2 brads at each joist). All timbers shall be treated with wood preservative. To exclude dust penetration and to prevent rodent access, a layer of 0.5mm metal sheeting (close jointed) shall be fixed over boarding with 18mm flat head nails at 150mm centres along edges of sheets. A plaster fillet extending 25mm over the floor shall be formed at the junction of the floor with loft walls. Access stairs shall be external and shall be of substantial steel, concrete, or timber construction, riser 180mm, tread 225mm, and minimum 750mm wide. The steps shall be non slip with the top step forming a landing at the same level as the loft floor and be a minimum of 750mm x 750mm. Stairs shall be fitted with handrails and landing protected by guard rail. A vermin- proof access door shall be provided to the loft, and the entire lofted area shall be so constructed to prevent entry of vermin from any source.

    8.5 Wall Finishes

    All internal walls to milking premises and dairy to the full height shall be rendered 2 coat, 12mm and 6mm respectively with 3:1 sand:cement rendering incorporating plasticiser or 1/4 part lime, to a smooth steel trowel finish. Internal walls to plant-room or storeroom may either be rendered to a smooth plaster finish, 12mm thick, or be of blockwork neatly pointed. External walls shall be rendered, 12mm thick, to a smooth plaster finish. Wall tiles are allowed over part or all of the internal walls to


    the dairy and milking premises: they shall be fully vitrified and acid-resistant and grouted with acid-resistant grout.

    8.6 Ceiling to Dairy

    The underside of concrete loft floors shall be to steel trowel finish as for walls. All other ceilings shall be dust-tight and of an approved impervious, durable, washable, dust-proof material preferably of light colour, fixed in accordance with manufacturers' instructions. Roof insulation, which is recommended, shall be either of rigid sheet insulation, or insulation in approved sandwich sheeting, or as sprayed polyurethane foam to a smooth finish. Fibreglass shall not be used.

    Note: Wood-based fibreboard or plywood are not accepted ceiling materials. 8.7 Ceiling to Milking Premises

    Ceilings shall be provided to lofted milking premises. Ceilings in other milking premises are optional but where provided shall be as for dairy.

    8.8 Doors to Dairy

    Doors shall be tight fitting, vermin proof and washable. Two entrances are normally allowed to the dairy; external and to the milking premises. The external ope may be fitted either with a sliding door, or roller shutter door, or with a demountable panel within which is fitted a 2.0m x 0.75m hung door. The external door shall preferably be at least 3m from the nearest entrance to any animal house. A sliding door or an infill panel and door shall have flush finish internally.

    Door between diary and milking premises shall be flush finish on the dairy side. It is strongly recommended that all doors (other than roller shutter type) shall be self closing.

    A third door may open from the dairy to a lobby or corridor only.

    8.9 Other Doors

    Doors shall be 50mm thick timber, framed braced and sheeted, or steel framed and galvanised-iron clad hung within an ex 100 x 75mm timber frames. Any door wider than 1.2m shall be sliding.


    9.1 Clean Water Drains

    All water from roofs and open yards, not subject to fouling, shall be piped, minimum 100mm diameter PVC, to existing storm water drains or direct to watercourse through gully traps, AJs, or manholes as necessary.

    9.2 Soiled Water Drains

    All soiled water and effluent shall be disposed to an adequately sized holding tank. Drainage entry in dairy and milking premises shall be through trapped gullies with water seals and with PVC or metal rodent-proof grid covers. If the drainage from the dairy discharges into the parlour pit then the exit pipe shall have a gridded cover. Drainage from pit of the herringbone type milking parlour shall, where possible, be by gravity. If this is not possible it is recommended that the soiled water is piped to a sump constructed outside the building and transferred to store by pump. Drainage shall be provided from the plant room to connect to the soiled water system.



    An adequate water supply complying with the requirements of EU Directive 92/46 shall be provided. Wells and water tanks must be properly covered and protected from contamination by a suitable rigid covering material. Cold water supply to dairy and milking premises shall be taken from the rising main, where practicable. Trunk and distribution water pipes shall be lagged with vermin proof moisture resistant materials.

