Chemical shed sizes

Chemical Shed Sizes – What Size Chemical Do I Need?

What size chemical shed do I need? What are the best chemical shed sizes? These are common questions in 2024!

New chemical shed builds are becoming a popular investment.

This is largely because of a renewed industry focus on safe and compliant chemical storage and because compliant chemical storage is a requirement for sustainable grain certification.

Like any shed project, size is an important consideration for a chemical shed. Chemical shed sizes are one of the factors that determine whether storage meets regulations or not.

As a result, we are often asked:

  • What size chemical shed do I need to meet regulations?
  • What size shed do I need to store all my drums and containers?
  • What volume does the bunded floor need to be able to store?
  • Is there a best-practice height for chemical sheds?

We address all these questions in this article.

What Size Chemical Shed Do I Need?

A one-size-fits-all approach usually doesn’t work for chemical shed sizes.

Instead, the best size for your chemical shed will depend on a number of factors.

Here are some initial questions to answer to help you establish your best-fit chemical shed size.

  • How many drums and shuttles do you require storage space for? Is this likely to increase in the future?
  • What is the volume of the chemical being stored?
  • How many different types of chemicals will be stored in the shed? Liquids? Granules? Are they compatible?
  • Are you including an undercover wash-down bay?
  • What are the shed access requirements? Will there be machinery accessing the shed?
  • Will you be using pallet racking to store chemicals? How high will this be?
Chemical shed sizes

With these questions in mind, let’s learn how chemical storage regulations can impact chemical shed sizes.

Chemical Shed Size Requirements To Meet Regulations

If you store under 1000 kilograms or 1000 litres of chemicals on-farm, this is classified as ‘Minor Storage’ as per the Australian Standard AS2507 – 1998.

Quantities of chemical greater than 1000 kilograms or 1000 litres are required to comply with the storage requirements of the Dangerous Goods Act 1985 and Dangerous Goods (Storage and Handling Regulations 2012).

Chemical storage regulations can also vary from state to state – you can learn about chemical storage regulations in Victoria, New South Wales, South Australia and Tasmania, here.

There are several ways that chemical storage regulations can impact chemical sheds sizes.

For example, your chemical storage shed will likely be required to have a bunded floor slab that can hold 25% of the total storage volume or 110% – 120% volume of the largest container, whichever is the greatest.

Liquid chemicals should also not be stored above granules, so you will need to plan your chemical shed size to accommodate this.

Similarly, incompatible chemicals need to be stored separately with adequate room between them. The manufacturer’s safety data sheet will also likely include advice on this.

Chemical Sheds Size Requirements For Grain Sustainable Grain Certification

Many of the regulations mentioned above are also required for compliant chemical storage under the Sustainable Grain certification system.

This includes the bunded floor. You can learn more about these requirements and the certification system, here – Sustainable Grain Chemical Storage Requirements.

Next up we provide some size suggestions for safe chemical storage. Safety should always be front of mind when it comes to chemical storage.

Chemical shed signage

Chemical Shed Size Suggestions For Safe Storage

The regulations and requirements we have discussed so far are intended to make your chemical storage safer, for you, your staff and community and the environment.

One other chemical safety suggestion is to allow enough storage space in your shed so that doorways and access points can be kept clear of chemicals. This includes the floor space and the wall space on either side of the access point.

This ensures that the shed can be safely exited in case of an emergency, such as a fire.

How much does it cost to build a chemical shed (1)

Including an undercover, drive-through wash-down bay is also a great way to keep on top of any spills, remove residue, prevent contamination and keep everyone safe. 

This will increase the size of your chemical shed, but this is usually a cost-effective and practical addition.

Another option for the washdown area could be to install a cantilevered canopy over a concrete slab. 

This is generally a cost-effective way to gain coverage without having to upsize the whole shed.

What Volume Should The Bunded Slab Hold?

As we mentioned earlier, a bunded floor slab is required for your chemical shed to meet regulations.

The volume of chemicals that the shed slab needs to be able to hold can vary between states. Generally, this is 25% of the total storage volume or 110% – 120% volume of the largest container, whichever is the greatest.

We recommend confirming this detail with your relevant state authority. 

The websites below can be a good starting point:

What is The Best Height For A Chemical Shed?

Height is one of the most important details of any shed project.

Firstly, this is because a lack of clearance height is very impractical, and it is a detail that is difficult to fix once a shed has been built.

Secondly, increasing the height of your shed is a cost-effective way to increase the storage space. However, the height does have to be safe and practical.

We recommend taking advantage of the shed height when storing chemicals by installing pallet racking.

If you have included a washdown bay or cantilevered canopy off the shed, you will also need to factor in machinery clearance heights.

Popular heights for chemical sheds include 4.5 metres, 5 metres and 6 metres. 6.75 metres is a common height option to gain additional clearance for machinery such as sprayers.

Our building consultants can provide you with project-specific advice to help you choose the best height for your chemical shed. They will take into account your pallet racking heights and machinery access requirements.

How Much Room Do You Need To Store Incompatible Chemicals?

As explained by WorkSafe Queensland, when incompatible hazardous chemicals interact, the chemicals can react to cause fire, an explosion or release toxic, flammable or corrosive vapours.

This is why safe and compliant chemical storage needs to be addressed for any incompatible chemicals.

This includes not storing liquids above chemicals and allowing adequate room for segregation between incompatible chemicals.

The amount of room required can depend on the level of hazard that the chemicals present. Here are some useful resources and information to help you determine this:

As a general rule, incompatible chemicals should be separated by a distance of at least three metres. However, refer to the safety data sheet and consult relevant regulations and authorities before storing incompatible chemicals. 

Best-Practice Chemical Shed Sizes (With Capacity Guide)

Here are some best-practice chemical shed sizes that you could consider for your project.

We have also included an approximate storage capacity for pallets to help you determine which size is the best fit for your storage. 

These capacity estimates are based on storing three pallets high on the back wall and two end walls

  • 18m (L) x 12m (W) x 6m (H) chemical shed. Approx. 70 pallet capacity.
  • 24m (L) x 12m (W) x 6m (H) chemical shed. Approx. 80 pallet capacity.
  • 24m (L) x 15m (W) x 6m (H) chemical shed. Approx. 90 pallet capacity.
  • 24m (L) x 18m (W) x 6m (H) chemical shed. Approx. 100 pallet capacity.
  • 32m (L) x 15m (W) x 6m (H) chemical shed. Approx. 100 pallet capacity.

Chemical Shed Sizes Inspiration Gallery

Sometimes the best way to get ideas for your shed project is to check out what others have been doing!

Browse the gallery of chemical shed photos below.

Additional Resources

We trust this discussion around chemical shed sizes is helpful! Below we have collated some additional resources that may help you with your project planning.

For more information like this browse the Learning Hub.

To discuss your farm chemical shed project including best-practice chemical shed sizes, call us on 1800 687 888. Or simply submit a REQUEST A QUOTE form and we will be in touch!

Share this article!

Like this article?

Here’s a few more that might interest you.