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Advice about rooftop greenhouses

Bob Vickery vickery at MPX.COM.AU
Sun Jun 21 02:35:18 EST 1998

On 18 Jun 1998 12:15:33 Carl Johnson wrote:

>Dear Everyone,
>        My university is planning to build a new building for the Biology
>department, and the current plan is to place the greenhouse on the roof of
>the new building. Because the greenhouse for our current building is on the
>ground, we don't have any experience with rooftop greenhouses, but I expect
>that there can be serious problems with light intensity and heat,
>especially in the Southeastern USA--we are located in Nashville, Tennessee,
>and the summers are very hot and humid.
>        We would appreciate it if those of you with experience of designing
>rooftop greenhouses could advise us, especially those of you from the
>Southeast. What are the major problems that need to be considered? Can
>anyone recommend a good architectural firm with experience in designing
>rooftop greenhouses that could be consulted?

Experience at University of NSW was that everything is more difficult when the glasshouses are on the roof.  You have to watch out for:

health risk to people underneath the glasshouse from fumigation

high winds that rip off louvres

difficulty in getting at the outside of the roof once it is built

birds that pick the mastic out of joints between panes of glass

nearby cooling towers for the air conditioning system that get infested with Legionella and threaten the health of workers in the glass house.


Bob Vickery
vickery at mpx.com.au

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