I have built my own 16 x 7 m greenhouse.
View the slideshow to see the evolution of the construction.
First I had the terrain leveled.
The central gangway is built out of custom made aluminium ladders.
Then I made the rafters which lean against this central gangway and are fastened to it.
Each rafter is also anchored to the ground.
Being particularily charmed by foam as insulation technique, like presented in the the Solaroof concept (a double sided foil in which foam is injected both for heat and cold insulation - see the Solaroof Wiki and forum), I decided to use square PVC drain pipes 100 x 100 mm, standard length 4 m for the rafters.
This will allow me to have a double sided greenhouse.
One word of warning: beware of the price information on both the Solaroof forum and Wiki.
I participated in some discussions there.
I have 25 years of experience with foaming applications for cleaning in the food industry.
When I posted some prices on what an industrial foaming product might actually cost, I was inadvertently and without warning banned from the forum.
The people who run the forum are obviously protecting their commercial interests (which is fine with me, I am not against honest commerce, but I do oppose against hypocrisy as these people pretend to be open while they are not. Very little useful information is given on either site, but the contributors ideas are no doubt milked out).
back to my greenhouse (excuse the rant):
The bottom part of the vertical side walls is made of 1 m high panels of 5 mm multiplex stapled to a wooden frame of 45 x 20 mm planks.
To isolate the panels from the humid soil, they stand on strips of 50 x 100 mm Floormate insulation.
I cut a 100 x 100 mm x 4 m PVC drain pipe lengthwise, which left me with two 100 x 50 mm x 4 m gutters which I screwed to the top of the panels for rain collection.
North, east and west sides, the hollow part of the panels is facing inwards for insulating later on, south (sunny) side the hollow part is facing outwards for incorporating thermal solar collectors.
The panels need painting as soon as the weather permits.
At this moment only the outer foil is installed as I wanted to first test a new method for fixing the foil to the frame.
For that I used 3M VHD (4952) acryl double sided sticking tape, as standard available in 12 and 19 mm width.
This seems to be a wonderful solution: where applied under the right circumstances and preparation, the foil sticks very well to both PVC and aluminum profiles.
Right circumstances are low humidity and temperatures above 15°C, and thorough degreasing of both supports and foil.
I was late in the season, so the circumstances of humidity and temperature were far from ideal (<10°C and humid).
Still most parts stick extremely well (they resisted an autumn storm), and I am convinced of the method.
The foil was 8 m wide, so the covering was done in two phases.
The 100 x 100 mm square drains also allow for the incorporation of electric cables and fixtures.
What would I change?
-Next time I will use 19 mm tape. Unfortunately at the time only the 12 mm width was in stock.
-I will choose a dry warm windless day.
-Distance between rafters is now 4 m. Next build will be maximum 3, preferably 2.5 or 2 m, certainly for a higher greenhouse (height is now limited to 2.5 m for building permit reasons).
-And, most of all, I will ask for some help. Alone is but alone. One does a lot of walking from one side to another.
Vanity, O Vanity.
(Still I am quite proud of myself ;-) ).
To the best of my knowledge the information I present is accurate. All pages on this website © Hygicell 2009