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Alexey Cool to Warm All-in-one Greenhouse

Discussion in 'Growing Areas' started by Alexey, Nov 3, 2014.

  1. Alexey

    Alexey Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    My intend is to create several posts for this threat, providing info on different aspects of the greenhouse construction and operation.

    GH 01.jpg

    Despite that orchid collection was moved to the greenhouse one year ago, it is still ongoing non-completed project. GH was build as a south facing lean to attachment to the workshop. In reality (based on the proportions) it is a GH with attached workshop. Double glass walls and five-wall-polycarbonate roof provide optimum light penetration and heat retaining during gray winter days on Vancouver Island. If I recall it right, thermal insulation properties of five-wall-polycarbonate is 50% more efficient than double glass (good for winter time). Five-wall-polycarbonate also provides approximately 40% shade (good for summer).

    GH 02.jpg

    Wood structure on left side of GH is used to keep some orchids outdoor in summer. The structure allows accommodate temporary shelves, roof (polyethylene) and shade cloth. White ropes above the roof of GH is a mechanism for retractable shading. Now shade cloth is dismantled for a winter time.

    GH 03.jpg

    My workshop has its place from the entrance door to the right (west) end of the building. The left of the entrance door belongs to GH and includes potting area and light box. The box is not completed yet. In total GH has L-shape and takes approximately 4/6 of the entire structure.

    Hope to prepare photos and next post for this threat tomorrow.
     
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  2. Natureman

    Natureman Active Member

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    Looks great Alexey!
    If the workshop is framed in wood what is the green house framed out of?
     
  3. KellyW

    KellyW Orchid wonk Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Alexey, that is VERY nice. You did good! What are the dimensions of the greenhouse half? Was the greenhouse lean-to portion a kit?
     
  4. Marni

    Marni Well-Known Member Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Wonderful! It is always great to see solutions to individual situations. Hopefully we will see some views of the inside when you have time.
     
  5. Alexey

    Alexey Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    Natureman, GH kit has aluminum frame.

    Kelly it is 22' x 8'. It was a customized kit from Canadian supplier.

    Sure Marni! Next post will be dedicated to the targeted criteria, developed during design phase and will have some photos of the inside. I am also planning one more post about use of GH space with more photos of the GH interior.
     
  6. naoki

    naoki Well-Known Member

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    I'm guessing that I will not be scared tomorrow, but I'm looking forward to seeing inside, Alexey! ;)

    Very nice looking GH. :clap:

    The leaves are still green in Vancouver or is the photo taken earlier?
     
  7. scruffy

    scruffy Active Member

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    It looks awesome.
    I would love to see when the shade cloth is opened and the mechanism how it was made.
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2014
  8. Ray

    Ray Orchid Iconoclast Supporting Member

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    That is simply spectacular!
     
  9. Alexey

    Alexey Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    Naoki, photos were taken last weekend and yes, the grass is still green! I like local seasons.

    Scruffy, I am afraid that shade cloth will be reinstalled no earlier than March. Will try to post more photos/details about mechanism soon
     
  10. Alexey

    Alexey Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    In a few days I am planning to post more photos of the interior setup of the GH. To avoid confusions with its unconventional setup, current post is about GH design “philosophy”. Luckily, I had almost 1 year between decision to move from Alberta to Vancouver Island and my family actual relocation. That gave some time for research and planning. The resulting “Code” of my GH building can be outlined as:
    ·It is a hobby GH;
    ·It has to be energy efficient. Satisfactory looking today’s energy bill can became monstrous in 10 – 15 years;
    ·It has to be build of a good quality materials to insure long life span of the structure (i.e. it is better to take more expenses on aluminum frame today than think how to repair rotten wood structure in few years, when I will be at the retirement time);
    ·It should be one, not three, GH and at the same time it has to accommodate a diverse collection with reasonable results;
    ·It has to be “restrictive” in size (a line between orchid enthusiast/collector and orchid addict/hoarder is very thin!).


