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.

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!

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!