Greenhouses: A Sustainable Growing Trend in Architecture


What is a Greenhouse?

A greenhouse (also called a glasshouse, or, if with sufficient heating, a hothouse) may be a structure with walls and roof made chiefly of transparent material, like glass, in which plants requiring regulated climatic conditions are grown. These structures range in size from small shanties to artificial-sized structures. An anatomic hothouse is known as a cold frame. The interior of a greenhouse exposed to sunlight becomes significantly warmer than the external temperature, protecting its contents in weather.

Numerous marketable glass glasshouses or hothouses are high-tech product installations for vegetables, flowers, or fruits. The glass greenhouses are crammed with equipment, including screening installations, heating, cooling, and lighting, and should be controlled by a computer to optimize conditions for plant growth. Different techniques are then used to evaluate optimality degrees and comfort ratio of greenhouses, such as air temperature, relative humidity, and vapor pressure, to coproduction risk before the cultivation of a specific crop.

Purpose of Greenhouse

Greenhouse functions as a shield between nature and what you’re growing and thus allows growing seasons to be extended also as possibly improved. They provide shelter from excess cold or heat, also as pests. While we use it tongue in cheek, the term “greenhouse effect” regarding our earth is a more complex and serious consideration for our global environment, but for the home gardener, the effect of a greenhouse on plants is often very positive. 

The idea behind a particular sort of greenhouse is to make an area stay heat. The structure impedes the flow of thermal energy, and therefore the sunlight that passes through the transparent “walls” of a greenhouse heats the bottom within the greenhouse, which radiates warmth and heats the air. Or, if an excessive amount of heat may be a problem, a greenhouse can assist you in creating or regulating a more temperate environment for plants by adding a cooling mechanism.

History of Greenhouse

A greenhouse is one of the foremost striking elements in a garden. They became very fashionable during the 19th century: wealthy households were keen to incorporate them into their architecture. Maybe this is because greenhouses represent the idea of architecture as a space of desire more than anything else.

They’re also an architecture inescapably linked to European conglomerates. Exotic plant species were being exported by explorers, botanists, and navigators to the old continent around the 17th century. The conservation of those plants outside their original climates was the idea of sure experiments with solar heating, using passive techniques because of glass technology.

Even before that, the love for foreign plant species had been born in special architectures that might allow cultivation in non-native climates. Shelters were common, covering plants and lifting them from the bottom to guard them against the cold. Trees that would be moved and detachable roofs were often used. 

The technical development of glass in the 18th century was one of the reasons greenhouses became popular. The bourgeois class was growing and it would not imitate the customs of the aristocracy, which had spread the eagerness for fashionable gardens. Climate control systems (lighting, ventilation, heating, and irrigation) were made more efficient. At the same time, structures were radically modernized. New metallic uprights slimmed-down architecture, thus increasing the entry of sunshine and therefore the dimensions of indoor spaces.

Types of Greenhouses

Greenhouses are categorized in different ways.

Based on temperature

The spectrum of structures that supported the environmental temperature needs includes the subsequent types:

Cold Houses (Temperature: Falls below freezing)

Protect plants, but temperatures still can get below freezing because this sort of greenhouse has no additional heat source installed. The purpose of cold houses is to increase the season within the spring by allowing starting crops earlier and in the fall by allowing crops to grow longer.

Cool Houses – (Temperature: 45-50F)

This type of greenhouse will protect plants that cannot survive extreme cold can by maintaining a temperature above freezing point.

Warm Houses – (Temperature: 55F)

Allows for a broader range of shops to survive cold layoffs.

Hot Houses – (Temperature: above 60F)

Hot greenhouses are used to maintain tropical plants. To heat, they require supplemental heat. Within each of those general types, there are many other considerations. 

The more technology that’s involved, the greater the power to precisely control the growing conditions, from temperature to water and moisture levels. Greenhouses can also be constructed simply to minimize direct sunlight (a shaded greenhouse) and not have walls, or a screen-only structure to keep out insects.