    GH design, relatively narrow (8’ wide) lean to structure sunken 2’ below the ground level, provides additional energy efficiency to the GH glassing (double glass walls and five-wall-polycarbonate roof). Almost 12’ height along workshop wall allows vertical distribution of the collection and gives benefiting temperature difference between the lowest and highest shelves.

    GH 04.jpg

    Conventional builder would put a vapour barrier on the workshop side of the wall. I have seen several lean to greenhouses, were adjacent walls of the house or garage were severely damaged by mould growth in the wall cavities. Humid air of lean to GH can easily produce condensate in the wall cavities, providing moisture for mould growth. Adjacent workshop wall of my GH has a modified structure: vapour barrier is beneath vinyl siding, facing in to GH. BTW: all these photos were taken after watering and looking at the excessive condensation on the glassing one can have an idea about wall cavity conditions without proper vapour barrier installation.

    GH 05.jpg

    Repotting area of the GH has plywood walls and ceiling finishes. All seams between plywood sheets were sealed with bathroom grade sealant and painted with exterior grade paint. Re-potting bench was made of plywood and painted with deck grade paint/coating. So far works good – no scratches or paint peeling. At the far wall is a non-completed light box, which is temporarily used as a storage. Need some time to complete it.

    GH 06.jpg
     
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  11. Marni

    Marni Well-Known Member Staff Member Supporting Member

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    You've thought things out very well and it looks great!
     
  12. pontupo

    pontupo Member

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    Absolutely gorgeous, Alexey, thanks for sharing!!
     
  13. naoki

    naoki Well-Known Member

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    It looks very nice and clean. You are right that the vapor barrier should be in the side with higher humidity. Thank you for sharing!
     
  14. ZWUM

    ZWUM Bulbophiliac Staff Member

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    Wow that is really spectacular! That's an awesome set up.
     
  15. Alexey

    Alexey Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    Despide that my GH still has approximately 30% of the free space on the benches and mounting walls, one of the tasks was - a rational use of the overhead area between benches (above pathway). That area accommodates metal grid panels with mounted and potted plats, which prefer bright and warm conditions. The panes are high enough to allow me freely work being on the pathway.

    GH 07.jpg

    The two step ladder, visible on the photo above, is used to take care of the plants on the highest shelf of the right bench. But it would be too awkward to use it for the plants on the grid panels. The solution - each panel is suspended on two retractable hangers. Here are back view of the panels in their upper position.

    GH 08.jpg

    Here is one of the panels in its lower position.

    GH 09.jpg

    The retractable hangers were invented for the flower baskets and can be found in the garden stores or Lee Valley. In all these sources they are rather expensive to buy enough of them for GH needs. Another approach - wait until next sumer, when they will be at garden seasonal sections of $ Stores. Cost of $2 per hanger is affordable to use them not only for panels, but for a single basket or pot as well. Here are Brassavola nodosa (on right in upper position) and Tolumnia hybrid (second GH 10.jpg right in lower position).
     
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  16. KellyW

    KellyW Orchid wonk Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Very inventive, Alexey. I like it.
    Do I see snow in the last photo?
     
  17. Marni

    Marni Well-Known Member Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Great ideas.
     
  18. Alexey

    Alexey Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    Yes Kelly, first photos were taken 2 weeks ago, when grass was green. Last one is a today's condition :(
     
  19. Christie

    Christie New Member

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    Alexey, What an Amazing greenhouse! (and lovely plants!) as others mentioned, very well thought out, I love it!
     
  20. Wade

    Wade New Member

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    Very well thought out design! Do you know how much weight those hangers can hold? I am just finishing my greenhouse and am designing benches. I have an arched roof that is 15 feet tall at its peak and something like this might be what I need to utilize the upper area. Below is a couple pics. The inside picture shows a temporary location of the bench. ImageUploadedByOrchidsForum.com1416776163.301727.jpg ImageUploadedByOrchidsForum.com1416776211.878127.jpg
     
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