Agriculture and AGRI-Food Canada (AAFC) Research Centre

Location: Swift Current, Sasketchewan
Architect: AODBT Architecture Interior Design
Greenhouse Square Ft.: 6458
Scope:
  • 10 containment compartments
  • 1 main corridor
  • 1 basement corridor
  • 1 header house
  • Automated climate controls, accessible via internet
  • Equipped with horizontal and vertical shade systems
  • HID grow lights

Engineer: GHE – Greenhouse Engineering

Details:

A 600 m2 research Greenhouse facility constructed for Agriculture and AGRI – Food Canada for the purpose of scientific research. This project was a design build greenhouse and is expected to have a life span of 30–50+ years. JGS Limited provided both the Engineering expertise as well as the Construction Expertise to complete the project in a professional and timely manner. Our knowledgeable sales & project management teams provided constant communication with the General Contractor and end user.

This greenhouse consists of 10 containment compartments 1 main corridor, 1 basement corridor and a header house. There are 4 compartments approximately 47 m2, 4 compartments approximately 23.7 m2, 2 compartments approximately 70.75 m2, 1 main corridor approximately 4 m x 31 m and 1 basement corridor approximately 3.8 m x 30 m.

The greenhouse structure is constructed with hot dipped galvanized steel framing accompanied with an aluminum/glass/acrylic cladding system. The glazing consists of 1 pc glazing for the roof, 16 mm acrylic exterior walls, and single glazing for the interior partitions.

Although under one roof each compartment is an individual airtight unit by itself, capable of maintaining temperature, humidity, light, irrigation and insects of specific size independent from compartment to compartment and the outside environment. These units are controlled manually or automatically by the programmable centralized computer system provided by Argus Controls Inc. This centrally controlled computer system also has the ability of being accessed locally or via internet.

All compartments are equipped with horizontal shade systems. 2 compartments are equipped with an additional vertical light control curtains.

Each compartment is equipped with High Intensity Discharge (HID) grow lights provided by Kavita Canada to allow the end user to extend the daily light intensity and/or duration. All the HID lights are attached to canopy systems which allow the Researcher to determine the distance they wish to have the light away from the plants. There is 1 canopy for every 2 benches.

Cooling of the Greenhouse compartments is programed into the Argus Controls system as a sequence of operations. The computer system will first utilize natural ventilation by way of the shade system, ridge vents and horizontal airflow fans. When the temperature rises beyond the capability of natural ventilation there are evaporative coolers to further the cooling capabilities. Depending on the size of the compartment depends whether they are equipped with 1, 2, 3, or 4 evaporative cooler(s). The evaporative coolers are centrally located in the basement corridor and are all controlled via the Argus computer system.

The evaporative coolers receive the intake air from 2 locations, 1 area located at the northwest side of the Greenhouse and 1 area located at the south end of the Greenhouse. There are various sized insulated dampers controlled via the computer to accommodate sunny winter days where cooling is required. For these sunny winter days when evaporative cooling is required we have designed in louvers in the corridor to supply the evaporative coolers with 80% reclaimed air from the facility and 20% fresh air from outside. This is designed in this fashion such that the crop(s) are not exposed to extra cold air which may or may not be detrimental to the experiment(s).

Heating of the greenhouse is generated by a centrally located boiler in the header house then delivered via pipe to each compartment. Each compartment is independent of each other and is computer controlled manually or automatically. The heating system inside each compartment consists of pipes located around the perimeter at the concrete knee wall and along the underside of each gutter. The heating along the underside of the gutter(s) is also utilized as a snow melt system.

Overall this ‘greenhouse’ is a complex research facility which will aid the researchers in their studies for many years to come.