Farm structures and the environment

A.Y. 2019/2020
Overall hours
Learning objectives
The course aims to provide to the student skill on the design of rural buildings taking into account both the functional requirements linked to the production system , and the consequences of design choices on farm management, environment and territory.
The objective is to provide the basic principles of the design for buildings and facilities which satisfy the requirements of environmental sustainability, in compliance with current environmental legislation (national and European).
Expected learning outcomes
Knowledge of elements for the design of rural structures, in particular for livestock farms. Knowledge about animal requirements and environmental criteria for the definition of functional spaces for animals and for running the related operations. Environmental impact of farming, with regard to reducing emissions to water, air and soil as required by law. Ability to identify the best available technology and knowledge of the criteria for their introduction on farms.
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Lesson period
Second semester
Course syllabus
Relation of rural structures and farm organisation. Design criteria to locate rural buildings in the landscape. Functionality of buildings in relation to farm organisation. General criteria for the design of structures intended for production. Functional aspects of structures for livestock farms. Sizing of rural structures in relation to farm demands. Placement of rural structures in the farm. Recovery and change of the use of rural buildings. Design criteria for rural building for farm activities Functional aspects of livestock and poultry sheds Design criteria of rural buildings in relation to animal requirements and to the environmental and landscape impact. Control of ambient parameters in rural buildings. Minimum requirements to guarantee animal welfare conditions. Design criteria to reduce emissions. Functional requirements and layout organisation in livestock buildings. Structures for cattle and dairy farms. Structures for pig breeding. Structure for poultry farms. Elements on design of other building for the farm. Rural structures in relation to surroundings. The problems related to environmental impact of agricultural activities.
Agriculture and environmental impact. The main emissions to the air from the agricultural sector. Emissions to the waters and the contribution of agriculture. The characteristics of livestock manure. Emission mechanisms towards the air of ammonia and greenhouse gases from livestock manure. Measurement methods for ammonia concentrations and emissions. Regulatory framework relating to emissions to water and air. Best available techniques for reducing nitrogen and phosphorus excreted by feeding. Reduction of emissions from housing areas. Manure transformations during storage and emission mitigation techniques. Main treatments for manure management and their effect on emissions. Visit to livestock farms and amnure treatment plants. Air emissions during the distribution phase. Evaluation of techniques for reducing emissions during distribution. Evaluation of the efficiency of nitrogen distributed on the ground and techniques to reduce emissions to water. Overall assessment of emissions in livestock farms
Prerequisites for admission
A basic knowledge of agricultural systems and the fundamentals of mathematics and physics are required
Teaching methods
a) frontal lessons
b) classroom exercises for the design of livestock structures
c) visits to ivestock farms
Teaching Resources
1. notes of the lessons available at - Costruzioni rurali
2. Scientific articles published in sectorial journals indicated during the course
3. book: CRPA - Ricoveri, attrezzature e impianti per l'allevamento dei suini - Edizioni L'informatore Agrario
4. book: CRPA - Strutture, attrezzature e impianti per vacche da latte - Edizioni L'informatore Agrario
Assessment methods and Criteria
The assessment of knowledge is divided into:
- a test during the course related to the knowledge of cartography and topography;
- a test during the course related to the knowledge of the design of livestock buildings;
- a final test on knowledge on the environmental impact of animal husbandry and on mitigation techniques.
All tests consist in the resolution of application exercises of the same type as those carried out during the course and reported on the course website and in the answer to theoretical questions on the test topic (partly with open answers, partly with closed answers).
An optional oral exam is also provided which consists of the discussion of the written tests and the verification of mastery of the course topics.
Unita' didattica 1
Practicals: 16 hours
Lessons: 40 hours
Unita' didattica 2
Practicals: 16 hours
Lessons: 24 hours
Educational website(s)
on demand previuos contact by email
Dept. Agricultural and Environmental Sciences - Agricultural Engineering Building n. 10 - Farm Structures and Environment group