Building a Greenhouse: Traditional or Modern?


Traditional urban greenhouses have always looked the same, but recently, greenhouses with alien-like structures are slowly popping up everywhere. What are these strange looking greenhouses, and how do they compare to the traditional ones?

What’s with the Domes?

Geodesic greenhouses are dome-like structures that will catch everyone’s eye. Their surge in number can be attributed in part to the geodesic domes of UK’s Eden Project. Geodesic domes are stable structures that rely on a framework of triangles or polygons. The structure is very stable, with each segment supporting the whole structure. Structural stress is distributed more evenly throughout the structure, giving geodesic domes massive load-bearing capacity relative to its size.

Traditional vs. Modern

Traditional greenhouses have that classic look that exudes a bit of elegance. Though geodesic domes look beautiful in a futuristic and mathematical way, certain older people might find it a bit tacky. Traditional greenhouses are a lot easier to build, and getting a permit from the local authorities is a bit easier because they know exactly what you’re making. Geodesic greenhouses may be reasonably new to the market, but they have proven to be quite efficient in utilizing sunlight. The dome-like structure distributes sunlight more evenly, ensuring your crops grow at a more steady rate. Their structure is also a lot stronger, and the multi-sectional nature of these structures make them a lot cheaper to repair. If you’re building your greenhouse on your own, you’re better off building a traditional greenhouse. Geodesic greenhouses require a bit of calculation and precision, and a little expertise might be required. Thankfully, both conventional and geodesic greenhouses come in premade kits which you assemble yourself, or you can hire actual professionals to do all the work.

Glass or Plastic

man watering his plants

Another aspect of your greenhouse you should consider is the material of your panels. Traditional greenhouses have always used glass. However, advances in technology have given rise to newer, more efficient, and more suitable materials. One such material is polycarbonate sheets. Polycarbonate panels are less expensive, more durable, and a lot more active in utilizing sunlight and keeping heat inside your greenhouse. Of course, if you’re opting for a geodesic greenhouse, you’ll need to use polycarbonate sheets. These plastic sheets are a lot easier to work with, and you can easily shape or cut them with a dull utility knife or box cutter. They don’t shatter like glass, so no dangerous shards in case of accidents. Polycarbonate sheets can take quite a beating, and accidents that would typically break glass might not even make a mark. In the rare instance that they do get damaged, you won’t need to go to the manufacturer and have them cut similar-sized panels like you would need to if you were using glass; you can easily replace the panels yourself.

Greenhouses are not just structures for growing plants; they’re a beautiful addition to your home and a clear reflection of your personality. Whether you go for the classics or appreciate innovation, it will clearly show in what greenhouse you build.

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