Thank you to partner, Steve Silva, an expert in greenhouse design, for providing this candid overview on the importance of understanding critical greenhouse build infrastructure components. Koolfog has collaborated with Silva on many projects to create optimum climate-controlled environments for low-maintenance greenhouse design. Geared for maximum crop output, attention to automated cooling and relative humidity control can be achieved with pressurized misting or fogging systems and adequate air circulation. It is our goal to meet the needs of growers by helping with greenhouse designs to create cost-effective, low-maintenance solutions resulting in ideal greenhouse microclimates.
Narrator: There are a few things growers must consider before delving into a greenhouse construction project. After establishing what crops to grow in the greenhouse, a grower first needs to decide on the type of design, says Steven Silva, an expert in greenhouse design.
Steven Silva: The structures come in so many different shapes and sizes that the height, the width, the whether it be gutter connected or standalone structure, the pitch of the eave, all different types of things that you need to consider when you’re designing a greenhouse around a specific crop for maximum production.
Narrator: Automation in the greenhouse is a primary consideration, especially with the ongoing labor shortage. So how should growers build a greenhouse to be conducive to automation now and into the future?
Steven Silva: Cooling, heating, so temperature control and relative humidity control are some of the first things that most folks do to automate their greenhouse, and then quickly transfer into fertigation, automated irrigation design and dosing fertilizer into their injection systems. Most of my customers are starting with environment but planning for the future around full automation for fertigation and even harvesting and planting protocols.
Narrator: Another key element to building a greenhouse is achieving the ideal microclimate to help maximize yields.
Steven Silva: And so what a lot of folks are doing when they’re designing greenhouses, especially if there’s multiple plant varieties within a given structure, it’s always very important to optimize the climates. And you don’t necessarily want to create a bunch of small microclimates within a given structure, and so utilizing certain equipment for cooling or heating and air circulation can both minimize and maximize microclimates depending on what you’re trying to achieve within a given growing zone. What I often like to do when I’m trying to achieve both cooling and relative humidity is I use pressurized misting systems or fogging systems, and I supplement them with the air circulation design so I can evenly distribute and homogenize the cooling in the relative humidity water vapor within the givens zone.
Narrator: Designing a low-maintenance greenhouse is vital for many reasons, including employee productivity and safety.
Steven Silva: Growers are focused on production and yield and making sure that they’re economically viable going into the future. And you quickly realize that your labor is some of the most expensive components to your cost of goods sold. So anytime you’re building a greenhouse from the onset, it’s important to think about your labor and think about aisle ways and corridors and proper workflow so you’re creating a happy work environment but also retaining your employees for the long term because you’ll find your productivity is tenfold as the years go on, and growers and their staff are comfortable in the environment that they’re working within.
Narrator: Koolfog understands how our technology fits in, and more importantly, how making the right decisions upfront can avoid unintended consequences down the road. Explore more at koolfog.com or drop us a line and we’ll be happy to answer any questions you have about your greenhouse microclimate.
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