Based on design

Greenhouses also can be evaluated supported by the planning style. This is the fun part. Some of the normal greenhouse “architecture” include A-Frame, Dome, Gothic (arched), Lean-To (can even use the wall of a home or garage together side), and Quonset.

Based on materials

For the domestic gardener, the choices are nearly unlimited. Price will probably drive some of the decision-making on this, as will aesthetic considerations and your purpose. All have advantages and disadvantages. 

Support/Framework Options

Wood (rots easily), aluminum, iron, and plastic. Some greenhouses have curved eaves while others have flat eaves.

Covering Options

Glass (most precious but lasts longest, also beautiful), fiberglass (can come discolored), plastic (cheap but effective), double-layered polyethylene (must replace every 2-3 times), PVC, tempera (veritably precious). 

Environmental Control Options

The budget will impact what you can do in this area. Automatic controls are ideal during a greenhouse but are going to be costlier. Your options for heating equipment include an easy heater, forced-air heat, radiant heat, steam or hot-water systems, also as soil heating pipes underneath plants. Automatic watering systems for larger glasshouses are nice. Planning for ventilation is additionally essential for the health of your plants.

Tips to Build an Efficient Greenhouse

Greenhouses: A Sustainable Growing Trend in Architecture A greenhouse (also called a glasshouse, or, if with sufficient heating, a hothouse) may be a structure with walls and roof made chiefly of transparent material, like glass, in which plants requiring regulated climatic conditions are grown. These structures range in size from small shanties to artificial-sized structures. An anatomic hothouse is known as a cold frame. The interior of a greenhouse exposed to sunlight becomes significantly warmer than the external temperature, protecting its contents in weather. Greenhouse
Photo by Archdaily

Orientation to the Sun

Since the object of a greenhouse is to provide a warm, sunny spot for your plants, it must be situated properly in your yard. The optimal greenhouse orientation is facing south or southeast to capture the early morning sun. An east-facing exposure works well in utmost climates, too. 

Try to pick a location that receives a minimum of six hours of uninterrupted sun per day. If you live in a region that receives significant snowfall, make certain the snow-load rating of the greenhouse can support a blanket of snow without collapsing.

Glazing Options

Glass is one of the most conventional glazing materials for greenhouses. But glass is heavy, fragile, and precious, so most DIY glasshouses are glazed with polycarbonate, tempera, fiberglass, or polyethylene sheeting.

Panels of polycarbonate, tempera, and fiberglass are flexible, good insulators, and have excellent light transmission, although fiberglass can discolor over time. Polyethylene sheeting is veritably affordable and easy to install, but it’s not veritably tough and can be fluently punctured and damaged. 

Frame Materials

A maturity of greenhouse frames is made of wood or essence. Wood is less precious, easier to work with, and suitable for small-to-medium-size glasshouses. Essence is stronger and further rainfall resistant than wood, but it’s premium. Aluminum is a good choice because it’s featherlight, erosion-resistant, and strong.

Floor Materials

The floor of a greenhouse is often made from many materials, including gravel, wood decking, flagstone, metal grates, poured concrete, or simply bare dirt. Keep in mind, however, that a mud floor is merely practical if your yard stays bone-dry, otherwise it’ll become a muddy quagmire.

Concrete is extremely durable, but it’s fairly precious to pour and it doesn’t drain well. A clay bottom is affordable, drains well, and can fluently be refurbished by simply adding further clay. 

Temperature Regulation

Being able to manage the temperature inside the greenhouse is critical because it can get stiflingly hot in summer or bitterly cold in winter. To expel hot air, use exploitable windows, rooftop reflections, or exhaust suckers. Shade clothes are used to block out solar heat gain.

When the weather turns cold, maintain a warm greenhouse by installing an electrical heater that’s equipped with a thermostatically controlled fan. In moderate climates, passive solar systems can help keep off the cold. Fill barrels with water or stack concrete blocks inside the greenhouse; they’ll absorb the sun’s energy during the day and then release it as heat in the dark.

