This section is from the book "Modern Buildings, Their Planning, Construction And Equipment Vol5", by G. A. T. Middleton. Also available from Amazon: Modern Buildings.
Aspect and site, more particularly as regards levels, approaches, and drainage, are prime factors in planning; for on them will depend whether the milk or cream will require to be mechanically elevated, or simply permitted to flow by gravitation through the course of its manufacture.
Briefly put, the general methods are as follow: The milk is received in cans on a platform, cart height, or elevated by hoists to a higher level (in rare instances it is pumped up, a course deservedly discredited), where it is weighed, a small portion being reserved for testing as to butter value, on which payments are made. It is then run into a receiving tank, and thence to the separator stage - being warmed in transit - where it is separated, the cream being pasteurised, cooled, and either gravitated, elevated, or pumped to ripening bats in cream-room, and the skim milk run to storage and delivery tanks for distribution or feeding purposes.
In the cream-room, ripening bacteria are added from the culture-room; the former being lighted with a diffused light, and under control as regards temperature, so that the ripening may be hastened or retarded at will, and so placed that the cream may gravitate directly to churns in churning-room. After churning the butter is conveyed in trucks to the working-room, which should be also under control as regards temperature - the butter milk being drained to storage tanks as before. The butter is then worked and salted and eventually packed in boxes for export, or passed through the printer and weigher for home or local consumption. Cool storage-rooms with air locks and delivery slides, together with boxroom, general storeroom, manager's office, testing and culture rooms, with lavatory and changing-room for employees should be provided for in the general arrangements. Engine and boiler-rooms should be planned, connected by covered way for access and housing of shafting and ammonia pipes; while provision must be made for condenser coils and cold filtered water storage for butter washing, etc.; and where water is scarce, arrangements must be contrived for spraying and cooling same after it has passed over the condenser, so that it may be used and re-used with a loss of evaporation only. All floors and walls must be washable, impervious to moisture and lactic acid, and capable of being flushed and dried by means of cross-air currents at will. All facilities for can-washing and receipt and delivery must be provided; and it is to be always remembered that economy in labour and handling are vital points in the planning and constructing of buildings of this class. The dairy school of the Agricultural College at Dookie (Figs. 228 and 229), designed by Mr. G. de Lacy Evans, F.R.V.I.A., to whom we are indebted for the above remarks, illustrates their application in Australian practice, the sketch being particularly valuable as showing how the upper roadway is banked up to the first-floor level.
Crude in design and arrangement, the first butter factories built in Victoria were all wooden frame buildings, 60 feet long by 20 feet, with a partition 20 feet from the south end, making a butter-working room 20 by 20 feet, the remainder serving as a separating and churning compartment. Right round the main structure was built a lean-to or skillion, divided at intervals so as to make a boiler and engine-room, wash-up room, coolroom, box and storeroom, office, and verandahs. The machinery, when it came, had to be fitted into this somehow. The building was altered and made to fit the plant. The proximity of the boiler to the cream and butter in the summer time materially assisted the hot winds in bringing about losses and trouble. Then a detached room had to be built, and the boiler removed to another position. So it was with nearly all the plant, - alterations had to be made each season, until a point was reached when the size of the different machines became known, and the relationship they bore to each other recognised.
The Grasmere Butter Factory (Fig. 230), designed by Messrs. Crawley & Knight, comprises the following rooms: - Engine and boiler-room (detached from main building), separator-room, churnroom, butter-working room, two coolrooms,maturing-room, preservative room, saltroom, boxroom, wash-up room, cream-room, bathroom, office, testing-room, and a culture-room. The grouping of the rooms is so arranged as to reduce the work of supervision to a minimum. The separator-room is 50 feet long by 24 wide, and has provision for eight separators. The churnroom is 38 by 23 feet, with provision for four churns. The churn posts are specially designed cast-iron columns, which carry the floor of the maturing-room above. The butter-room is 30 feet by 23 feet, with a packing table the full width of room, on to the end of which a chute delivers the empty boxes from boxroom. A chute to cool-room is provided at the opposite end of the table for passing packed boxes through. The coolroom chutes have sliding sashes inside and out with rubber jambs, and eccentric bar adjustments; the cool doors are trebly double lined with insulated paper between, and have rubber jambs with screw adjustment fastenings. The wash-up room is 20 by 16 Feet, with capacious slate wash troughs. There is a double milk-receiving stage in front of building, and a supplementary one at the side for receiving the cream from the creameries.
The skim-milk platform and tanks are placed very conveniently on the return to the road from the receiving stage, and are under the eye of employees working the hoists. The building throughout is well lighted and ventilated, some of the ventilators being specially designed with rubber and thumb-screw adjustments. The drainage of the factory is all above ground, the internal drainage being discharged by vitrified tile gutters, delivering into a pitched channel laid in cement outside. A septic tank is now in course of construction for dealing with the sewage. Between the engine-room and the main building there is an asphalt passage 11 feet wide, over which there is a tank stand having storage for 10,000 gallons of water. The main shafting runs the whole length of the building, and there are small counter shafts for working hoists and pumping skim milk.