When building a 12 m tall industrial shed with a peaked roof it is desirable that the sides of the shed should stay open as much as possible for ventilation / safety / access concerns.

On the other hand, an entirely open side from top to bottom might cause a lot of rain exposure when the rain comes in angled?

Is there a trade-off possible? Perhaps to enclose sides till a certain distance below the roof edge? Any heuristics about how much? (I've shown 4000 mm in the sketch below)

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The contents inside the shed are relatively robust / waterproof & hence absolute rain protection is not needed.

  • $\begingroup$ Any reason you can't just provide personnel doors at a somewhat frequent spacing along two walls and have larger roll-up doors on the others? Ventilation could be taken care of by rain-capped vent stacks on the roof. $\endgroup$
    – grfrazee
    May 2 '16 at 18:37
  • $\begingroup$ @grfrazee I could. But for one, it adds to cost. Also, if it weren't for rain the roll up doors would stay open all the time anyways so its somewhat redundant to have them. The location does not have any snowfall so enclosure for HVAC is not needed. $\endgroup$ May 2 '16 at 18:54
  • $\begingroup$ @grfrazee Also, for process reasons having open sides operations is deemed safer / preferable than having enclosed sides. Although strictly speaking there's no rule that prevents walls / side panels. The equipment inside also generates some heat so enclosing sides will cause hotter working conditions. $\endgroup$ May 2 '16 at 18:56

This will very much depend on the exposure of the building to wind as this is what will drive the rain in at an angle. So you really need to consider the prevailing wind direction and how sheltered the building is by other nearby structures etc.

If may be that if the prevailing wind direction is fairly consistent you can have one side more open than another.

Another option is to have panels which can be folded down when required eg if you have 4000mm of fixed cladding, you could have the same in fold-down form (this arrangement is fairly common in barns).

Also it depends what access you need obviously forklifts will need more height clearance than pedestrians.

You could also consider using strip curtains for at least part of the height.

  • $\begingroup$ Thanks Chris! Strip Curtains is a great idea. What's the max reasonable height I could consider employing them for, any thoughts? $\endgroup$ May 2 '16 at 19:00
  • $\begingroup$ Tall strip curtains are pretty common in exterior loading bays etc. Obviously there is a potential issue with having them flapping about in strong winds but this is probably best dealt with by talking directly to a supplier. You could also have them reach maybe 2m short of the ground to allow easy pedestrian access but still give reasonable weather protection without impeding tall vehicles. If you don't need high vehicle access all round then fine mesh panels would at least help with rain while providing ventilation and are potentially less flappy. $\endgroup$ May 2 '16 at 19:09

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