The Livestock Housing Climate Laboratory at AU Foulum opened in 2011 and is used for research on livestock housing interior design with the main emphasis on control of emissions through ventilation. Research on the overall housing environment can focus on both the functionality of interior design, operational management, feed, ammonia volatilisation, dust, etc. – everything that influences the indoor climate. The effect of livestock housing on the external environment can also be investigated.
The laboratory consists of four flexible livestock housing units. As standard, they are configured for fattening pigs, but the design can be changed to suit other types of livestock, e.g. cattle or poultry. Each unit has two sties with room for 16 pigs in each sty. To enable comparison, unit pairs are identical.
The cellar under the housing units contains slurry chambers with weighing cells. As with the floor in the sties and the ventilation, the slurry chambers can be changed as needed. The sties can therefore be arranged in accordance with the principles used elsewhere in the world where the slurry chambers are often deeper than in Denmark.
All air flowing into and out of each housing unit can be measured and analysed for ammonia, methane, nitrous oxide and carbon dioxide. Other analyses, for example odour, can be performed by online mass spectrometry (PTR-MS) or by collection and subsequent analysis on various gas chromatographs. There is room for experimental setups such as air cleaning systems. Department of Biosystems Engineering has been working with the microclimate in animal housing for many years focusing on both the health of the animals and the personnel caring for them and on the impact on the external environment. Therefore, the department has extensive experience in carrying out experiments and in collecting, analysing and modelling data.