Customer name: Carl Frook
Building size and series: Two 50′ x 204′ & one 50′ x 102′ Atlas Building Series
Building use: Beef finishing facility
Authorized Dealer: Peak Builders
Overview of business and benefits of the building:
Carl Frook has been beef farming since the mid 90’s. Currently, Carl feeds 2,000 head of beef cattle to finish and markets around 4,000 beef cattle per year. With an operation of that size, Carl also owns and operates a bio gas facility that treats all of their manure. “We generate electricity into the Ontario Hydro grid from the manure production of electricity,” says Carl. Of the more than 30 on-farm digestion facilities in Ontario, Carl’s has an electrical-generating capacity of 750 kW. Carl has been running the digestion facility since August 2012.
As Carl’s operation expanded, so did his need for buildings for his cattle. Carl worked with Britespan Authorized Dealer Peak Builders to construct his three beef buildings. “We’ve worked with Peak Builders for quite a few years on a number of projects, and approached them about some pricing some different sizes out. When we determined the cost per square foot we felt the 50’ wide was the most economical for our needs,” says Carl.
The long narrow buildings are easier to manage and allow Carl to get more bunk space for his cattle. “We like the height for loading manure out, the air movement, and the brightness,” says Carl. They are good economical and practical buildings for our needs.”
Carl’s buildings also have a five foot eave over the feed bunks. The eaves keep the feed covered from the elements and maintain the quality. “We felt the five foot eave gets us enough cover over the side of the feed bunk to prevent rain, snow and any elements that might deteriorate the quality of the feed.” By having the feed bunks on the outside of the building, Carl was also able better use the interior of the building for pen space.
Each of the buildings also has chimneys along the fabric roof. The chimneys allow heat to escape from the top of the building, and helps increase the air movement throughout the building on hotter days. “On hot days there is still ventilation and air movement, fresh air coming in all the time, and it makes for a good environment for the cattle.”
When comparing a Britespan fabric building to a conventional building, Carl says he’d choose a fabric building every time. “I’ve fed cattle in conventional buildings and old bank barns. Britespan has a lot of unique options, from the eaves, to the chimneys, to customized end and side walls. In our industry, we’re after good air quality, fresh bedding, fresh water, and making sure the cattle have lots of bunk space. The design of these buildings helps us achieve all of that,” says Carl.
Carl’s buildings have petitions in the centre, allowing him to split the interior sections in half, in the event that he is shipping cattle at the same time as there are new cattle coming in. He has a water bowl in the centre of the building, that way all of the cattle have access to fresh water on either side.
“The nice thing about Britespan fabric buildings is that you have a lot of flexibility in the finished product. These buildings allow us to have maximum amount of bunk space, so, so many feet per animal to feed on based on the amount of cattle in the building. You are able to build what you feel is what you need on your farm,” says Carl.
Carl had worked with his Authorized Dealer, Peak Builders, on a number of projects in the past, and was happy to work with them again. “Peak Builders are great, they live three or four miles from us, so if had any challenges or wanted to make any changes, they were just a short drive away. By working with someone local, we know that down the road, if something needs to be looked at or fixed, they are there. Peak Builders delivered what they promised.”