Executing a Successful Greenhouse Upgrade
The third and final part in our series on greenhouse retrofits looks at planning the system upgrade and getting it done right.

by Michael Kovalycsik, National Sales & Marketing Director, Delta T Solutions

You’ve determined you’re ready for a greenhouse upgrade, you’ve got the financing in place, and now you’re finally ready to implement the changes. But actually carrying out the retrofit often is the most overwhelming part of the project, especially when your livelihood depends on getting your operation back up and running as soon as possible. So how do you make sure everything goes smoothly so your business doesn’t miss a beat? It’s all in the planning, says Richard Brigati, owner of White Post Farms in Melville, N.Y. “Without planning, you don’t stand a chance,” he says. “You’ll just constantly be putting Band-Aids on things.”

 

Delat T AutoCAD

Proper planning, including detailed diagrams like this Delta T AutoCAD drawing, are essential for making sure greenhouse upgrade projects run smoothly. Click here for a larger image.

 

PROPER PLANNING

Tips for Success

When planning any sort of upgrade to your greenhouse operation, be sure to consider the following:

  • Is the supplier/contractor reputable? Can they offer testimonials and references?

  • Make sure there’s a solid plan in place before construction begins. Drawings should be as detailed as possible.

  • Communication is key. Be sure there is an open line of communication with the supplier/contractor before, during and after construction.

  • Know your stuff. Get involved and learn about new equipment so you’ll know what to do if something goes wrong.

White Post Farms grows a mix of annuals and perennials at its 3-acre operation. The majority of the plant material is grown for White Post’s garden center, but the operation also sells to landscapers, nonprofit groups and other garden centers. When Brigati decided it was time for a greenhouse heating system upgrade, he turned to Delta T Solutions for a radiant floor heat system covering about half an acre. The system allows White Post to grow earlier-season annuals.

“They (Delta T) coordinated the plan, including layout of the greenhouse, where we were going to site the burners, where the gas was coming in, how we were going to configure the beds and the benches and everything related to the heat system,” says Brigati.

They then created a drawing based on the information. “It laid out exactly where everything was going, from the boilers to the pumps to everything involved in the heat system,” Brigati adds.

The system was then installed based on the specifications. Brigati credits the upfront planning and continued communication with Delta T Solutions throughout the process for the system’s smooth implementation.

GET TO KNOW THE SYSTEM 

But the project doesn’t end with the installation. The other important aspect in making sure your investment is worthwhile long-term is to get involved and learn how the new system works, says Brigati. “As things come up – whether it’s how to run the system or if something goes wrong, it’s important you know what exactly the system is doing,” he says. “You don’t have to be an engineer, but you do have to understand how the system operates, what it’s trying to do and why it’s trying to do it.”

Read Part 1 and Part 2 of our series on upgrades.

Delta T Solutions has designed and manufactured customized heating solutions for greenhouse growers using hydronic (hot water radiant) heat for more than 20 years. To learn more about cost-effective in-ground, bench and perimeter heating systems; high-efficiency boiler systems; and other systems that improve crop health, contact Delta T at 800-552-5058 or email mkovalycsik@deltatsolutions.com.

 

 
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