A Passive Greenhouse Design

Thothworks offers to custom-design passive greenhouses for home gardeners.

Custom-designing a greenhouse for a particular site yields two major benefits: (i) it provides enhanced performance compared to a greenhouse of indiscriminate design, and (ii) it is less-expensive to build and operate.

The design approach taken by Thothworks engages features of a site to work toward the goal of creating a better greenhouse. Rather than treat features of a site as impediments to a good greenhouse, Thothworks turns these features to its advantage-a unique greenhouse is designed for a unique site.

First, the south face is configured to enhance the greenhouse's ability to exploit sunlight at the specified site over the specified period. This face is often angled according to some "Rule of Thumb" or simply set vertically. Thothworks, on the other hand, employs a computer program to determine the angle at which glass must be oriented to maximize sunlight transmission at the specified site over the specified period. The resulting south face admits more free heat into the greenhouse (from sunlight) simply by virtue of its orientation.

Second, much area that does not admit direct sunlight is covered with insulation rather than glazing. The result is reduced heat loss during periods of cold weather.

Third, the north wall is painted reflective white and angled to reflect sunlight onto the ground rather than back out of the greenhouse; the amount of light received by the plants is increased, and more heat is kept inside the greenhouse.

The greenhouse's ability to exploit free heat from sunlight enhances its capacity both to extend the season and to be used year-round. As a season extender, Thothworks' design brings Spring into the greenhouse sooner and pushes Winter back later. This ability benefits year-round operation as well: extending the growing season reduces the time for which artificial heating is required. When artificial heating does become necessary, the amount required is reduced by a well-insulated structure. Heating costs are reduced-year after year.

Below is posted an Adobe PDF file that presents a sample of the sort of greenhouse that can be designed by this approach. If you do not have the Adobe Reader on your computer, you will need to download it (it is free!). Just click on the Adobe graphic below to go to Adobe's website. If you already have the Adobe reader on your computer, click on the "A Passive Greenhouse Design (.pdf)" link below and begin reading. Enjoy.

A Passive Greenhouse Design (.pdf)

Note: For the sake of writing this report, a fictional company name was used (AKiTi Ltd); I have not incorporated or established a company yet.
Also, I would like to stress that the greenhouse presented in this report is a fictional greenhouse meant to illustrate the results of my design approach; I have not built it. The purpose of presenting this report is to interest people into contacting me, to hire me to use my approach to custom-design a greenhouse for their location as per their unique specifications.

Return to Thothworks Home Page

[Link to Adobe.com]