The concrete work in this installation illustrates desired floor construction method.
- The floor forms leave the center open (with a ledge for 2” x 6” lumber floorboards). This uses far less concrete, which is costly.
- It maintains the PVC pipe air plenum resting on stones so airflow is never blocked and out of the way for ease and avoiding damage when loading and unloading the bins, and drainage under the floor.
- Depending on density of the manure, it is sometimes beneficial to place wood shavings, wood chips, or other low density bulking material over the boards before filling the bins. In the demo, clean bedding wood chips were used.
- Sometimes it may be necessary to sprinkle water on the piles if they are too dry to for effective composting. Use the squeeze test and monitor with a thermometer.
- Posts: typical pole barn wood column posts; can rest on pre-manufactured concrete foundation posts, saving construction costs associated with traditional continuous pour concrete foundation work.
- Sides: All four sides of the bins are simply 2” x 6” lumber, which slide in and out of galvanized steel channels hung from the support poles.
- The galvanized steel channels for setting bin wall heights are used on all four walls, not just front.
- Bin heights are adjustable, and can be easily disassembled for clean out.
- Roof: simple corrugated metal roofing typical of agricultural structures.
- In front of this structure, is a poured concrete all weather pad for tractor loading and unloading.
Photos: Jack Rabin. For more information: Aerated Bay Compost System: A Pilot Demonstration