Optimised animal specific barn climatisation facing temperature rise and increased climate variability (OptiBarn)

OptiBarn is a European research project with the aim to develop regional, sustainable adaptation strategies for dairy cow husbandry.



Leibniz Institute for Agricultural Engineering and Bioeconomy (ATB) Germany – Coordinator

Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) Germany

Aarhus University (AU) Denmark

Agricultural Research Organisation of Israel, The Volcani Centre (ARO) Israel

Basque Centre For Climate Change Spain

Universitat Politècnica de València (UPV)  Spain

Description of the project:

OptiBarn tends to develop region-specific, sustainable adaptation strategies for dairy housing, focusing on an optimised climatisation of naturally ventilated buildings (NVB).

Naturally ventilated buildings 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 welfare of animals.

Appropriate construction methods and management of the buildings can improve the thermal control and provide precise identification of factors affecting the thermal control capacity of the buildings under commercial farm conditions.

A team of scientists from seven research institutes in Germany, Denmark, Spain, Israel and Australia compiles together possibilities to optimise barn climatisation.

For this purpose, the influence of outdoor climate on indoor conditions is assessed in different naturally ventilated barns.

A region-specific risk analysis on how often extreme weather situations will occur today and in the near future is conducted taking into account different climate chance scenarios.

Animal-individual stress responses to the indoor conditions are monitored in various representative climate zones and engineering solutions to control the indoor climate are developed.

Modelling tools to assess environmental and economic effects of adaptation alternatives complement the studies.


Dr. Sabrina Hempel
Leibniz Institute for Agricultural Engineering and Bioeconomy

Max-Eyth-Allee 100
14469 Potsdam Germany
Department: Engineering for Livestock Management

email: SHempel@atb-potsdam.de