What is the Integrated Greenhouse project?

ig-1Please note that the Integrated Greenhouse project ended in November 2008, and Phase 2 is on hold, pending new funding. To download key project reports and presentations, please click here.

The Integrated Greenhouse project is designed to test whether the environmental impact of greenhouse horticulture can be significantly reduced. It involves construction of an innovative new glasshouse and associated buildings, integrated via a renewable energy heating system – hence the name.

Following construction, the Integrated Greenhouse complex is intended to function as a demonstration site for other organisations and individuals who would like to reduce the eco-footprint of their greenhouses. The prototype design is intended to demonstrate what is possible to the wider horticultural, construction and public education sectors.

The project has two phases, the first of which was completed in 2006.

  • Phase 1 involved construction of the Human Impact Building, now used for visitor education activities. This was built using sustainably sourced materials and has a passive ventilation system and small solar panel (photovoltaic) array.
  • Phase 2 involves construction of a new glasshouse, offices, education rooms, animal husbandry facilities and the associated renewable energy heating system, using the new glasshouse as a solar collector in conjunction with a Vertical Soil Heat Exchanger (VSHE). Collectively, this phase is known as the Green Greenhouse and will be integrated with the Human Impact Building. Integration is based upon all structures, including the Human Impact Building, being heated via the glasshouse/VSHE system.

ig-2The Human Impact Building demonstrates building techniques for both working and living environments, while the methods used in construction of the Green Greenhouse will be specifically relevant to commercial and large scale horticulture. Both buildings and associated spaces are being built to high insulation standards, using sustainable materials and with energy supplied entirely from renewable sources.

The project is being carried out in conjunction with several key partners, drawing funds from the EC LIFE financial instrument and Millenium Commission and expertise from Plant Research International at Wageningen University & Research Centre and Thames Valley Energy, among others.

Subscribe to our newsletters

About our charity

Learn more about the work done by The Trust for Sustainable Living... Read more