Optimized animal-specific barn climatization facing temperature rise and increased climate variability

The OptiBarn target is to develop region-specific, sustainable adaptation strategies for dairy housing, focusing on an optimised climatisation of naturally ventilated buildings. Naturally ventilated barns (NVB) are particularly vulnerable to climate change since the indoor climate strongly depends on the extremes and variability of the outdoor climate. Without sound adaptation strategies, increased climate variability will result in a sub-optimal thermal environment in many livestock buildings impairing production and well-being of animals.

Appropriate construction methods and management of the buildings can improve the thermal control, provided that precise identification of factors affecting the thermal control capacity of the buildings under practical farm conditions is undertaken.

In this context, indicators for an optimisation of livestock buildings under climate change will be developed in OptiBarn by:

  1. Barn-specific assessment of the influence of outdoor climate on the indoor conditions,
  2. Region-specific risk analysis on how often extreme weather situations will occur,
  3. Monitoring animal-individual stress responses to the indoor conditions,
  4. Development of engineering solutions.
  5. Modelling tools to assess environmental and economic cross effects of adaptation alternatives.