The longest side of the greenhouse should be within a 20° orientation to true south to achieve the highest amount of solar exposure. However, a freestanding greenhouse’s orientation is not as critical, because it receives light from all sides and can be supplemented with grow lights.
Attached or lean-to greenhouses would preferably be installed on the south, southeast, or east facing walls for the greatest light exposure. A western exposure provides enough light, but the summer afternoon sun may make cooling the structure less cost effective. A north facing greenhouse is not recommended because it only provides enough sun for plants with low light requirements. The greenhouse should be oriented due south when possible, because the light is ideal for passive heat which warms the greenhouse and nurtures the plants.
Many customers are concerned with trees located close to the proposed site of a greenhouse. The most common concern is that falling trees or limbs may damage the structure. Solar Innovations, Inc. uses tempered and laminated glass to reduce the risk of breakage or cracks should the greenhouse suffer an impact. Solar Innovations, Inc. experts will evaluate the possible effects of surrounding tree cover. Often times a deciduous tree may be beneficial to the greenhouse, because it provides shade during the summer for cooling but allows solar gain when its foliage drops for winter.
The property’s features will play an important role in determining the greenhouse’s location and orientation. All projects require adequate access to the project site for material delivery and installation. This will include the work done by other subcontractors like masonry, plumbing, and electricity. Arrangements need to be made prior to work commencing if the site’s location requires access through another person’s property. If crane access and/or a freight elevator are required to transport materials to a rooftop in an urban area, component size and project design will be even more critical.
Once installed, owners need the ability to access the greenhouse year round. This can become a difficult situation, depending upon the region. Plants still need to be watered and tended regardless of the weather. The same is true during rain and high temperatures. Keeping the greenhouse in close proximity to the main structure will allow for easy access during extreme weather.