Horti Generation

10 essential information to know before asking a greenhouse quote

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It is important be prepared collecting the right information before asking a quote to a greenhouse manufacturer. Indeed, the engineering office of the company will need some specific detail to select the right design based on several calculations.

Below a synthesis of the 10 types of essential information that you will need to synthesis :

Land preparation for the greenhouse building

1) Requested data

  • Climate data of the local environment on a monthly basis for a period of 10 years or more ;
  • A topographic and soil quality survey if possible ;
  • The land dimensions (width, length) of the project showing the potential obstacles on the ground ;
  • The accurate location of the fresh water point, rainwater collection, electricity power source and natural gas ;
  • Project orientation (N,S,W,E) with GPS point to track it on Google Earth for example ;
  • The elevation altitude of your project in meters above the sea ;

2) Project timeline

  • The potential construction period : year ; month
  • The crops production start date : year ; month

3) Environmental and climate data

  • Minimum and maximum temperature during the year in °C or °F ;
  • Maximum snow fall in kg/m² ;
  • Maximum wind speed in km/h or m/s ;
  • Maximum pluviometry in mm/hour/m² ;

Recommended to collect the climate data for a period of at least 10 years minimum.

Site location GPS point, elevation and climate data

4) Agronomic information

  • Crop type ;
  • Growing system type: crop on ground floor, hydroponic system, NFT, suspended system… ;
  • Cultivation schedule : Year around cultivation ;
  • Seasonal cultivation > precise the cultivation period ;
  • Organic or conventional pest management strategy ;
  • Targeted pests and diseases ;

Additional remarks, all information will be important for the professional to select the right greenhouse and equipment for your project.

5) Greenhouse definition: dimension, design, type…

5.1) Basic information

Total surface of greenhouse in m², no of block(s)
Height under gutter in meters

5.2) Greenhouse type :

Plastic = multispan greenhouse / tunnel : single or twin tunnel

Glass = multipsan VENLO type greenhouse / wide span greenhouse for production or Research

5.3) Greenhouse covering type

Single layer plastic film
Double layer plastic film : glass wool insolation, inflated… ?

Clear glass / diffuse glass / polycarbonate / PVC / panel sandwich / ETFE = FClean…

5.4) Greenhouse passive ventilation (roof)

– Single side roof ventilation or double side roof ventilation (butterfly vent) ?

Motorized ventilation or fixed vents (single vent or pagoda type = umbrella)

– Presence of side ventilation on the longside and gables ?

Motorized or manual roll-up system

Note: Connected to the climate computer or not ?

5.5) Doors : swing / sliding doors / Locker entrance

Number of doors and location on your project layout.

Doors dimensions (total height, width / opening width and height…).
Doors material type: steel, aluminium, others…

> Any automatic or specific doors for your project ?

Number, dimensions and covering type of the locker entrance (=sanitation area).

6) Greenhouse equipment

6. 1) Shading or thermic screen system

Type of shading clothe / Manual or motorized system : cables or rack & pinion mecanism

Outside or inside screens
Number of screen layers

> Objective : shading, energy saving, shading and energy saving ?

Note: Connected to the climate computer or not ?

6.2) Pad and fans cooling system

Operating time ?
Inside temperature and relative humidity targeted ?
Need to add a chiller or not ?

Note: Connected to the climate computer or not ?

6.3) Active ventilation using circulation fans

Recycling air flow in volume per hour targeted = 2, 4 volume per hour for example

Horizontal or vertical air flow system

Note: Connected to the climate computer or not ?

6.4) Fooging system : misting

Low or high pressure fogging system

Operating time ?
Inside temperature and relative humidity targeted ?
Need to add a chiller or not ?

Note: Connected to the climate computer or not ?

6.5) Artificial lighting system

HPS or LED light (energy saving)
Targeted photoperiod
Targeted Daily Light Integral (DLI) = amount of photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) received each day

> Fixation to support the light inside the greenhouse ?

Note: Connected to the climate computer or not ?

Plastic geenhouse equipment: irrigation boom, LED lighting

7) Electrical and climate control system

Electrical power available on site, stable tension ?

Voltage and frequency confirmation (50Hz or 60Hz)
3 phases : 127-230V – 230-400V – 250-440V

Centralized climate computer (deported) or close to the growing area ?

Type of sensors required: inside T°C / Relative Humidity % / PAR or Lux / CO2 %… probes
outside weather station; rain collector, wind speed, wind direction, PAR or Lux, outside T°C and RH% probes

Collection of data on computer / smartphone
Alarm and climate system management on computer and/or smartphone required ?

8) Ferti-irrigation system

Water source: surface / ground water or tape water supply or others…

Need of water treatment, disinfection system : filtration and decontamination ?

Fresh water supply capacity in m3 per day.

Reuse of drainage water or not.

Type of ferti-irrigation system: drip, sprinkler, ebb and flow, droplet (using an irrigation boom), NFT, DFT…

Number of fertilizer solution(s) for your system.
Injection or Dosatron type system.

Note: Important to provide a water analysis report if possible.

9) Greenhouse heating system

Reconfirm the minimum outside temperature during the year.

Heating system type: Hot air blower or hot water heating.

Combined Heat and Power (CHP) installation ?
Boiler installation ?
Double fuel burner installation ?
Heat storage tank ?
CO2 dosing installation ?

> Where comes from the CO2 source: CHP, burner, liquid CO2 ?

> Where comes from the heat source ? Natural gas, propane, coal, diesel, others…
Any sustainable heat source as geothermal, solar panels installation, heat pump, others…

10) Others specific requests to the greenhouse provider ?

Below a non-exhaustive list of elements that you can ask your to your greenhouse manufacturer:

  • germination room units
  • ground cover: white or black
  • trolley
  • roof cleaning units
  • sanitation equipment
  • water oxygenation unit
  • rolling benches

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Corenthin Chassouant

Agricultural engineer (MSc) working in the greenhouse and horticulture industry. My international experiences and my knowledge allow me to work with farmers and professionals across the world to advise them.

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