Stonecrest Engineering Inc is a professional engineering firm that specializes in providing leadership in design & construction of “on farm” and agri-industry related structures and production systems; commercial structures and residential design.
Stonecrest Engineering maintains and values our professional relationship with a large and growing number of experienced builder clients as well as farm and business owners. Together, we deliver practical, affordable agri-production system, commercial and residential designs that ensure our continued corporate growth and opportunity to contribute positively to the agricultural, commercial and residential industries.
For more information on our Agricultural Services, click on an icon below.
In planning a dairy expansion, there are many considerations with regards to the existing facilities and how to best incorporate the expansion. These include:
Do you intend to continue to use your existing facilities? If so, for what purpose?
Does the expansion affect the existing facilities from a structural point of view? How do you know?
Is your feed management system effective, and will it continue to work with your proposed expansion?
How will you handle manure in your new facility? Do you have adequate storage available? Is there a more effective way to handle your manure?
The location and orientation is another important consideration in your new design. Proper orientation can increase the ventilation of the facility. Milk truck access must be maintained. Proximity to feed and manure storage, existing and future, should be considered. Minimum distance separation (MDS) from adjacent structures, lot lines and roadways must also be ensured. Provisions should also be made to ensure that biosecurity of the facility is supported.
In determining the size of the new facility, it is important to evaluate your present and future needs. What do your long term cow number look like? Where are your replacement stock now, and where do you want them in the future? It is always more cost effective to build a larger facility today and grow into it, then it is to build an addition in the future. Additional space can be used to house replacement stock, or for equipment, hay or sand storage.
On the other hand, limiting the size of the facility may also be a consideration. Under the 1995 Canadian National Farm Building Code, facilities greater than four hundred square meters (approximately 51,000 square feet) are required to have a one hour fire separation. The location of this fire separation may provide challenges to the ventilation and functionality of your facility. Stonecrest Engineering has helped many customers work with their local municipalities to develop a workable solution.
Milking Systems and How They Impact Dairy Facility Design
One of the most important considerations in the design of a dairy facility is the method of milking. Whether it is a tie stall configuration, line parlour, rotary parlour or robotic milking system, it is important to properly plan for the milking system.
Stonecrest Engineering has designed hundreds of facilities to suit each type of milking system. Our designs take into consideration cow traffic, holding area sizes, ventilation and sorting requirements. Our experts can discuss the benefits of below parlour basements, tunnel locations for rotary parlours as well as the necessary clean access to robotic milking equipment.
Since the choice of milking system is a personal one, we recommend that our customers research the various options available and tour as many facilities as possible to gain insight into the benefits of each.
Incorporating Calf, Heifer or Maternity Facilities
For some dairy operations, calf, heifer or maternity requirements dictate the need to incorporate special needs housing into a milking facility. In other instances, an entirely separate structure is required. At Stonecrest Engineering, we work closely with dairy operators to determine their specific requirements and to design a facility that meets these special needs.
Our Canadian poultry industry encompasses a variety of production units. The buildings and systems to house these production flocks can be broiler-breeders, layer-breeders, pullet rearing, broiler or layer operations. There could be similar systems designated for chicken or turkey production.
Although smaller in scale each poultry sector has all the same building & production system requirements as found in larger facilities. Despite a loss of economy of scale the traditional higher returns in the Canadian poultry industry have permitted producers to adopt production systems based on leading each technology and providing their consumers with assurance of quality products.
Stonecrest Engineering has designed all types of poultry operations including specialized facilities for ducks, pheasants and pigeons. Poultry building designs are relatively simplistic being single or two story rectangular, well insulated, buildings, with concrete floors and plain interior surfaces that are easy to clean and disinfect. An exception would be turkey finishing facilities which are usually curtain sided and classified as natural or dual ventilated systems.
The Canadian swine industry has witnessed tumultuous financial times but has since experienced a re-growth in the construction of new swine rearing facilities including organic type of facilities.
the past, integrators (processors and feed companies) entered the market offering contractual guarantees and a multi-site approach to hog farming. During this period, modern, larger scale operations were built and many producers invested in specialized early wean farrowing, growing or finishing site operations. With increasing value of the Canadian dollar, widespread outbreaks of Porcine Circovirus (primary cause of PMWS), and a recent move in the USA to adopt Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) the industry has in the past seen its export market diminish and the total industry brought to its financial knees. As the industry continues to recover, we are seeing a return to single site or individual family farrow-to-finish farm operations. Traditionally, these operations have been the most economically stable during extended periods of fluctuating market prices.
