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Facilities Management

Croydon barn is worth its 'salt'

Author: Gareth Smyth

Posted: 4 Feb 2019


The resilience of Croydon Council’s highways maintenance operations to the worst ravages of the winter weather has been strengthened following the opening of a purpose-built timber salt barn.

Constructed to “exceptionally high standards” by GRAHAM’s Facilities Management Team, the salt barn at Factory Lane ensures the long-term storage of salt in prime condition for use around the borough’s road network.

Approximately 30% of Croydon’s roads are salted when snow or ice are predicted or in the case of sudden and unforecast snow. These important routes cover in excess of 240km.

The new salt storage facility replaced an ageing asbestos barn that was in a state of disrepair and displaying signs of corrosion. For rock salt to be efficient, it must be maintained at a certain moisture level – a level that the asbestos barn was unable to maintain.

While salt naturally ‘attacks’ most building materials, it is an active wood preservative.

In September, GRAHAM began a ten-week programme to construct a specially designed timber barn for use in a salt environment as part of its ‘Hard FM building fabric planned and reactive maintenance works, and multi-trade planned works, contract’ with Croydon Council.

(Pictured): Work in progress as the salt barn begins to take shape

Commenting on the success of the £450k scheme, Croydon Council’s Project Manager for Facilities Management, Kaushai Tripathi, said:

“The project was completed within the designated time and to exceptionally high standards. We would like to say that GRAHAM were extremely organised, kept all the deadlines, maintained high standards and followed all of the Council’s policies and protocols. They provided regular updates and demonstrations of their work.”

The new timber structure has a service life of over 30 years and requires minimal maintenance.

The barn’s Eurodome Barrel, which has an overall footprint of 19.3m x 35m and a height of 10.8m, includes a built-in extraction fan for the removal of vehicle fumes during extended periods of operation.

Due to its shape, the dome has significantly reduced the barn’s visual impact at height.

(Pictured): The final touches are completed to the Croydon Council salt barn

GRAHAM’s Operations Director, Gareth Smyth, added:

“We have enjoyed a long-term relationship with Croydon Council since May 2016. The new salt barn is yet another example of the important work that we consistently undertake in support of the Council’s operations. As the snowy and icy conditions continue to present challenges to motorists and pedestrians, this salt barn guarantees the integrity of the salt that is spread across the borough’s roads network. It is therefore a core piece of infrastructure and we are proud to have delivered it to the very highest standards.”

For more information on GRAHAM’s partnership with Croydon Council, please visit: