Horses are built to withstand weather elements, but what creature doesn't like having shelter to stay warm and dry? Horse barns have traditionally been made of wood, but metal buildings with concrete flooring are increasing in popularity. Metal buildings make excellent horse barns due to their fire resistance and pest-proof qualities. However, there are a few important things to consider when using a metal building for a horse barn. Here's what you need to consider.
Skylights are essential in any horse barn. They allow the natural sunlight to shine into the barn, which can save you money on your electricity bill. According to Stable Management, which provides online articles for horse enthusiasts, skylights can provide five times more natural sunlight than wall windows. Proper lighting can be obtained in a horse barn when using a 1:20 skylight to floor ratio. Of course, placement of the skylights will depend on the placement of the ridgepole and the load-bearing poles in the barn. A metal building contractor will be able to help you determine exactly where the most appropriate places are for skylights.
One thing that needs to be considered regarding skylights, however, is that they tend to accumulate condensation if there is not adequate ventilation in the barn. This is particularly true when a shower stall is installed in the barn and in regions where humidity is high. Also, condensation can form in areas where the water table is high due to the natural phenomenon of capillary action causing ground water to wick up through concrete foundation slabs. Therefore, you'll want to install an adequate ventilation system inside the barn, which typically consists of roof vents, a roof exhaust fan, and wall windows that open at angles above the reach of your horses.
Due to the capillary action of ground water in the concrete flooring as well as the shower bay to bathe your horses in, the barn should have a drainage system. This drainage system should include waste water drainage from the shower stall itself and a French drainage system to help minimize the amount of ground water underneath the barn and surrounding it. A French drainage system consists of a perforated piping system that collects ground water and sends it to the waste water drainage pipe. Of course, you'll need to check with your local building code regulations for the proper implementation of barn drainage systems for your area.