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Designing New Cow Accommodation with Ventilation and Lighting in Mind

When designing new cow accommodation, consider your choice of ventilation early in the process.  The type of ventilation used will impact how the facility is designed to produce the optimal environment for your herd.

You should also consider the positioning of the building.  End wall fans should not be in locations such as directly by your home, by the outside entrance or parking area of your dairy, or anywhere they could potentially create an uncomfortable environment with the exhausted air, odour or excessive noise.

Inside the facility, it is important to remember that high-velocity air will not move around obstructions.  Instead, it will be knocked down, which can lead to dead air areas in the shadow of the obstruction.  This will become a consideration when laying out cubicles and passages.

If you decide to go with a naturally ventilated system, there are also several design choices that must be considered to ensure optimal performance.  With this type of ventilation, a sloped or cathedral-style ceiling works best as it creates convection currents that promote air movement along the ceiling line during times when there is minimal wind.

Over the last few years, there has been a trend toward incorporating more areas of natural light into dairy facilities using large skylights that run the entire length of the building.  This can create a very pleasant atmosphere for the operator and most of your herd.

However, if your building design has cubicle divisions positioned directly under the apex of the building, cows will avoid lying in those cubicles in hot, sunny weather because of the additional heat and brightness being radiated down from the skylight.  Likewise, if you position your building with the sidewalls facing east and west, the cows will migrate to the shaded side of the building, potentially causing crowding issues, unless you have adequate protection from direct sunlight.

Finally, when considering site location for a natural ventilation system, you should always leave 15 to 18 metres of separation between it and any existing parallel buildings.  This will ensure there is proper air flow through the sidewall openings.

For all your building design requirements, contact Mark on 07984 785190
or e-mail
markyearsley@fcgagric.com

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