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Hy-Line International Compost Processing

Composting in Fabric Covered Buildings

Hy-Line's composting process takes place in two 40' wide x 60' long fabric covered buildings and one 40' wide x 80' long fabric covered building

 

Location:  Dallas Center, IA

Building Size:  (2) 40' W x 60' L; 40' W x 80' L Composting Fabric Covered Buildings

Application:  Composting Operations

 

Hy-Line International is a multi-million dollar company whose primary purpose is the sole production, multiplication and distribution of leghorn genetics.  At its Iowa facility in Dallas Center, Hy-Line chose to handle its hatchery by-product in a cost effective manner by combining it with field by-products, such as corn stocks and chicken manure, to create a compost product for resale.  The composting process takes place in two composting fabric buildings.

 

"The manure is moved from production at the end of the lay cycle and stored in three 40 foot wide fabric covered steel truss buildings," says Travis Slusher, Production Manager.  "The compost product is mixed and deposited in the fabric buildings for a month-long heating process before being moved to an outside concrete storage facility.  The final product is then sold to landscapers, golf courses, and the agricultural industry for fertilizer."

Hy-Line discovered the fabric building technology from advertisements in various publications. "The interest was generated from my experience with steel sided structures in the livestock industry and how much they sweat throughout the changes in our seasons.  Through our research we found that fabric covered steel truss buildings could be ventilated easier to eliminate the condensation factor.  The other reason for using the compost fabric buildings was this is a temporary site and the structures are easily re-locatable.  We are not locked into a long-term commitment on capital money here at this site," says Slusher.  "One of the other things we've been pleased with is the natural light that is inside the fabric buildings.  Because most of our work is done during the day, we have no other light in these facilities which reduces the cost and need for electrical services in the buildings.

Two 40' wide x 60' long fabric buildings were positioned on six foot high pony walls, and a 40' wide x 80' long fabric building was positioned on eight foot high pony walls.  Each fabric building was designed with two foot side curtain walls on each side for natural ventilation.  "The compost fabric buildings are very airy.  With the compost process, we have a lot of natural gases coming off the process itself which can easily corrode galvanized steel:  The fabric covered buildings are much more conducive as the fabric itself doesn't degrade like a steel building would," says Slusher.

The fabric cover is not affected by the

corrosive environment.

 

2' side curtain walls provide natural ventilation

and eliminate condensation inside the building.

 

The clearspan design of a fabric building allows

ample room to operate machinery and establish compost windrows. 

 

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