Chapter 1

Greenhouse Structures and Design

Other Greenhouse Structures

Growing Rooms

Growing rooms, also commonly referred to as plant growth rooms, have been used for many years in Europe. However, their use in the United States has grown with their increased use for germinating seed for plugs and high value specialty crops. Seed trays are kept on ebb and flow benches, which are sub-irrigated several times a day. The temperature (24?C or 75?F, continuously) and the humidity inside the growth room are maintained by a climate control system. Artificial lights are installed to provide the required light intensity. Carbon dioxide enrichment of the growth room air will be used to further increase seedling growth and development. Growing rooms are similar to the very expensive, controlled environment chambers used by research scientists, but on a more modest scale. Growing rooms are used to start seedlings (often called plugs) and accelerate (speed up) the growth of crops.


A building associated with the greenhouses that is used for storage or for operations in support of growing of plants, but is not itself used for growing plants, is referred to as a headhouse or service building. The headhouse contains a general work area, utility room, storage, harvesting and packing station, cold storage room (large enough to hold several days of harvested product), restrooms, offices, and loading dock.

Lath Houses

The lath house is covered with wooden slats (laths) or shade fabric and supported by vertical poles. The pieces of laths are spaced about 1 inch (2.54 cm) apart to reduce light intensity and provide shelter from the wind. The sun is the sole source of energy. They are used in tropical and semitropical areas to provide shade for various ornamental plants.

Pesticide Storage Building

Although not required by most state governments a separate building for storing pesticides it is often a good practice to store pesticides rather than using the headhouse. A good pesticide storage facility consists of four main parts: 1) the pesticide storage room, 2) the mixing room, 3) the locker room, and 4) an outside concrete filling and washdown pad (which may be roofed).

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