The Benefits & Drawbacks of Roll-up Sides

The main attraction of roll-up sides, as a method of ventilation, is that it is economical. There is not a significant investment and can be added to virtually any structure. Regardless of structure length, nowhere is very far from open air.

It is only by properly understanding the limitations and drawbacks that one can maximize the benefit. Just because something is inexpensive does not mean that it won’t end up being costly if it does not fulfil its purpose.

Roll-up sides should always be done in pairs (both sides). Even if you have a really high percentage of prevailing wind from one direction, there will be times when you need to ventilate into the prevailing wind.

Any time you have wind going in without opportunity of escaping,
there can be damage to the building.

The average vertical opening of roll-up sides is usually about 4’. If your greenhouse is in an extremely exposed area without any protection or wind breaks, quite often 2’ of vertical opening will be sufficient.

On the contrary, if the building is extremely sheltered, 6’ of vertical opening will be required.

One thing to remember on the height of opening is that if you have a low profile structure with a high opening, a sizeable area could get wet inside when it rains.

Regardless of the size of opening, if there is not a breeze, you will not have air movement.

It is based on this potential problem, that we recommend having end wall openings as high as possible. These openings will trigger a “chimney effect” air movement that will get rid of hot air that is trapped in the greenhouse. These openings will double as your first stage of ventilation since they would be opened when it is too cold outside to start rolling up the sides.

A drawback of roll-up sides is the amount of exposure they create for airborne weed seeds and pests. It is important to remember that when you use shade cloth to minimize this drawback, you are also significantly restricting incoming air.

The biggest drawback of roll-up sides is that there is no practical way to automate them. In other words, you have to be there to open and close them. This can be challenging on the cool, sunny days that have sporadic cloud cover. The sun goes behind a cloud and the temperature plummets and then soars when the sun reappears.

The best way to minimize this challenge is to add a small exhaust fan to the set up. This way you will have something to handle the borderline situations and then open the roll up sides once there is a more predictable need.

In the next article we will explore forced ventilation in greater detail. We also have many resources on our website, as well as videos if you want to explore the topic of roll-up sides further.

roll-up side videos

roll up side considerations

roll-up side Q&A

Giving Back Initiative Update

As part of our new monthly giving back initiative, $240 from structure purchases in February has been donated to Foodbanks Canada

March we supported Breakfast Club Canada with a $500 donation

April and May we split the charities due to the increased need around the situation with Covid-19 and we gave $720 each to Covenant House and the Canadian Food Grains Bank

For June we supported  First Nations Nutrition through Canadian Feed the Children  with a $360 donation

July we are supporting Water First which provides clean drinking water to First Nations, and they pay for native interns to be employed doing this

Thank you for helping us make a difference

– Norm & The Multi Shelters Team

March Features *So Many Applications! & Who We Are*

If you’re wondering a little bit about Multi Shelter Solutions and who we are, what our values are, and our process to help you find your shelter solution, we wanted to share a few articles this month so you can get to know us.

Why Choose Us?
This page has a bit about Norm’s history and the experience and approach that we have to every project that comes to us from you! It includes our video series on Values as well as a link to the video of Norm’s Greenhouses 101 presentation. “We don’t sell you a greenhouse, we help you buy one!”

Don’t take our word for it, here’s what others are saying!
We have been so grateful for the encouraging words and testimonials that people have shared about their experiences with us, on all our social platforms, on the phone and in emails. We wanted to honour those and share them with you in one place. If you have any to add, feel free to reach out and we will share yours too!

We want to help you find your shelter solution…here’s why!
This page is an overview of why we do what we do and how. Similar to Why Choose Us? it goes into a bit more depth

We have a number of resources on our website to share all the ways and applications which Multi Shelter buildings can be used. Norm has been in the industry for over 45 years and often says there isn’t much he hasn’t seen, and loves the challenge of coming up with new solutions for creative applications.

We have done a flying building to help an apartment building construction, a building over a boat sailing on the St. Lawrence over winter, a round building for a creative workshop area…as well as all the standard uses we have!

Applications Page & Various Ideas and Options

Profiles & Space Requirements
This page discusses the various heights in from the side you can roughly expect from our buildings to help you plan. We don’t bend any steel before we get an order, so this can be slightly adjusted as well if your requirement doesn’t fall within the chart. Please contact Norm for these custom cases we can do, for no additional charge. It also discusses the shapes and pros and cons of each. Stay tuned to this page later this month for a video from Norm explaining this further

We would love to discuss your project with you and how a Multi Shelter can help fit what you need. Have a look around our site for information and pricing, as well as the descriptions of what Multi Shelters values and how we work with you on your project. We look forward to hearing from you!

As part of our new monthly giving back initiative, $240 from structure purchases in February has been donated to Foodbanks Canada

In March we are supporting Breakfast Club Canada with a portion of every purchase

Thank you for helping us make a difference
– Norm & The Multi Shelters Team