If you are planning to operate a commercial greenhouse, you can either build the structures or find an expert greenhouse manufacturer. With either option, it is vital to know the steps in greenhouse construction.
Steps for greenhouse selection and construction
Just like any business, there are several steps to consider before you can start your business. This is vital because you have to establish the purpose and goals of the company, along with the budget, location, staffing, materials, resources, and suppliers.
- Planning. This is the first step. It includes site selection and the location in relation to future expansion, utilities, labor, and markets. These aspects will contribute to the profitability of your business venture. In the planning stage, you will have to consider and determine a wide range of things, including initial investment, the crops to grow, the growing period, how to grow the plants, growing mediums, annual production, and the marketing system. You should ensure that the soil will provide good drainage. Water supply is critical because there will be times during the year when your greenhouse operations will have peak load demands. Thus, you have to consider installing an efficient greenhouse irrigation system to ensure maximum plant growth. You must also think about testing the quality of the water in the area.
- Layout of the site. After completing and finalizing your business plan, you should consider the site layout of your commercial greenhouse operation, which will require expert help.
- Master plan for the facilities. The construction of the building will be based on your business plan, but it will still require expert help. You need a professional to survey the location and determine the benefits and constraints of the site where you will construct the new facilities. The location of each house should allow for efficient movement between structures.
- Easy access and parking. The greenhouse should be easily accessible to vehicles belonging to suppliers, customers, and your own. You should also have ample parking space that will not hinder the ingress and egress of workers, customers, and suppliers.
- Selecting the greenhouse. The design of the greenhouse contributes to the success of your production.
Types of the greenhouse to consider
- Free-standing. This may have a hoop (Quonset), gable, or gothic roof shape. The hoop style is the cheapest. Higher light transmission comes from gothic designs, and they can also shed snow quickly. Gable design has trusses for greenhouses that are wider. Free-standing greenhouses are best for smaller operations on 10,000 sq. ft. of growing area, with non-level topography that receives heavy snow in winter.
- Gutter-connected. This type consists of several Quonset or gable arches connected to each other at the gutter level. It gives your operation excellent flexibility, and you can utilize space better along the vertical sides. For example, if the gutter height is about 12 feet, you will have air buffer and room for energy or shade screen and an energy truss. This type of greenhouse is usually more economical and efficient when your area is at least 10,000 sq. ft. because you can install the utilities centrally.
So many things go in planning and choosing greenhouses. You should consider seeking professional help to ensure that your commercial greenhouse business starts correctly.