Stonecrest has vast experience in the design and engineering of all types of swine facilities. From farrowing/finishing barns, to existing renovations, to complex breeder facilities, we can provide the engineering for your next swine project.
GENERAL AGRICULTURAL BUILDINGS
Stonecrest Engineering provides design, engineering and review for a wide array of agricultrual facilities. These can range from complex dairy facilities, to basic agricultural storage.
Stonecrest has completed an abundance of silage, hay and feed storage facilities that range from simple concrete bunker silo storages to larger equipment shops and pre-engineered facilities housing feed, equipment, machinery, livestock and hay/straw storage.
We work with in tandem with pre-engineered building manufacturers that provide fabric and steel structures both in the design and engineering of their structures to providing detailed foundation and floor plans for more intricate agricultural and industrial facilities.
In addition to design and structural engineering, Stonecrest can also provide onsite and engineering review of building retrofits, expansions and can offer onsite recommendation or remediation for structures requiring an engineer's review and approval for building code compliance or to meet Township/ Municipal requirements.
Over the years, Stonecrest Engineering has designed a number of Equine facilities. These usually encompass a riding/exercise arena, stables (in which the horses are held in box stalls), stables with yard access as well as large equine facilities providing both a a large exercise arena, stables and additional storage for feed, hay and equipment.
These large facilities can consist of traditional framing or be designed for fabric/pre-engineered structures capable of providing the space required to accomodate indoor exercise areas and feed storage. Some riding arenas incorporate public viewing areas as well. These type of arenas must be designed in Ontario as a commercial building meeting all the more strident regulations for public safety.
Whether it is a simple horse barn addition housing stalls and tack storage, or larger equine facilities providing housing for regular and larger breed horses, Stonecrest can provide you with a facility design that will meet your equine needs.
MANURE & TRANSFER SYSTEMS
Perhaps, one of the more challenging aspects of modern farming is the handling of manure. At Stonecrest Engineering, we strive to provide workable, long-term solutions to your manure handling. Our goal is to develop a manure handling strategy that is simple to work with, but efficient in design. There are many aspects of manure storage and transfer to consider, including: number and type of animals, bedding materials, present scale and future expansion, farmstead layout, solid-liquid separation, further processing including bio-product manufacture, soil and groundwater conditions, local municipality restrictions, and land topography. The manure handling system itself requires knowledge and experience in design that often determines how effectively that it will work. New processes such as vacuum as a replacement to scraper or flush change the way we must handle the manure or choose the system components.
Stonecrest Engineering can provide Owners, Contractors and Suppliers with engineered drawings, onsite inspections as well as component review for transfer systems. Engineering review and approvals are now becoming a crutial part of the Nutrient Management for any farm business and a compliance that is becoming an integral component for OMAFRA and the Ministry of Environment nutrient management farm audits.
We have provided some useful links below to provide you with some additional reference materials and local contacts to help in the planning of the Nutrient Management for your new or existing facility.
Links to Help in Your Nutrient Management Planning
Stonecrest Engineering has provided professional structural and bioengineering services that cater to the agricultural industry, working with farm business owners and their contractors to develop practical, environmentally conscious structures that meet local regulations and helping them envelope renewable energy, emission reduction and environmental stewardship as an integral part of their plans.
Stonecrest's mission is to create 'on-farm' energy enterprises that convert high moisture organics to biogas-sourced energy products. Our primary focus is energy self-sufficiency and marketable green energy products produced through the conversion of animal and feed wastes, failed crops and grown energy crops. We help our clients prepare feasibility studies of any proposed energy technology project. We can prepare engineer-stamped facility drawings, tenders, proposals, contracts, budgets, cash flows and schedules. Additionally, we can assist in construction management of the chosen contractor and/or subtrades to ensure the project comes in on budget and time.
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Solar Energy Options
Stonecrest Engineering, in partnership with its sister company, Faromor Ltd., provides solar energy site evaluations, for the inclusion of ground or roof mount solar PV systems. We provide structural engineering review and recommended remedial design changes of existing facilities as required by the Ontario Building Code to ensure that the client's building can safely accommodate a solar PV installation. Stonecrest Engineering can help you obtain the necessary approvals to install a solar system on your new or existing facility by providing a two-phase evaluation service ensures that you don’t pay for work that you don’t need.