    Hose points shall be conveniently installed for the washing of cows, milking premises and the dairy. A suitable storage facility shall be provided for the hose. Hot and cold water taps shall be provided to wash troughs in the dairy and to the wash-hand basin. 11. HOT WATER

    A water heater shall be installed in the dairy or preferably in another suitable location to provide an adequate quantity of water at 75?C. The minimum capacity of the heater shall be 45 litres (10 gallons). As a general guide 9 litres (2 gallons) per milking unit are required up to 5 units and an additional 7 litres (1.5 gallons) for each additional unit. Heating may be by electricity, gas or other means. Manufacturer instructions on installation of heaters shall be rigidly complied with. Water heating facility, other than electrical, shall be located outside the dairy.


    Wiring and fittings including those on milking and dairy equipment shall be installed, and be carried out in accordance with the Second Edition of the National Rules for Electrical Installations, ET 101/1991 and Amendment A1: 197, and specifically Section 705 -Electrical Installations for Agricultural and Horticultural premises. An ETCI completion certificate shall be required, signed by the Electrical Contractor(s) or a person duly authorised to act on his/her behalf to certify that the electrical installation has been constructed and/or has been tested according to the National Rules of Electrical Installations and has been found to be satisfactory. An associate certificate, specifically for agricultural work, the "Supplementary Agricultural Certification Form" shall also be signed by the Electrical Contractors or authorised persons and the number of the main ETCI completion Certificate clearly marked on it. If no valid numbered ETCI Certificate is available for the completed installation then the Electrical Contractor shall complete a new numbered ETCI Certificate indicating that the new installation has been tested for safety and compliance, and note that number on the Supplementary Form. The signed printed "Supplementary Agricultural Certification Form" together with a copy of the ETCI Completion Certificate shall be given to the Farm Development before grant-aid is finally certified.


    Artificial Lighting shall be provided by fluorescent tubes in fittings that are corrosion- proof, water-jet proof, and resistant to impact (polycarbonate diffusers). The lighting level shall be a minimum of 200 lux.


    All milking and dairy equipment shall be constructed and installed in such a manner which ensures that it is capable of being readily and thoroughly washed, cleaned and disinfected internally and externally. All other fixtures (e.g. barriers and rails) shall


    be constructed and installed so that they can be readily washed, cleaned and disinfected.

    The exhaust pipe outlet from vacuum pump shall be located at least 2m from compressor air intake point and shall discharge at ground level into a sump measuring 800mm x 800m by 600mm deep. Provide a drainage outlet at the bottom to connect with the soiled water system. The sump shall be covered with a steel grid frame 950mm x 950mm of solid or tubular steel construction.


    2A collection yard, if provided, shall be sized on the basis of 1.25m per cow. Surface

    shall have 125mm concrete, on 150mm well compacted hardcore foundation. Surround may be of 225mm concrete wall, with smooth plaster finish, or tubular steel post and rail fence (68mm OD upright and 43mm horizontals) at least 1.3m high. Roofed collection yards should have suitable ventilation provided.

    16. FINISH

    All exposed iron work, shall receive 3 coats of a long life, lead free rust paint. Any timber work below wall plate level shall be primed, under-coated and hard gloss coated with lead free paint.


    Milk Dispatch Area shall have an approach road and hard standing/turning area of construction adequate to support milk collection tanker. A concrete apron 3m x 2m and 150mm thick shall be laid at collection point on 150mm of well compacted hardcore.


    Where dairy and milking premises are away from domestic toilet facilities, a flush toilet and hand wash facilities shall be provided adjacent to, but separate from the milking/dairy premises. Door shall preferably be external and must not open direct from the dairy or the milking premises.


    Outfall drains and effluent disposal drains shall be constructed in accordance with specification S129. Septic tanks shall be based on the National Standards Authority of Ireland standard recommended for septic tank systems.


    External Housing for Condensing UnitVent

    Plant Room



    Bulk Herring-bone TankParlour




    Farm Office / WHBStore


    Collection Parlour and Dairy Complex YardConstructed in Back-To-Back Lean-To

Figure 1

    Condensing Plant UnitRoom


    Side-By-Side Bulk ParlourTankDoor and Vent in removable 900mmpanel


    Farm Office / Store


Figure 2


    1. These plans are simply two possibilities from a wide range of solutions

    2. Toilets (where provided) may be positioned in a separate building


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