Types of greenhouses: a comparative overview of various types of structures
Many gardeners and gardeners build greenhouses on their plots. This expands their ability to grow healthy, environmentally friendly products. Vegetables and fruits can be obtained all year round. The main thing is to develop a project correctly, choose good materials, build, order or buy a high-quality finished construction. What types of greenhouses exist? For what purposes are various projects suitable? We offer a comparison of greenhouses of various designs: the pros and cons, especially the installation, operation.
Polycarbonate greenhouses, which are becoming more and more popular and in demand, deserve special attention. The abandonment of the use of glass and film in favor of polycarbonate allowed to improve designs and develop new projects. They make greenhouses more efficient, and plant care becomes more convenient. This was made possible thanks to the unique properties of the new material - lightness, strength, flexibility and good thermal insulation.
Compared to glass, polycarbonate is much lighter and stronger, easier to install. From it you can create stationary and mobile greenhouses of any shape.
One of the most popular designs is a greenhouse in the form of a house. This species was popular for many years, until they were gradually replaced by more economical arched greenhouses. The disadvantage of the design can be considered a large consumption of materials for construction, and the advantages include the large internal volume and the convenience of caring for plants
Types and designs of greenhouses
There are separate greenhouses and adjacent to buildings. If everything is clear with the first type, then the second implies that one of the walls of a residential building or utility building is used as a supporting structure for the greenhouse. Typically, such greenhouses are heated and used in the winter season.
In addition to the usual designs, non-banal economical and efficient greenhouses adjacent to houses are gaining popularity. The idea of arranging a winter vegetation is very interesting. There are several options. One of the most popular is the Ivanov Vegetarian. This is a polycarbonate greenhouse built on an inclined surface, in which the wall of the house is used not only as a building structure, but also as a reflective screen for sunlight.
The sloping roof of the Ivanov’s solar vegetarium is designed so that the sun's rays fall to the surface at right angles and almost do not reflect. Due to this, plants receive 4 times more heat and light. All the energy goes to lighting and warming the greenhouse
Vegetarians have already been called greenhouses of a new generation. This design is the invention of an ordinary school physics teacher, but it is better than many others for our climatic conditions. It looks like inside and outside the sunny vegetation of Ivanov, you can watch the video. The owner talks about the features of growing plants in such a greenhouse:
Particularly noteworthy are the designs of stand-alone greenhouses. Some of these projects can be implemented for buildings adjacent to the house. The main thing is to accurately determine your needs, capabilities and find out how to position the greenhouse, correctly calculate the area. Most popular designs:
- with vertical walls (they are also called greenhouses - “houses” for their external resemblance to residential buildings);
- in the form of a lancet arch (another name - arched greenhouses);
- with inclined walls (less common than the structures of the first two types);
- with an attic roof (greenhouses are built in the form of the so-called Dutch hay barn).
There are winter and spring greenhouses. Despite the “talking” name, “spring” means greenhouses that are used from March to November. Winter necessarily require heating. Depending on mobility, stationary and mobile structures are distinguished. Plants are placed in shelving and rackless ways. And for their cultivation, soil and soilless (aero, hydroponic) methods are used.
The photo shows the shape of the skeleton of a winter Chinese vegetarium of an improved design, adapted for use in our latitudes. The builder's task is to minimize the consumption of resources for heating the building without harming the plants. The wide side of the vegetation is oriented south. Unlike other structures of this type, this one is designed without taking into account the laying of pipes in the ground. Heating will be provided by a compact wood boiler
Winter greenhouses operate year-round. They are great for growing vegetables for personal and commercial purposes. The issue of heating can be solved in different ways: they install boilers, furnaces, radiators. Each owner chooses the most affordable and suitable option for himself. Winter greenhouses can be either stand-alone or adjacent to other buildings
Option # 1 - “house” with vertical walls
Of all types of greenhouses, the “house" is still the most common design, despite the emergence of new, more practical modifications. The reason for this popularity is the convenience and versatility of the design. It is a frame in the form of a house, over which there is a gable roof. Walls are built about 1.5 m high from the ground, the roof ridge is placed at a height of 1.8-2.4 m. Thanks to this arrangement of the greenhouse, the owner does not have to bend his head while caring for plants, and planting can be arranged on shelves, shelves: there is enough space.
The frame of the “greenhouse” greenhouse is either glazed or closed with cellular polycarbonate. You can tighten the film. A gable roof is a significant advantage, as the snow does not linger on inclined surfaces and slides down. Due to this, no increased load on the upper parts of the structure is created. The advantages of the greenhouse do not always compensate for the disadvantages - high cost, complexity of construction and significant heat loss that occur through the northern wall. It is recommended to additionally insulate with panels, but this also leads to a higher cost of arrangement.
The option of a greenhouse with vertical walls is very beneficial for those owners of sites who can assemble the structure with their own hands. One of the popular ways to reduce the cost of construction is to use old window frames for glazing the frame and installing a simple base of timber as a foundation. Using a plastic film can hardly be considered a good way to save, because the material itself is short-lived and noticeably inferior in strength to glass, especially polycarbonate.
