This poultry house is anything but ordinary

Since July 2020, the new «BTSplus» poultry house from Bell has been in operation in Zimmerwald. The house is Minergie-A-certified, completely energy neutral and will one day set new standards in the rearing of fattening chickens. 

In July 2020 Bell commissioned a new poultry house in Zimmerwald near the city of Bern. This is not particularly unusual, and at first glance the neat new house looks quite similar to a normal poultry house. But on secondg lance, it quickly becomes apparent: the house is anything but ordinary. This is because it is a Minergie-A certified,fully energy-neutral prototype called BTSplus, which will set new standards one day.

The BTSplus concept is a further developmentof the tried and tested Swiss BTS (ParticularlyAnimal Friendly Housing Systems) with new technologies for the energy-efficient rearing of fattening chickens without CO2 emissions. «With BTSplus, the focus is clearly on resource optimisation in energy consumption,» explains Stefan Werren, BTSplus project manager at Bell.

At the heart of this is a photovoltaic system on the roof, which supplies around twice as much energy as is needed to run the house. The remaining energy is used for other branches of the business or fed into the public power grid. With the installation of a heat recovery system, the waste heat of the animals can also be used. The waste heat heats the fresh air, which is drawn from outside and used to air-condition the barn and the conservatories. This way, around 80 percent of the thermal energy required can be saved. The remaining 20 percent is provided by the heat pump, which is operated with electricity from the companyʼs own photovoltaic system.

Fewer emissions and a pleasant climate

The exhaust air of the BTSplus poultry house is cleanedby a bio filter. This ensures that dust and odour emissions are lowered during operation, thus reducing the impact on the immediate environment. The house and the conservatories are supplied with preheated fresh air from outside.

With this system, developed specially for BTSplus, there is always a pleasant climate for the animals in the house and conservatories. The conservatories can be used all year round regardless of the outside temperature, and can also be used by the animals just a few days after hatching.

Pilot project looking ahead to the future

With the BTSplus concept, Bell intends to further develop the proven Swiss BTS system and contribute to more energy-efficient, CO2-neutral poultry production in Switzerland. The BTSplus chicken house in Zimmerwald will now be tested for one year as part of this pilot project. Once the test phase is complete, the extent to which the BTSplus concept can be extended to other new buildings and existing BTS buildings at Bell will be evaluated.