What is a greenhouse and why do we need it?
A greenhouse is a facility intended for plant growth. Besides ensuring the perfect conditions for the growth of a plant, we can also prevent the contamination with any foreign materials. Another aspect is that having that sort of a containment area for narcotic and psychoactive substances is often required by the local authorities.
Main characteristics of a greenhouse
The thermo-hygrometric conditions are fundamental for the proliferation of plants. When designing the type of installation/construction with an environment under controlled thermo-hygrometric conditions, the following factors must be considered:
- The planimetric shape is strongly linked to the thermo-hygrometric conditions, the number of plants, water system, lamps and HVAC
- Appropriate materials and joints must be chosen in order to avoid any damage to the plants as some materials can be toxic
- Type of thermo-hygrometric monitoring equipment used and its’ adequacy and quantity with respect to the risk level of plant storage
- The setting and monitoring equipment should be placed in locations with the greatest temperature variability. The points are determined through a thermal mapping study. These points must include spots with highest and lowest value of the entire system
- Monitoring equipment must be calibrated periodically and certified to function properly. Equipment certification must be traceable at a national standard
- A proper design must meet the maintenance requirement for the system such as the time required for its execution during the production downtime
- An alert/alarm system must be put in place for critical systems to ensure the best thermo-hygrometric conditions to the plants
- An adequate fertigation system, capable of managing recipes with different time and quantity values
- A lighting system and periodic light mapping
- A backup of critical plants
Indoor growing is a method, which has demonstrated numerous benefits in medical cannabis cultivation. The knowledge and requirements describing how to construct such a facility include (among others) best practices from agriculture and engineering.