The polycarbonate construction is supplied disassembled. It is assembled and installed already on the site. The buyer can choose the desired number of sections depending on the types of crops that he plans to grow. To maintain a comfortable microclimate, the greenhouse is equipped with a window. When installing the structure, you can fix it by digging into the ground the bases included in the kit, but the brick and even wooden foundation is much more reliable
Option # 2 - arched structures
The greenhouse in the form of a lancet arch is a complex structure. Its main drawback is that it is extremely difficult to design and assemble with your own hands, in contrast to the traditional “house”. Difficulties arise when bending metal for the frame, and when it is sheathed. Glass cannot be used because it does not bend, so the available materials are film and polycarbonate.
In most cases, arched greenhouses get ready-made. This is an expensive purchase, but it is justified, because the owner gets a more practical than the "house" form.Recent entries In April, I process roses so that no pests encroach on my beauties
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Building an arched greenhouse on your own is difficult, but possible. The video describes the process of creating an arch with wooden arches with your own hands:
Arched greenhouses are widely used not only in the households of many gardeners. Industrial complexes are building exactly this form. They can be used for plant cultivation, sorting, storage and even processing. It all depends on the size and layout of the building. The project is selected based on the number, type of plants, the method of their cultivation and location.
The arched shape allows you to make greenhouses of lower height than designs with vertical walls require. They better resist wind loads and, most importantly, let more light into the room.
The greenhouse is a structure 2 m high and 3 m wide. The length will be decided by the owner himself, focusing on his needs. The greenhouse is lengthened using additional sections. There is a window on the roof. The design provides for special partitions that separate cultures from each other. This makes it possible to simultaneously grow various types of plants. The modification “T12 Solar House” is reinforced due to the minimum arc pitch - 1 m
The disadvantages of greenhouses in the form of a lancet arch include the potential danger of cracks in the roof during heavy snowfalls. Snow often has to be cleaned by hand, as it pours down much worse than from the gable roof of the "house". If the layer is too thick, the roof may not withstand.
There are also restrictions on the layout of the internal space. It is difficult to place shelves, racks, etc. in the arched greenhouse. When caring for plants, the owner is not always convenient. All these are solvable problems, but when choosing between an arch and a “house” it is worth weighing all the factors and taking into account possible difficulties.
Of the ready-made arched greenhouses, the series “Sunny House” and “Royal House” are especially popular. Design features of the “Royal House” are presented in the video:
Option # 3 - a greenhouse with sloping walls
Greenhouses with walls located at an angle represent structures that look like familiar "houses" in appearance, and arches in functionality and practicality. In such greenhouses, the walls are mounted with an inclination inward at a small angle. Due to this, the base increases, as in an arch, which gives more space for the arrangement of beds. The height of the structure may be less than that of the "house".
An undoubted advantage of such a project is the opportunity to build a greenhouse with your own hands without any special problems, because you do not have to bend the frame. Glass can be used for cladding, incl. and used. Often use polycarbonate, a film. Another advantage is the “self-cleaning” gable roof. Regardless of the design of the roof, it is better to install a window for ventilation with increasing humidity. The disadvantage of the design is the restrictions when installing shelves along the walls due to the inclination.
When calculating greenhouses with sloping walls, you should pay attention to the steepness of the roof slopes. If the angle is chosen incorrectly or ventilation is not provided, then moist air can accumulate under the roof, which leads to the multiplication of microorganisms, fungi, mold, mosses. Such a “neighborhood” can significantly damage plant health
Option # 4 - a greenhouse with an attic roof
A structure with an attic roof is a type of greenhouse with vertical walls, however, instead of a gable roof, an attic is installed. She copes with loads perfectly, snow does not linger on her.
The attic roof gives more space above the head compared to the arched. There are no other features, otherwise such greenhouses have the same advantages and disadvantages as traditional structures with gable roofs. Shelves and racks for multi-tiered plant growing can be placed on the walls.
When deciding on a roof structure, you should think carefully about which design will be optimal. The mansard roof looks advantageous, but in most cases it is not necessary. But the design requires additional calculations, an increase in the number of materials. The owner must be sure that these costs will pay off.
Which greenhouse design is better?
The described types of greenhouses are found most often, but the variety of designs is not limited to them. Each type has its advantages, purpose, features. When choosing a design, shape, materials, you need to consider many factors. We offer a detailed video review from a specialist. Comparison of different types and materials of greenhouses will help determine the choice of the optimal design:
If you have already compared greenhouses of various designs and have chosen the right one, you can start the search. A little secret to sellers: the demand for greenhouses is higher in the spring and summer, so in winter they can be purchased at a discount.
When buying, do not trust intermediaries and resellers, try to purchase a greenhouse directly from the manufacturer. Be sure to read the technical documentation, check the configuration of the ordered model. By adhering to these simple recommendations, you increase your chances of buying a quality greenhouse that will delight you with fresh vegetables and fruits for many years.