Building a Commercial Greenhouse: Key Considerations for Success

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What every commercial grower must research before building their greenhouse


Constructing a commercial greenhouse is a significant investment that offers numerous benefits, including year-round crop production, crop protection, and sustainability. However, before embarking on this venture, commercial growers must thoroughly research and plan every aspect of their greenhouse project to ensure its success. In this comprehensive article, we'll explore the crucial considerations that commercial growers should research before building their greenhouse.

  1. Greenhouse Location and Site Selection:

    • Climate: The local climate is a primary determinant of greenhouse success. Research the average temperature, humidity levels, and precipitation patterns. Choose a location with a climate suitable for your crops.

    • Sunlight: Assess the amount of sunlight your greenhouse will receive throughout the year. Ensure it meets the light requirements of your crops.

    • Proximity to Markets: Consider the proximity of your greenhouse to your target markets to minimize transportation costs and ensure fresh deliveries.

  2. Greenhouse Design and Structure:

    • Greenhouse Type: Research various greenhouse types, such as high tunnels, hoop houses, and traditional structures. Select the type that best suits your crops and goals.

      • Gable greenhouses: These greenhouses are the most common type, and they are a good choice for most crops.
      • Quonset greenhouses: These greenhouses are arched in shape, and they are a good choice for windy locations.
      • Sawtooth greenhouses: These greenhouses have a sawtooth-shaped roof, which allows for more light transmission.
      • Gothic greenhouses: These greenhouses have high ceilings and pointed roofs, which allows for good air circulation.
    • Layout and Orientation: Plan the layout and orientation of your greenhouse to maximize sunlight exposure and airflow. Consider the prevailing wind direction.

    • Climate control system: A climate control system is essential for maintaining the optimal growing environment inside your greenhouse. This system should be able to control the temperature, humidity, and ventilation.

    • Irrigation and Water Management: Research irrigation systems that suit your crops and the greenhouse's size. Ensure proper drainage to prevent waterlogging.

    • Size: The size of your greenhouse will depend on your needs. Consider the type of crops you want to grow and the scale of your operation.
  3. Greenhouse Covering Material:

    • Choosing the Right Material: Investigate different covering materials like glass, polycarbonate, 6 mil Polyethylene and 17 mil bubble SolaWrap. Consider factors like insulation, light diffusion, and durability. SolaWrap, for example, offers exceptional insulation and longevity. The greenhouse covering is an important factor to consider. It should be transparent to allow for maximum light transmission, and it should also be durable enough to withstand the elements. Some common greenhouse coverings include:

      • Glass: Glass is the most transparent greenhouse covering, but it is also the most expensive and fragile.
      • Polycarbonate: Polycarbonate is a durable and lightweight greenhouse covering. It is also less expensive than glass.
      • Polyethylene: Polyethylene is a low-cost greenhouse covering, but it is not as durable as glass or polycarbonate.
    • UV Protection: Ensure the covering material provides adequate UV protection to prevent damage to plants.

  4. Heating and Energy Efficiency:

    • Heating Systems: Research heating options, such as gas, electric, or biomass heaters. Opt for energy-efficient systems to reduce operational costs.

    • Energy Conservation: Explore insulation techniques, double glazing, and automated climate control systems to conserve energy.

  5. Greenhouse Crop Selection and Crop Management:

    • Crop Research: Thoroughly research the crops you plan to cultivate. Understand their specific needs, growth cycles, and pest management requirements.

    • Crop Rotation: Implement crop rotation strategies to maintain soil health and reduce disease pressure.

    • Integrated Pest Management (IPM): Investigate IPM techniques to minimize pesticide use and ensure healthier crops.

  6. Regulations and Permits:

    • Local Regulations: Research local zoning laws, building codes, and permits required for greenhouse construction.

    • Environmental Regulations: Ensure compliance with environmental regulations, particularly regarding water usage and waste disposal.

  7. Budget and Financing:

    • Cost Estimation: Develop a detailed budget that includes construction costs, equipment, and operational expenses.

    • Financing Options: Research financing options such as loans, grants, or subsidies available for greenhouse projects.

  8. Greenhouse Management and Staffing:

    • Staffing Needs: Determine the staffing requirements for greenhouse operations, including growers, laborers, and maintenance personnel.

    • Training: Invest in training programs for your staff to ensure efficient greenhouse management.


Building a commercial greenhouse demands thorough research and planning. By considering factors like location, design, covering material, energy efficiency, crop management, regulations, budgeting, and staffing, commercial growers can increase the chances of a successful and profitable greenhouse operation. Additionally, the choice of covering material, such as SolaWrap, can significantly impact the greenhouse's performance, making it crucial to select the right material for long-term success in commercial greenhouse cultivation. With diligent research and careful consideration, commercial growers can embark on their greenhouse project confidently and reap the benefits of year-round, sustainable crop production.

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