Sustainable greenhouse wows public

Thu, 01/31/2013 - 15:59

A "green" greenhouse is wowing the public in Middletown, Delaware. The Middletown Township Business and Professional Association's (MTBPA) first luncheon was hosted by the Linvill family in their eco-friendly garden center and greenhouse. 
The Delco News Network reports that the greenhouse is located on a 300-acre lot on West Knowlton Road that has been in the family for three generations. The garden center is unique because of the many sustainable features that have been included in the plans of the structure. 
The 15,000-square-foot structure has been outfitted with light emitting diodes (LED) bulbs, which are significantly more energy efficient compared to more traditional fluorescent lighting. In addition, a polycarbonate roof has been installed to provide greater insulation and it allows the Linvill's to open the roof of the structure vertically to control ventilation and allow heat to escape in the summer. 
According to the news source, shades have also been installed and are controlled by a computer that senses weather conditions like rain and wind. The shaded curtains close incrementally at night to conserve heat and better control how much light is allowed to reach the plants. While it may seem a bit cautious, the Linvills also ensured that the roof of the greenhouse can withstand up to three feet of snow. 
Radiant floor heating has been included underneath the environmentally-sound stamped concrete floor, which resembles wood and slate. The heating solution is energy efficient and runs off of agricultural waste that is created on site. By installing radiant floor heating, the Linvills have planned ahead for any lackluster weather years to ensure that their crops are not harmed by cold snaps.