What is a Commercial Greenhouse?

Malcolm Tatum

A commercial greenhouse is one of several types of greenhouses in common use today. Essentially, a commercial form of the greenhouse is one that is used in the cultivation of a large volume of plants that are grown for the express purpose of selling those plants. Greenhouses of this type may be used in a business that is aimed at producing a wide range of plants that are eventually purchased and utilized in a number of different settings. This includes the production of green plants for use in the home or office, flowering plants that are ideal for use in landscaping, or even vegetable plants that are grown to a certain stage then sold for planting in the ground.

Some commercial gardeners install temporary hoop greenhouses to extend the growing season.
Some commercial gardeners install temporary hoop greenhouses to extend the growing season.

The basic commercial greenhouse is made primarily of tempered glass that is capable of allowing an abundance of natural sunlight to enter through the walls and ceiling, while also thick enough to help maintain an internal temperature that is ideal for the plants grown within the facility. Along with maintaining a proper temperature, the greenhouse usually also has equipment that makes it possible to monitor and control humidity levels. This makes it possible for tropical plants to be cultivated and grown in areas with climates that would otherwise be completely inhospitable to those plants.

Commercial greenhouses allow farmers to grow a large volume of plants, usually for sale.
Commercial greenhouses allow farmers to grow a large volume of plants, usually for sale.

Building a commercial greenhouse can be accomplished in a couple of different ways. Smaller businesses may choose to go with a kit to manage the construction. The typical greenhouse kit includes all the glass panels, framing and other essentials for creating the shell of the structure. It is not unusual for the kits to also include heating and cooling equipment that help to provide temperature and humidity control. Since the building materials are precut and mass produced, this approach is often less expensive than designing and building the greenhouse from a set of plans.

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If the owner prefers a commercial greenhouse that is larger than the structures created with kits, the construction process usually includes obtaining a design from an architect and working with a contractor to arrange for acquisition of the building materials and the actual construction. As with any type of commercial structure, the commercial greenhouse must comply with the building codes and standards of the local community before actually being used in a business operation. Many municipalities provide specific guidelines for use during the construction phase that address not only the construction of the greenhouse shell, but also the configuration of the plumbing and wiring systems.

Greenhouses are typically made of tempered glass.
Greenhouses are typically made of tempered glass.

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