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Greenhouse design help

Discussion in 'Greenhouse - Shade house.' started by haider, Aug 9, 2011.

  1. haider

    haider New Member

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    May 23, 2011
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    Hello everyone,
    I am sorry if I sound extremely amateur here, that's because I am. I am entirely new to AP and haven't had the slightest idea about the practical application of AP as it is indeed an alien thing at my place. However, for my undergraduate architectural design thesis, I have proposed an Aquaponics Research and Formulation Centre, to help people know about AP and its future. The Centre is more like a regular agricultural research institute, but the entire concept of this institute shall revolve around AP. So my proposal includes an entire research institute with training halls, lecture halls, research labs and ofcourse AP greenhouses.

    So, the problem that I am facing at the moment is that I have to begin my design process but I have no clue about how to go about designing a greenhouse, as in particularly for AP, as in like what scale, what size, materials and everything. The project is a large scale commercial intervention in a rural setup. It aims to cater to as many as 7-8 villages with the main population being that of farmers working with traditional agricultural methods.
    So, I am here seeking help for my design. And it might sound stupid, but I have a very basic doubt here... can we grow food through AP without a greenhouse?

    Hope to get a lot more inputs from all you experts here.
    Kindly help.
    Thanks
    Irfan Haider
     
  2. Murray

    Murray Site Admin Staff Member

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    Some have made a "hoop house" from star pickets and poly irrigation pipes then stretch platic over the top.
    I am sure there are threads in this forum where various members have made their own greenhouse.
     
  3. SolTun

    SolTun Member

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  4. RHunter

    RHunter New Member

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    Sounds like you're looking to build something for commercial use rather than a small greenhouse for personal use, is that correct? If so, then I would be a little careful following recommendations intended for personal use. I found a thread on the subject of commercial-scale greenhouses here: http://www.aquaponics.net.au/forum/showthread.php?t=2791.
     
  5. oceansgreen

    oceansgreen New Member

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  6. haider

    haider New Member

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    Thanks people. I really appreciate your help.
     
  7. Lucas7

    Lucas7 New Member

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    Aug 10, 2011
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    Check out Will Allen of Growing Power of Milwaukee, Wisconsin USA

    I had the opportunity to go there and take the tour. They are doing basically what you are talking about. He focuses on spreading aquaponics to combat food deserts and the lack of food knowledge of the youth in the black community. Will Allen is the shining example of a person using aquaponics to make a better tomorrow.

    As well, "Pit Greenhouses" are good for winter & desert. Digging down to access the geothermal constant temperature of the ground saves lots of money on heat or cooling. !!MUST BE DONE RIGHT!!

    No, you do not need greenhouses. Especially around the equator greenhouses are not necessary. Fish live through winters all the time. The plant beds are shut down or planted with winter crops. Just stop feeding and keep Oxygen levels up. Look into raising fish in ponds for more info on keeping fish alive throughout winters.

    If you are taking this to villages populated by farmers my advice would be to focus on produce they get from the outside world. Who would want aquaponics around if it affects their income negatively.


    Good Luck!

    Lucas
     
  8. haider

    haider New Member

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    Thanks a lot Lucas. I wish I had checked out Will Allen's growing power project in the earlier stages of my design. Nevertheless, it's really helpful even now. Thanks for sharing. Yeah, the project looks like mine and I like the execution of the ideas.

    I have been doing my research on the pit greenhouses and hence am proposing the same in my project as well. And, finally I have the answer if I can have outdoor aquaponics practice. :)

    As far as dealing with the farmers is concerned. This project is actually 'for' the farmers because at present they are totally unaware of AP. Since, they are working on the fields for only about 4-6 months in a year, probably it would be a nice idea to practice AP in their free time. Besides that, I don't expect people to take AP as a threat to their income, it is rather to become an alternate source of income for them.

    Thanks a lot again.
    Haider
     
  9. jono81

    jono81 New Member

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    Mar 11, 2011
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    +1 to the walipini concept. I've been researching it a bit for my next AP system. Aquaponics + walipini + rocket heater venting c02 into greenhouse + cold sink = the ultimate combo all made for eachother IMO.

    Also just finished reading this book 'THE EARTH-SHELTERED
    SOLAR GREENHOUSE'. Pretty good, but didn't teach much new stuff which Oceangreens' link didn't cover already, except for the cold sink concept plus keeping poultry, rabbits and compost inside the structure for c02 and warmth:

    http://undergroundhousing.com/greenhouse_book.html
     
  10. jono81

    jono81 New Member

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    ps I HIGHLY recommend teaching yourself google sketchup (free) to mock up your greenhouse designs if you go the underground route, as the sun shadow tracking functionality is invaluable.

    For those that haven't used this functionality yet - you add your physical location and sketchup uses google earth technology to determine the precise sun tracking path for your location. You can then move the time of day/date slider to see how shadows fall on your greenhouse for any particular time, accurate down to minutes. Forget calculating latitude, winter/summer solstice angles etc, sketchup does it for you. I'm hooked.

    Skip to 5:14 in this video to see what I'm talking about:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gsfH_cyXa1o

    If you're burying your greenhouse in the ground, consider raising your growbeds combined with angling the front solar passive wall outwards, as a bare minimum to the angle of repose for your soil, which will add structural support whilst also allowing more sunlight to hit your plants.
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2011
  11. haider

    haider New Member

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    Hey jono81... Thanks a lot for your input. This sure can help me with my design! I am just starting to learn all the interesting stuff about AP, and am loving it! :)
     

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