Chapter 1

Greenhouse Structures and Design

(draft book excerpts)

The greenhouse structure represents both the barrier to direct contact to the external environment and the containment of the internal environment to be controlled. The greenhouse has to protect plants against extreme temperatures, wind, snow, rain, hail, birds, and insects. The efficiency and productivity of a greenhouse operation is largely dependent on the type of growing structure used. Since there are many designs to select from, it is important to become familiar with the advantages and disadvantages of each. The following is a discussion of commercial greenhouses and their structural components.

Click on the following topics for more information on greenhouse structures and design.

Topics Within This Chapter:

  • Greenhouse Site Selection
  • Microclimate
  • Water Availability and Quality
  • Physical Site Requirements
  • Room for Expansion
  • Availability of Labor
  • Infrastructures
  • Legal Considerations
  • Greenhouse Orientation
  • Types of Greenhouses
  • Free-standing Greenhouses
  • Advantages and Disadvantages of Free-standing Greenhouses
  • Attached Greenhouses
  • Advantages and Disadvantages of Attached Greenhouses
  • Greenhouse Styles
  • Free-standing Greenhouses
  • Even-span Greenhouses
  • Uneven-span Greenhouses
  • Quonset Greenhouses
  • High Tunnel Greenhouses
  • A-frame Greenhouses
  • Gothic Arch Greenhouses
  • Gable Greenhouses
  • Attached Greenhouses
  • Ridge-and Furrow-Greenhouses
  • Barrel Vault Greenhouses
  • Venlo Greenhouses
  • Sawtooth Greenhouses
  • Open-roof Greenhouse Systems
  • Open-panel Greenhouse Systems
  • Retractable-film Greenhouse Systems
  • Flat-roof Greenhouse Systems
  • Low-profile Greenhouse Systems
  • Rolling-roof Greenhouse Systems
  • Greenhouse Covering Materials
  • Plastic Films
  • Polyethylene Film
  • Tefzel Film
  • Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC)
  • Polyester
  • Rigid Plastics
  • Fiberglass-reinforced Plastic (FRP) Rigid Panel
  • Polycarbonate
  • Polymethyl Methacrylate (PMMA) or Acrylic
  • Glass
  • Selecting Greenhouse Covering Materials
  • Properties of Greenhouse Coverings
  • Heat Loss
  • Thermal Transmission
  • Photosynthetically Active Radiation
  • Plastic Material Additives
  • Anti-condensation Inhibitors
  • Anti-dust Inhibitors
  • Light Diffusion Materials
  • NIR-blocking Plastic Materials
  • UV-blocking Materials
  • Major Components of a Greenhouse
  • Greenhouse Framing Materials
  • Galvanized Steel Greenhouse Frame
  • Aluminum Greenhouse Frame
  • PVC Greenhouse Frame
  • Wood Greenhouse Frame
  • Greenhouse Structural Components
  • Greenhouse Foundations, Flooring, and Curtain Walls
  • Foundations
  • Greenhouse Floors
  • Curtain Wall
  • Airlock Entrance
  • Other Greenhouse Structures
  • Growing Rooms
  • Headhouse
  • Lath Houses
  • Pesticide Storage Building
  • References