Green Greenhouse Construction Materials and Methods

The Green Greenhouse will demonstrate sustainable building techniques particularly applicable to commercial horticulture.

As was the case with construction of the Human Impact Building, in 2006, materials will be selected according to sustainable sourcing criteria, including low embodied energy, recycled material content and ability to limit heat loss, thereby reducing operational energy use by 50% when compared with a conventional greenhouse. In addition, before construction begins, waste glass from demolition of the aging and partially redundant, single-glazed glasshouses located within the new greenhouse footprint, will be sent for recycling.

Double glazing units will be used in the new glasshouse and as most plants at The Living Rainforest favour shaded light conditions there will also be a movable shading screen with a shading factor of around 60%.

The climate in the glasshouses accommodating The Living Rainforest’s plant and animal collections is unsuitable for office space. Thus, the new office facilities will be separated from the neighbouring glasshouse with good acoustic insulation and will have their own ventilation system. They will also incorporate low temperature convectors or an under floor heating system, integrated with the renewable energy heating arrangement of the Green Greenhouse and Human Impact Building. The lower office level will contain an animal husbandry area and additional education space. The upper level will provide staff accommodation and meeting rooms.

All work carried out during the Integrated Greenhouse project is designed for replication in a commercial context. Standard components will be used whenever possible, using typical spans, common building methods and modular construction techniques, which are scaleable for commercial use.

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