Design As Problem Solving

If you will allow me, I would like to explain what a Greenhouse Germination Chamber has to do with your home.

Several months ago we were called by the grower at a large, local greenhouse to build them a germination Chamber.  At the greenhouse, after seeds are inserted into little soil pods they need a place to germinate.  The germination chamber needs to have a constant temperature of around 70 degrees, 100% humidity and be brightly lit.  The challenges, in this project are that wood does not like humidity, electric does not like humidity, A/C removes humidity, and metal rusts in humidity.  The grower had toured some other facilities and brought us a design concept and material specs and asked us to price the construction of the space for their greenhouse in Smoketown.3D drawing

In the above sketch the outside walls are lined with vertical fluorescent lights mounted 8” apart.  A second wall (in blue) is set 24” from the lights and sheeted with transparent polycarbonate panels.  The interior of the chamber is sheeted with fiberglass panels.  The 2’ space is air-conditioned.

Several of the materials they had specced would not hold up well to the constant moisture conditions so we decided to re-design the project to stand up better to the moisture without breaking the bank.  I called my commercial door supplier and priced a custom height fiberglass door in a metal frame, the quote $900, and we would still have a rust problem.  So I called a pole building supplier, I described the conditions, they suggested a fiberglass door in an aluminum frame, that is used on poultry houses, their cost on the door $250.   We replaced the specced OSB sheeting behind the fiberglass panels with residential tile backer board which is impervious to moisture.  For the wall plates which would always be sitting in moisture we used composite deck boards.  We combined, commercial, residential, and ag materials to meet the requirements and keep costs as low as possible.

Germination ChamberIn the end there are none of the typical beautiful pictures of the completed project.  Simply a box housing a unique mix of equipment and materials sourced from diverse suppliers, and a Very Satisfied Client.

How does this apply to your home?  With over 45 years of construction experience, we have done and seen a lot.  That experience helps us to design and build in unique cost effective ways.

Polycarbonate PanelsThe Poly carbonate panels being installed on the chamber walls, with the fluorescent fixtures visible on the wall behind.

Glowing MistWhen the room is fully operational all you see upon opening the door is a misty glow in the chamber from the lights on the other side of the wall.

Bruce Gingrich is a residential designer and custom builder based in New Holland, PA.  His company, Glenn Gingrich, Inc. is a design, build, remodel firm that executes projects from conception to completion.  His functional insight, meticulous planning, building expertise, and customer collaboration can give you the living space of your dreams.

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2 Responses to Design As Problem Solving

  1. russell says:

    I wish to bookmark this specific article, “Design As Problem Solving | Design | Build
    | Remodel” Wood Blinds on my very own web page. Do you mind if I reallydo?

    Many thanks -Luis

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