How to Manage Structures in Extremely Windy Locations

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How to Manage Structures in Extremely Windy Locations

One of the things which frequently comes up in the conversation with new customers is that they are in a very windy location. This is important to take into consideration when making suggestions for a building.

Occasionally we are faced with an intensely windy location. The question becomes, “Can I build a greenhouse in such a spot?” The short answer is “yes”. There are five potential suggestions which we make to improve the building so it is better able to withstand regularly brutal winds.

-Go with a lower profile shape since it catches less wind. Normally we recommend high profile since it sheds snow better but in super windy locations, snow is not an issue.

-Go with narrower hoop spacing. Going from 4’ to 3’ spacing increases the strength by 33%. Sometimes it is even worth going to 2’ spacing.

-Put in more anchors. There simply is no such thing as too many anchors! In super windy locations it is worth doubling up on the anchors. It is also important to double up on the fastener between the base beam and the anchor.

-Install cross ties. Cross ties tie the left and right sides of the building together. This means that when there is added pressure on one side, the other side is assisting by holding things back.

-Go with a double plastic cover with air between. It is amazing how the cushion of air acts like a shock absorber and stiffens the building.

Depending on the severity of your situation, adding a few of these to your building may help achieve the peace of mind you are looking for. We have had situations where a customer has added all five suggestions and been extremely grateful for the rigidity which has been gained.

As much as you, we want this building to serve your needs for many years with peace of mind.

Greenhouses 101: Climate and Air Effects on your Structure

You might be wondering, How does air volume affect the climate in a greenhouse? There also is the matter of air changes. What is the connection between shape and aerodynamics? You need to make sure it stays put.

There are 3 forces on every building which need to be considered if you want it to stay where you put it and in the shape you built it. There is down force (usually from snow build up), up lift (by wind) and lateral shift (both wind and snow). Mother nature is not restricted by lack of patience and will work away at any vulnerabilities in the structure, often without notice until it’s too late. There must not be any wiggle room that the weather can work on these vulnerabilities or things will come loose, unstable, and wear out faster..

There simply is no such thing as too many anchors. There are also various tips we can give you for ensuring that the plastic is tight enough to avoid wrinkling and flapping about, while balancing the issues of it being too tight. This can easily extend the life of your roof cover.

We also advise, especially this time of year, to cover the structure as soon as you can as the more snow you have on that spot which has to melt, the more moisture you will have in the building. The more moisture you have in the building the more condensation issues you will have. You want to give that ground the most time possible to dry up before you need to start using the building.

Contact us for more tips and considerations for building a structure that will stay put and have a longer life, we would be happy to help you.

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!