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.

Growing Over Winter in a Greenhouse

There are quite a few ways to make a greenhouse more heat efficient to make it feasible to grow either through the winter or for a large part of it.

The first thing to determine is what crop(s) you wish to grow since a number of plant varieties would be considered cold weather crops. The heat requirement would be considerably less.

Since the majority of heat loss is through the roof, the most common method of making a greenhouse more heat efficient is by adding a layer of plastic to the outside. With the benefit of a small blower there is an air pocket created. The closer that this air pocket is to “dead air” the less heat transfer that there would be. 10 to 15 cm is considered the ideal gap. When there is more then 15cm there will start to be movement of air and greater heat transfer. It is impossible to have a perfectly uniform space because of the way the plastic goes over the ridge and is fastened around the edges.

It is important not to have any holes in the plastic. The resulting air loss with a hole would result in air movement and less heat efficiency.

It is often thought that a lower greenhouse is easier to heat since there is less surface area to lose heat. The reality is that the bigger air volume of a taller greenhouse is less likely to have the temperature fluctuate.

To make a structure more heat efficient, the north wall could be insulated. Care has to be exercised in insulating ends since it is important not to create extra shading. Insulation can be put flat on the ground around the structure as a way of slowing down the cold radiating into the structure.

Another trick that some people have used effectively to reduce heat requirements is to make small tunnels over the beds of vegetables. This works well for the night time. It is important to have this cover removed in the day time to maximize the value of the sunlight.

If your intention is to only use part of a larger structure through the winter, it is wise to hand a curtain for the length of the ridge and then only use the south facing side. This maximizes the benefit of the sun and minimizes the effect of the cold wind.

With a little creativity it is easy to get benefits from the greenhouse even in the winter.

How to Remove Snow from Your Building

Video: Norm explains the situations where you would need to remove snow from a Greenhouse or Storage Building and how to do it safely

 

 

So You Want to Buy a Book for Christmas?

Norm published two books that we wanted to let you know about. It is the perfect size to fit in a stocking, or cozy up and read while dreaming of your new greenhouse or planning your storage building to keep snow off your valuables!
 “So You Want to Buy a Greenhouse: Your Guide to Planning a Greenhouse Purchase” &  “So You Want to Buy a Shelter: Your Guide to Planning a Soft Covered Structure Purchase”

​It’s available on Amazon for purchase, or you can go through our facebook page

​It’s available on Amazon for purchase, or you can go through our facebook page

 

 

We appreciate your support and always welcome testimonials, either directly on Amazon to improve our visibility to help more people, or by email to multisheltersales@gmail.com and we will share them on our social media! Thank you for your feedback

It has already proven to be a valuable resource for many. You can email or call the office and we will ship you out a copy if you don’t want to purchase online.

“I should have known that I would get into this business when I was younger because the highlight of my birthday was always getting new pieces to my Mechano set. Now, I often describe these structures as big Mechano sets. It feels very fitting.”

Are you considering purchasing a greenhouse to start your own operation?
Are you unsure of all your options and what you should know?
Do you want to know what you’re getting into?

Using Norm Eygenraam’s 45 years experience in the industry, we have created this book for you to help! Through illustrations, tips, stories, photos and more, we help you understand all you need to consider. We do use Multi Shelter Solutions examples throughout, as that is what we have easiest access to, but this is by no means a sales book.

This guide is meant to inform you of your choices and show you key considerations in your planning journey. We have tried to make this book as informative as possible, no matter which direction you choose to go.

Enjoy, and happy planning!

Available on Amazon for purchase, or you can go through our facebook page
We appreciate your support!

Important Winter Care Articles

Featured

We have published a few articles regarding winter care and maintenance, and suggest anyone who has purchased a structure from us to review them to make sure your shelter is safe over this winter. As always, we are available for anything you are wondering or concerned about. We would be happy to help.

Winter Care & Maintenance
Winter Storm and Your Structures
Putting up Structures After Snowfall
Weather Cautions
Temporary Fix for a Loose Cover
Retightening a Loose Cover
Installing Before Winter

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!