You’re in a Windy Area? We can help

We have many structures in very windy locations from coast to coast. This is probably the most common comment we get from people who reach out to us. We have experience and extra steps we take to help ensure your structure doesn’t end up as an expensive kite. We have been diligent in our articles and instruction manual to help these situations, but ultimately it’s up to the customer to heed these warnings.

One of the things that is stressed in our assembly instructions is the importance of tying your frame off in both directions as soon as you have the first section of ridge installed. This is typically done with rope coming down from the ridge as an inverted “V”. The sooner this is done, the easier it is to hold everything plumb.

It is worth noting / stressing, that this is not a long term replacement for the wind braces. The wind on the collective surface of all the hoops is capable of exerting a tremendous amount of force.

When one does the math, there are actually cases where the wind pushes with more force when there is no cover on the building then with a cover!

A 20’ x 48’ x 12’ high structure with 4’ spacing has the same amount of hoop surface as an 8’ x 14’ wall. This is an example why the ropes used to hold the frame straight is not intended as a wind brace.

Once the hoops are all installed and the purlins attached, it is important to install the wind braces before proceeding. The purlins are what tie all of the hoops together and then by angling the wind braces down from the rows of purlins, you would be bracing the whole structure.

In photos on our website,you will see our smaller structures have fewer wind braces than the larger ones, which accounts for the above math mentioned. This has been developed with our experience, as well as the engineers who have assessed our structures.

There are different notes on placement, direction and location that will help your structure survive the wind as well. We do our best to go over all the scenarios with you when you’re discussing your purchase with us. The more details you can give us the better. Obviously we aren’t able to account for everything you may encounter, but it is our intention and mission to set you up for success as best as possible. We don’t want your greenhouse to end up flat or blown away anymore than you do! And this is also why we reiterate,

There’s no such thing as too many anchors!

Livestock Shelter or Greenhouse?

One of the questions we are often presented with has to do with customers wanting a structure for dual purpose. In itself, this could be considered as a wise strategy to get multiple uses for a building so that it can be used closer to year round.

The question which needs to be asked is “Are these complimentary applications?

One of these dual applications is for greenhouses and livestock shelters. There are a lot of similarities between the two with the most prominent ones being a double roof cover with air between and that they often have roll up sides.

Where the problem arises is that when you have a greenhouse, there MUST be a clear cover to allow the proper spectrum of light to come through to allow plant growth to occur. This level of light comes with heat which can easily be a problem for animals.

For a livestock shelter 90% of the battle is keeping them dry and out of the wind, cool is better then warm. If your animals will only be in the shelter during inclement weather, you will likely have more leeway in dealing with heat.

We have had customers who cover with single clear during growing season and the put an extra layer of white during the animal housing.

If you have any questions or concerns on how you plan to use your shelter, please call or email for extra input.

Season Extension: Moving Your Structure

A significant part of season extension involves moving an intact structure.

This basically allows you to get two (or possibly three) plots of production from one investment.

The idea is to start a relatively cold tolerant crop very early in the season (the timing will be different in different locations).

  1. Once the crop is firmly established in location A, (and it has warmed up) you will move the structure to location B and start another crop.
  2. You will harvest the crop in location A and then after working the soil, plant another crop in location A which is intended for fall harvesting.
  3. After location B is harvested and before frost you will move the structure back to A.
  4. Instead of doing twice in location A you could also choose location C.

A structure can be equipped with wheels which will run over the soil. There is quite a bit of flexibility where you go and the terrain you navigate.

The structure can be equipped with rollers on a track. This will determine where you go and this is usually intended for moving a bigger structure with fewer people.

The most common method of moving is sliding the structure on the soil. The base rail can be wood or steel.

It is critically import to understand the logistics of moving on a structure before you start. It is not hard to move a structure but it is also not hard to do damage.

Having a plan for proper anchoring is very important for a movable structure. Your structure is at a vulnerable state when you release the anchors. Once you start, the job must be completed quickly. You have to be aware that the anchors may not come out or go back in easily so you may need to give yourself some extra time.

One other area of consideration on a movable structure is the ends. There must be some sort of a flap or vent along the bottom so that when a structure is being moved, the ends will not uproot plant material. Generally speaking to have this ability in the ends takes away from the structural integrity, so some extra anchoring may be required.

You can see more information and photos on our movable information page. Please don’t hesitate to call us with ANY questions you may have. This can be a very useful addition to your structure, but must be understood correctly.