Reimagining Greenhouses

An exemplar of utilitarian design and ultramodern construction materials, the hothouse has long stood on its own as an independent typology. Yet amidst global environmental crises and a greater urgency for sustainable architecture, this type of nature-oriented architecture is gaining more attention and is consequently undergoing unprecedented transformations.

Contemporary architects are rethinking and reinterpreting what a greenhouse is often, and the way it can best be wont to better our lives. As a result, the excellence between “greenhouses” and other typologies is becoming less clear and less relevant.

The following systems are linked to glasshouses through their formal rates, accouterments, or construction ways. All incorporate flowers as an important component of their design. Yet all are linked also through their concerns for the natural environment, and their belief that architecture can change (and most significantly, improve) the way we interact with and depend on nature.

Penghu Qingwan Cactus Park, Penghu County, Taiwan

The greenhouses of the Penghu Qingwan Cactus Park are one element of a bigger project to convert a former military base into a tourist destination and residential park. Unlike traditional greenhouses, these structures preserve an existing landscape and ecosystem, whilst surrounding spaces undergo development. Each structure, constructed with different biomorphic designs, is both an area of conservation and presentation and education for the public.

Dome of Visions 3.0, Aarhus, Denmark

Photo by Archdaily

Atelier Kristoffer Tejlgaard combined hothouse design with a geodesic pate à la Buckminster Fuller to produce Dome of Fancies3.0, a multifunctional public space. Besides hosting an excellent number of flowers, the structure incorporates lessons about sustainable design and, therefore, the relationship between architecture and the wildlife. The architects view the project not even as a building for growing plants, or as an events space — the dome is defined by its adaptability and flexibility.

FA house, Vietnam

FA House
Photo by Archinect

FA house imagines the generalities of hothouse armature applied to a domestic program, created as an addition to an old home shop, tho. A saved the being structure but boxed it in a translucent, vitrine-suchlike structure. Besides preserving the heritage of the location, the recent addition re-contextualized the house by creating a transition between interior and exterior space, with an environment conducive to growing greenery.

The Orangery, Holte, Denmark

The Orangery investigates the part of “utilitarian” design in discrepancy to the rich and emblematic decoration of Baroque religious architecture. Though the structure evokes the shape and construction of a greenhouse, enveloped in shrink-wrap — both innovations created to serve practical functions — it’s a recreation of a 17th-century church by Francesco Borromini. Rather than incorporating the context or iconography of the first building, the project is embedded in a large public garden, and contains a deliberate arrangement of plants, creating a radical interpretation of architectural history, also with modern distinctions between form and performance.

Windshield Greenhouse, Paris, France

Simple and unassuming, serre en pare-brise does not reimagine the way greenhouse architecture can be used, but in the very constitution of this architecture. Linking sustainability sweats promoting husbandry, recycling, and grassroots activism, the hothouse is comprised of used and broken auto windshields, created with affordable and accessible construction styles.

Bombay Sapphire Distillery, Hampshire, United Kingdom

Heatherwick Studio
Photo by Architizer

Heatherwick Studio designed two glass extensions to the Bombay Sapphire Distillery which playfully transfigure ideas about glasshouses, artificial armature, and contemporary modes of production. Rather than approaching greenhouse architecture as a sterile, monocultural, factory-like environment, each structure creates imitations of a special ecosystem containing plants involved in the making of Bombay Sapphire gin. The project not only promotes sustainable modes of production but whimsically connects with existing industrial structures, transforming a manufacturing plant into a site of spectacle and intrigue.

Green Box, Italy

Green Box, a domestic pavilion made up of a converted garage, inverts the concept of greenhouses to make a dramatic and subversive relationship between architecture and therefore the surrounding wildlife. The simple gabled and glass-boxed structure resembles a typical hothouse, except for the fact that shops don’t grow inside of it, but on top of it, and each around it, nearly fully concealing the armature beneath. The most radical aspect of the design is that rather than creating a structure to contain nature, the Green Box affirms that all our creations are eventually at the mercy of the earth.

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