Optimising the Ventilation Configuration of Naturally Ventilated Livestock Buildings for Improved Indoor Environmental Homogeneity

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Building and Environment
Thursday, April 1, 2010

Due to the geometrical structure and ventilation configuration of naturally ventilated livestock buildings the animal occupied zone can experience large heterogeneities in ventilation efficiency. Ensuring a homogeneous indoor environment is important when designing naturally livestock buildings as producers should be confident that all animals are receiving the same environmental conditions, at least for the prevailing climate. Moreover, by including climate homogeneity in the building design process, the occurrence of high airspeeds in specific regions of a building can be reduced during windy outdoor conditions, thereby reducing the cold-stressing of animals in these regions. Therefore, it is desirable to know how to alter the geometrical features of a building in order to promote homogeneity in the indoor environment. In the present study, response surface methodology and computational fluid dynamics were used to develop predictive models that described the homogeneity of the indoor environment of a naturally ventilated livestock building as a function of its geometry and ventilation configuration. Three different eave opening conditions were chosen in order to improve the applicability of the developed response surfaces to practical situations encountered in Ireland. Results showed that for high to medium porosity eave opening conditions the environmental homogeneity was most sensitive to the building's roof pitch. However, when low porosity eave opening conditions were used the homogeneity was found to be highly sensitive to the sidewall height. Overall, this study found that modifying the building geometry has the greatest effect on environmental heterogeneity when the most restrictive eave opening condition was employed. It is also hoped that with the developed equations, a designer can subsequently select the best combination of design variables in order to achieve good uniformity in a naturally ventilated calf building.

2009 Elsevier Ltd
Author Name: 
T. Norton
J. Grant
R. Fallon
D.W. Sun