Greenhouses 101: Covering Options

We have previously covered the idea that while considering your structure choices you will have to weigh cost versus benefit or return. There is no area which this is more true then with cover choices. The wide range of cover choices include glass, polycarbonate, polyethylene and woven products. Within each of these products there is an equally great variety of choices. Along with each of these choices there is a huge variation in cost and function or performance.

At Multi Shelter Solutions we manufacture a wide range of shapes and sizes of predominantly plastic and tarp covered buildings. Because these buildings and shelters are narrower and have a reduced hoop spacing, we can use a lighter cover of the options available. The easiest way to get a comparative cost is to take the replacement cover cost divided by the years of expected life span to get an annual cover cost.

Our 6 mil plastic covers can be used as a single layer or double with air between for a 30% reduction in heat loss and to minimize condensation. These covers have a 4 year warranty against deterioration by the sun. Plastic is available in clear (greenhouses) and white (livestock shelters) and comes in various thicknesses. The average life span is 5 – 6 years for single layer and 6 – 8 years for double although 10 years is not uncommon.

Our 12mil white woven covers have a much greater tear resistance then plastic. This makes a good alternative when there will be some contact between product and cover. By providing shade, the white tarp is cooler in the summer. By still letting light in, it is warmer in the winter. Typical life span is 10 year. We offer a green tarp as well but due to the heat it absorbs, the life span is typically 3 years less then white.

You can see more info on these choices on our covering page or with the presentation video and the rest of the series Norm spoke on Greenhouses 101 here. Stay tuned for the end of  January 2016 when he presents Greenhouses 202! As always, we are happy to help you with any of your questions regarding planning or options as you are considering your structure purchase.

Greenhouses 101: Shapes & Configurations

There are many choices for shapes, styles and sizes of structures. These choices, more then any other, will force you to strike a balance between strength and cost or return and cost. There are many variables that will affect the cost per square foot of your building. Only by careful research and evaluation will you determine if a particular choice is a valid consideration for your application. Our planning checklist can also help to ensure you have all your bases covered.

The focus of Multi Shelter Solutions structures are those that are ground to ground with a gothic shape due their versatility, strength and economy. Gothic refers to a shape that is slightly rounded coming up from the base going up to a peak to maximize snow shedding and wind deflection. By modifying the shape and reducing or expanding the hoop spacing, we can accommodate interior space requirements while achieving ruggedness to deal with the elements for years to come.

Ground to ground style refers to individual units as opposed to multiple units that share a common base. Individual structures deal with snow more effectively and will allow someone to easily customize a building for different applications or uses. Ground to ground units still have the inherent flexibility of being mounted on various bases as the specific application requires. This includes mounting the building on concrete blocks or a short wall. The width of a ground to ground structure can easily be modified or the length increased to create and area to suit a required need.

From our perspective, when we understand what it is that you are trying to accomplish and what you are dealing with, we can best advise the shape and size that would best get the job done in the context of your budget. Feel free to give us a call and discuss the planning of your project. We are happy to help.

Check out the presentation video and the rest of the series Norm spoke on Greenhouses 101 here. Stay tuned for the end of  January 2016 when he presents Greenhouses 202!