Like any other structure, building a greenhouse or any other hydroponic equipments or system requires detailed planning and estimation in terms of space available, desired outcome and cost. Greenhouse like other hydroponic equipments is to be built in such a way that it provides proper environment for growing plants. By taking following points in to consideration, you can plan your greenhouse
Location of greenhouse should be such that it gets maximum sunlight (ideally south or southeast side). If plants get enough morning sunlight, their food production process is stimulated early. Other than availability of sunlight, you have to make sure that your greenhouse site has proper drainage system. Rainwater and irrigation water should never get accumulated in the greenhouse. Also, greenhouse should be located near the storage room and workplace for potting plants so that it is easily accessible to workers.
While planning to build these hydroponic equipments, structural details like frames and roof/ coverings have chosen based on your budget, the plants you want to grow, space available, and environmental conditions.
Depending on engineering requirements of your greenhouse, you can go for simple or complex structured frames. There are a variety of frames available like rigid frame which has vertical sidewalls and rafters, does not have to support the roof. This structure allows maximum interior space and air circulation. Another type of frame is Quonset which is made of electrical conduit or galvanized steel pipe frame. It has low height sidewall, which restricts storage space and headroom. For simple constructions, you can go for post and rafter type of frame which is designed with wood, has strong sidewalls posts and deep post embedment which withstand outward rafter forces and wind pressures.
Glass roof: One of the most traditional rooftop used for greenhouses, it provides maximum sunlight, is easy on your wallet, and requires very less maintenance. Tempered glass is used to cover greenhouse as it is stronger.
Plastic coverings: Plastic coverings are used frequently by many farmers as they are inexpensive and can be replaced easily from time to time. Plastic films are made of co-polymers, polyvinyl chloride (PVC) or polyethylene (PE).
Fiberglass: It is strong, lightweight, and can last for 10-15 years. A good grade fiberglass increases light penetration and gives as good result as glass.
Air Circulation and Ventilation:
Plants require proper air supply to grow healthily. A well ventilated greenhouse should be built to exchange of inside air for outside air to control temperature, remove moisture, or replenish carbon dioxide (CO2). Using hydroponic equipments like mechanical ventilation and exhaust fans are used in greenhouses effectively. Ventilation requirements vary with the weather and season. You should decide your needs based on the time period for which the greenhouse will be used.
Along with taking in consideration, all the mentioned points, remember that you should do proper research of each and every product (eg. taps, pipelines, quality of wood or metal used in frames etc) while building this hydroponic equipments. With an eye towards precision and proper planning, you can build a greenhouse which will help you grow healthy and blossoming plants at minimal cost.