When storing bulk materials, including road salt, frac sand, fertilizer or agricultural commodities, there are two primary storage methods: horizontal (covered or uncovered) and vertical (silos, bins).
Although both storage methods are widely used, bulk flat storage has several advantages over vertical storage solutions, including:
- Increased capacity
- Flexibility for multiple operations
Increased Capacity for Bulk Storage
Bulk storage buildings have greater capacity than vertical bins and silos. Open space leaves plenty of room for piles. By varying pile height and configuration, flat storage buildings have higher capacity than vertical grain storage structures.
Building design can increase storage capacity to meet fertilizer storage requirements. For example, using cast-in-place or precast concrete panels to form bins allows the piles of material to extend to the very edges of the building.
Clearspan design is another way to increase capacity for flat storage buildings. Interior columns take up valuable floor space that would be better occupied by stored material, and they create obstacles for handling equipment maneuvering in the building.
Take a video tour of a clearspan fabric building that increased capacity for the end user.
True clearspan space also means equipment is off the ground. With the flexibility of a rigid-framed building, conveyors, conditioning equipment and ventilation can be suspended from the building frame — making the building more efficient and practical.
An open floor plan also allows for future growth and business expansion. Changing the amount, number and type of product you store requires just a change in configuration, as opposed to adding a new silo or bin.
Flexibility for Fertilizer Handling Operations
Unlike silos or vertical storage options, fabric buildings can be used for a variety of business operations.
Few businesses are purely devoted to storage. Enclosed flat storage buildings have space for handling, blending, maintenance, retail and even office space. Covering these operations creates a superior work environment and keeps moisture off stored product during loading.
The open space and design flexibility of a fabric flat storage building also allows for storing multiple products, or separate areas for bulk and bagged products. Bagging and packing can be done under the membrane cover for increased efficiency, protection and maintaining product quality.
Flat Storage Building Ventilation
Flat storage solutions have multiple options for ventilation, which is required for maintaining the best environment for stored commodities.
Excess moisture can cause materials to clump or spoil. The best way to prevent this moisture build-up is to create a constant flow of air inside the building. Legacy’s rigid frame design allows for eave intake and ridge vents, which use the properties of gravity to create air circulation inside the building.
Eave intakes allow fresh air to flow in closer to the level of stored product, while moist air moves closer to the ceiling building before being exhausted out the top. For an in-depth view of overhangs or eave intakes that ventilate the entire length of the building, click here.
For storage facilities with higher ventilation requirements, active ventilation systems are available to produce the required number of air-turns per hour.
Flat storage solutions have advantages for storage space, flexibility and ventilation. For information specific to your bulk storage needs, contact us.