20 November 2017

Why is ventilation important to enhance the productivity of an agricultural building?

Although they may seem like simple structures, agricultural buildings require stringent planning processes in order to ensure they’re fit for purpose, provide the best in terms of animal welfare and create a sustained profit.  

While there are many different approaches to enhancing the welfare of different livestock housed in these agricultural buildings, the way the buildings are ventilated plays a significant role not only to the animals’ health but also to a farm’s productivity and profit.

The importance of ventilation for livestock 

Steve Gladwyn, who spent 20 years as a dairy farm, emphasises the importance of adequate ventilation in agricultural buildings. He explains that good ventilation plays a part in maintaining an optimal temperature, reducing humidity and condensation, preventing illness and lowering stress levels for the animals.

It’s important to note however that how a building is ventilated and the amount of ventilation required will depend on the type of animals being housed. 

Gladwyn goes onto explain, “You need to find the right balance. You don’t want a draught, but there needs to be plenty of air,” he says, noting that some animals are less capable of dealing with chills.

For example, the housing for dairy and mature beef cattle usually have open sides, while chicken enclosures need to provide more shelter from the wind and a warmer internal temperature.

Creating the right pitch for your agricultural building 

Jamie Robertson, livestock health specialist and honorary research fellow at Aberdeen University, also notes that you need adequate air inlets in order for ventilation to work well. If the building is enclosed, the inlets need to be big enough to provide a constant flow of air, without being so large that they subject the animals to wind and rain.

Moreover, if you don’t have at least a 15-degree roof pitch on your agricultural building, you won’t get the chimney-like effect that draws stale air out of the building. If possible, a 22-degree pitch will lead to an even better ventilated building and reduced condensation.

Fibre cement profiled sheeting & improved ventilation

We all know how badly ventilated buildings leads to humid air and condensation, which in turn creates a breeding ground for bacteria and other bugs. Fibre cement profiled sheeting is much less likely to collect condensation, and it’s naturally absorbent, so any condensation that does accumulate will be absorbed and dissipate when conditions are more favourable.
Here at Marley Eternit we provide a range of fibre cement profiled sheeting specifically designed for use in agricultural buildings, to improve both ventilation and condensation. Our product is the only one of its type made in the UK, and it’s backed by excellent technical support.

Want to maximise the productivity of your agricultural building? Find out more about the benefits of fibre cement profiled sheeting for ventilation by visiting our agricultural hub.

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