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: Ventilating & Heating

To make your greenhouse more of a year round functioning entity, there are two main areas in which you have to make the structure more efficient-Heating and Ventilation.

1. Heating is your biggest expense for the winter so retaining heat is a priority.

The easiest way to retain heat in your greenhouse is ….READ MORE

2. Ventilation is also one of your biggest considerations for the warmer times of the year. Ventilation can be done through forced or mechanical methods or passive through vents or roll up sides. ….READ MORE

Infrared Plastic Coating

Another variation on greenhouse plastic is with an IR (infra-red) coating.

  • The IR plastic can reduce your heat loss by up to 20% over a regular double poly installation.
  • Even though this plastic has a hazy look to it, the light transmission properties are actually a couple percentage points better.
  • This plastic comes standard with an anti-condensate coating which means there will be less dripping in the greenhouse.

All of these features make IR plastic an attractive alternative for many people in spite of the fact that the cost is roughly  20% more then regular plastic. This plastic does not have an inside or outside.

The cell structure that the Infrared plastic is made from is significantly different from the regular plastic. This gives the plastic a much softer texture and feel and contributes to it not being as strong as regular plastic. This is why we suggest that it only be used as the inside layer of a double plastic installation.

The slight restriction for people with shorter greenhouses is that the IR plastic only comes in 100′ and 150′ rolls. You would either have a friend who can buy/use the extra or be prepared to “waste” some. There are also not quite as many choices for available widths as with regular plastic.

Please call Norm to specifically inquire about more information regarding these special coatings.

you can see more information on our covering options page