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A competition to recognise excellence in farm building has been extended by the sector's representative. 

Agricultural buildings have as much a claim to architecture as their counterparts in other sectors, if their builders and owners have any say in the matter.

Such has been the response to the inaugural launch of a Farm and Agricultural Buildings (FAB) award, designed to recognise excellence in the field, that the organisers, the Rural and Industrial Design and Building Association (RIDBA) have widened its sphere in several ways.

The FAB award aims to recognise and rewards contractors and clients who have taken the time and effort to ensure their new farm building is sympathetic to and even complements the local landscape, while ensuring it is fit for purpose and has been designed with sustainability in mind.

Supplied by a RIDBA corporate member, typically a contractor or fabricator of steel or timber framed buildings, the building must be a working one. The award excludes industrial and commercial buildings unless they are associated with agriculture, such as a farm shop or café, but has now been extended to equestrian buildings.

And although construction of the building must still have started after January 2010 the date for completion has been extended from October this year to December, with the deadline for applications also put back from October 31st to January 31st.  

Judged by gold sponsor Marley Eternit and silver sponsors Wedge Galvanising, Kingspan Insulated Panels, Brett Martin Daylight Systems and Steadman's, as well as RIDBA chairman Geoff Simpson, their decision will be based on 50% of the marks being allocated for aesthetics/design, 30% for functionality/fit for purpose, and 20% for sustainability.

As well as a 1st, 2nd and 3rd prize there will also now be awards for the most aesthetic building, the building that is most fit for purpose, and the most sustainable building as well as one for buildings constructed by non-RIDBA members. 

A shortlist will be announced shortly after that and all of the shortlisted entries will be visited by a judges' representative, ready for the prize giving on Friday 19th April in Bath in conjunction with RIDBA's AGM and a design conference being held by RIDBA's Wessex branch.

RIDBA secretary Tony Hutchinson said: “It seems that our members and their clients are just as keen as us to reverse that old architectural adage 'Form without function' and show the wider world that agricultural buildings can have function with form.”

RIDBA's 200+ members comprise contractors, designers, colleges, surveyors, land agents, planners, manufacturers and clients. The organisation campaigns on their behalf in the fields of good practice, health and safety and new legislation.


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