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Energy use and indoor climate in livestock buildings for pigs : an introductory paper

Malm, Therese


Swedish pig farming is facing two climatic challenges: minimizing greenhouse gases and adapting to warmer climates in confined livestock buildings. Climate change leads to more heat waves, causing pigs in confined buildings to endure heat stress more often and for longer periods. Heat stress not only affects the animals' welfare and health negatively, but it also implies a risk of economic losses for farmers, as heat stress can result in slower growth, impacts on reproduction and increased mortality. Pigs are particularly sensitive to heat because they do have few sweat glands. This introductory paper on the subject “Improving energy-efficiency and indoor climate of livestock buildings for pigs through passive and active adaptation measures” highlightsthe need for adaptation measures due to climate change. The main aim of this introductory paper is to provide a summary of current research and knowledge on the energy efficiency and indoor climate of livestock buildings for pigs, as well as the need for further research on pig buildings in Sweden. Many studies have evaluated potential adaptation measures to lower indoor temperatures and reduce heat stress in warmer climates. The most commonly implemented measures for cooling are increased airflow and air velocity, as well as evaporative cooling. The reviewed articles also indicated that insulation and mechanical ventilation are required in warmer climates to maintain an acceptable indoor climate.

The main conclusions are that:
(1) Heat stress for pigs will increase due to global warming, necessitating adaptation measures to
reduce indoor temperatures in warmer climates.
(2) Technical solutions are available to reduce indoor temperatures in warmer climates. However,
studies on the investment costs and energy use of these solutions are lacking.
(3) To reduce the environmental impact of livestock buildings intended for pigs, it is necessary to
develop energy-saving solutions, improve management practices, and use non-fossil energy sources.
(4) Computer simulations can be used as a tool to predict thermal climate and energy use in livestock
(5) It is recommended to develop a common framework and use standardised functional units to
enable comparison and simplify evaluation of results from different studies.


Climate change; livestock; buildings; pigs; energy use; indoor climate; heat stress; ventilation; cooling; heating; adaptation measures

Published in

Introductory paper at the Faculty of Landscape Architecture, Horticulture and Crop Production Science
2024, number: 2024:2
Publisher: Faculty of Landscape Architecture, Horticulture and Crop Production Science, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Other Civil Engineering

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