Conventional poultry sheds can often suffer from highly inconsistent daylight levels owing to the aspect of vertical side glazing in relation to the position of the sun, or they may even be completely windowless and reliant only on artificial light. Government recommended welfare code states that livestock must not be kept in buildings with permanent darkness and that poultry buildings must have light levels sufficient to allow all hens to see one another and be seen clearly, to investigate their surroundings visually and to show normal levels of activity.
For a broiler house in Ireland, the solution to this problem was to install 30 Ø 53 cm Daylighting Systems. These systems harvest daylight at roof level – a position less affected by the building's orientation – and deliver a higher degree of light uniformity across a much greater area than would be achieved by traditional windows.
Solatube Daylighting Systems proved to be a very cost-effective solution in comparison to installing a more conventional window system.
Solatube Daylighting Systems for these applications use a fraction of the required glazed surface area normally associated with conventional windows thus improving the structural, thermal, acoustic and, in some cases, ventilation properties of these buildings. This is a cost effective solution that may be fitted into new or existing buildings.
The owner wanted the new shed to meet the requirements of the "Sustainable Livestock Farming" (MDV). Thanks to its measures, an MDV house contributes to animal health, animal welfare and making livestock farming more sustainable. In addition, the measures promote corporate social responsibility (CSR) in the agricultural sector. To achieve the required points for the MDV, sufficient daylight entry into the barn is one of the requirements.
Direct sunlight through vertical windows was out of the question, due to solar heat gain in the summer and heat loss in the winter. As a result, the indoor climate of the stable is disrupted, which causes great turmoil to the pigs.
Solatube was chosen, as with this system the daylight is indirectly brought into the barn through reflective tubes and diffused across the shed. Also, Solatube daylight systems have good thermal properties, which ensures that the indoor climate remains optimal for the pigs. This means there is no risk of heat stress, which is important to maintain peace in the stables. In addition, the working conditions for the staff has improved. Due to, among other things, the adjustment of daylight entry, the stable receives the DMV certificate, whereby the farmer can participate in the MIA and Vamil tax schemes.
It is nice to be in the sunlight all day and I want our breeding sows to lack nothing. The five weeks in this delivery room must be as pleasant as possible for the sows. For example, we have invested in climate control so that the sows and piglets are in a pleasant living environment. As a farmer, I feel more comfortable in this stable than in the other room without Solatubes. This is a house to be proud of.
The houses must be arranged in such a way that with an outside daylight illuminance of 1200 lux, only 20 lux of daylight is provided indoors. In addition, the house must also be able to be darkened.
Based on a calculated light plan, 14 Solatube daylight systems were installed per house. The systems provide an average of 20 lux daylight throughout the house. A dark period can be created at any time by sliding blanking covers over the systems. The Solatube system achieves high thermal insulation values and savings on energy bills for artificial lighting.
Our new chicken houses have been approved by various authorities. The abundance of daylight that comes in through the Solatubes contributes to the health and well-being of our chicks.
The minimum requirement of 2% daylight area set by Maatlat Duurzame Veehouderij was already achieved by a window strip. For the employees and the animals it is more pleasant to have more and more natural light in the departments. Translucent panels were not an option, as they eventually turn green and therefore allow less light to pass through.
Several Solatube Ø 53 cm systems have been placed in the stables. During the day, artificial light is no longer needed and Van Kempen saves on its energy bill. By making use of the composite roof panels, the systems fit perfectly with the roof and any potential for leaks is prevented. Due to the special coating on the dome, the Solatube daylight systems require no maintenance.
In the departments with the Solatubes it is more pleasant for the animals and the people who work there. Only in the winter are the sows still checked in the morning with the fluorescent lighting on. The rest of the day with us the TL's and there is plenty of light through the Solatubes. The Solatubes provide pleasantly diffused light.
Various measures have been taken in recent years to make the city farm more sustainable. Solar panels have been installed for generating electricity and plants have been installed on the roof of the training centre for insulation and water storage.
The lofts of the animal shelters had small windows, so little daylight came in. However, direct sunlight should be avoided as this can cause heat stress. A suitable alternative was sought to keep the heat in and cold out of the shelters.
The Solatube daylight systems bring healthy diffused daylight into the living quarters of the animals. At the same time, the tubes have a high insulation value, which ensures minimal temperature differences. In addition, the farm saves on its energy bill, because the artificial lighting only comes on when visitors are in the shelters.
What I mainly noticed is that extra daylight is good for the welfare of the animals. An additional advantage is that the visitors also feels more comfortable in the living quarters of the animals.
One of the requirements of the EU certification is that contact with the outside world must be avoided to prevent diseases. By placing large windows around the courtyard, visitors now have the opportunity to view the stallions. To have sufficient daylight in the stables, a street light was initially provided. In combination with the glass wall, however, this would create sparkle; both unpleasant for the horses and the visitors.
18 Solatube daylight systems have been installed in the stables that disperse diffused daylight. The Solatubes are combined with a lighting fixture, so that light comes from the same system both during the day and in the evening. Due to the high insulation values of the Solatube system, the thermal envelope of the building is retained keeping the stables warm in the winter and cool in the summer.
The result is great. The Solatubes are neatly finished and give a very light result. Also in the evening it looks nice because of the combination with the lamps.
There are several apartments above the stables. These must remain habitable, but the daylight must be transported down through them. It is therefore a challenge to position the Solatubes in such a way that the daylight reaches the desired location in the stables without obstructing the apartments above.
The 6 Solatubes Ø 53 cm have been positioned correctly using a precise lighting plan. In the apartment they are nicely concealed using a conversion. In the stable they perfectly enter the aisle, just in front of the stables. In this way the horses benefit optimally from the daylight.
Daylight is important for sheep. Especially in the winter when the sheep are indoors all day, the entry of daylight is indispensable. However, the sheepfold has traditional, small windows. As a result, too little daylight comes in for optimum living comfort for the animals and a healthy working environment for the herders.
Five Solatube Ø 35 cm daylight systems ensure that sufficient daylight enters the sheepfold. This sustainable solution ensures that artificial lighting can stay off during the day. The small Solatube skylights on the roof are hardly noticeable so that the distinctive character of the sheepfold is retained.
Thanks to the Solatubes, space is illuminated in an environmentally friendly way. The artificial lighting does not have to come on as often. I notice that the daylight is pleasant for the sheep and for me to work in.