Simple construction techniques can easily be applied to strengthen pole and post-frame farm buildings. Basically, the idea is to use 4x8-foot sheets of 3/4-inch exterior grade plywood and necessary hardware to form weatherproof, impact-resistant concrete walls between the poles or posts of new or existing buildings. Simple, readily available form ties and brackets are used to hold the forms securely in place. Any one of several modular form panel systems could be adapted for use in place of the plywood. The 4x8-foot sheets of oiled plywood are placed with the long dimension horizontal to form a 4-foot-high wall that fits neatly between posts with the standard 8-foot spacing.
The thickness of the wall depends on the intended use; a minimum thickness can be used for buildings where little impact is expected, such as machinery storage and multipurpose buildings. Eight inches is a practical thickness for buildings framed with 6-inch posts and 2-inch girts. By including an inch or more of polystyrene sheet in the center and using two-step construction, a very rugged insulated wall can be built. This type of wall is ideally suited for hog farrowing houses and confinement structures where temperature control is vital. Walls may be constructed flush with both sides of the poles or posts, or wrapped around one or both sides of the posts to prevent air seepage. By extending the walls 10 or 12 inches into a narrow trench below grade, an effective rat barrier is formed.
No reinforcement is required in the walls since the plain concrete wall will support its own weight. A common practice is to drive metal pins into the posts or to insert short lengths of reinforcing bar in holes drilled through the posts to hold the concrete panels in place. A regular framing system with wood truss roof and metal skin completes the structure. As little as « cubic yard of ready mixed concrete is required for each panel in this type of construction.