Swedish Couple Builds Greenhouse Around Home to Stay Warm and Grow Food All Year Long

Discussion in 'Greenhouse Growing' started by Selleri, Dec 17, 2019.

  1. Selleri

    Selleri Super Gardener

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    I'm not entirely sure if this rather belongs in Off topic ;), but here goes:

    Swedish Couple Builds Greenhouse Around Home to Stay Warm and Grow Food All Year Long

    The couple has covered their house with a giant greenhouse:
    [​IMG]

    In Nordic temperatures the boosted heat allows them to heat less, grow more and enjoy the space longer throughout the year.

    It looks like great fun, but I can't help wondering what the humidity does to the external structure of the actual house.

    What do you think? A winner, or doomed idea? :biggrin:
     
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    • pete

      pete Growing a bit of this and a bit of that....

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      Dont think I will be doing it:biggrin:
      I've got a semi and I dont think the neighbours would like it;)

      Probably roasting in summer.

      Like all these strange innovations, they only work for one offs.
       
    • noisette47

      noisette47 Total Gardener

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      Immediate thoughts.....what about snow? It'd be a bit of a faff clearing snow off that! And as pete says, it'd get a bit warm in summer...has the greenhouse got good ventilation? Apart from that...jolly good idea!:biggrin:
       
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      • CanadianLori

        CanadianLori Total Gardener

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        Yes, I'd go for that but a larger footprint! Maybe this current weather is warping my judgement but yes, bring on the free heat!! :)
         
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        • shiney

          shiney President, Grumpy Old Men's Club Staff Member

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          • Coachman

            Coachman Gardener

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            Before venturing into the realms of design, be it for greenhouse or tunnel, few stop to consider exactly why they need one. Hence the number one sees that are used as sheds with bales of peat, bundles of canes, piles of flower pots and watering cans utilising the space for which the facility was bought. Even if kept relatively clear, the design of most on the market is sadly unfit for purpose.

            So, why do we need one? What should it do, and what should it look like to make that happen? Need, as such, is a perception, insofar as life has always gone on, and can still do, without either, but our reason for investing in them is an attempt to guard against the rigours of nature, and to encourage growth outside the normal season. The salient factor affecting design is that more than one type of plant will be cultivated, and each will grow to its own prescribed height. For guidance we need to examine how the first greenhouses were constructed.

            In earlier times the aristocracy, with hordes of gardeners at their bidding, would strive to bring back exotic flowers and fruit from their travels, if only to impress other estates. The British climate was unsuitable for the production of such things as pineapples and oranges so, with money no object, they set out to create artificial climates in which they’d grow. Their answer was to select the south facing wall of an outbuilding to get most sun, paint it white to reflect as much heat as possible and, most important, create a structure of a LEAN TO type so that the plants could be arranged in ascending order by height to ensure all received sun as it travelled its southern arc. With this logical format, crops like lettuces and peppers would occupy the low southern side, followed by taller crops like tomatoes, cucumbers and a few early runner beans, and even culminating in a grape vine running along a wire just below the roof. Tools and other paraphernalia would be kept inside the outbuilding itself to leave maximum growing space in the greenhouse.

            The sense of aligning any such building on an east-west direction can’t be denied but, now that the ordinary citizen can aspire to owning his or her own facility, we’re faced with a range of designs with central ridges, the north side of which will inevitably be in the shade of taller plants in the middle. The growing area, as already mentioned, is often cluttered up with other items and, whilst anything is better than nothing, so much can be achieved with a little thought

            The answer, but only for the DIY enthusiast, is to create a greenhouse-type building of traditional pitched roof style, but with the ridge positioned off centre at two thirds to three quarters of the width from the south side. With a dividing wall, ideally of reflective plastic, the remaining northern space can then accommodate a water tank and other impedimenta, leaving the majority for crops.
             
          • CanadianLori

            CanadianLori Total Gardener

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            @shiney I like the Spanish house because there's lots of outdoor places for potted plants but I don't see a back garden or any garden? The price is certainly astonishing.

            @Selleri if I had that kind of money, I'd be changing the attic space to a rooftop garden. Add windows to the side walls and large sky lights and solar panels into the roof. Course, I'd also need a spiral stair to get up there... :) Oh, the daydreams I've had about more space to garden year round :biggrin:
             
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            • miraflores

              miraflores Total Gardener

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              It would be a mildly good idea in a year round cold climate. Not so much in a temperate area :phew:
               
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              • Sheal

                Sheal Total Gardener

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                Keeping it clean would be a nightmare and no fresh air in the house. :doh:
                 
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                • shiney

                  shiney President, Grumpy Old Men's Club Staff Member

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                  @Coachman That's a very good summary of how things used to be but I think we have adapted our way of growing and a lot of what is now grown in the greenhouses are not necessarily of the type and variety that required graduated height.

                  We have a central pathway with benching and shelving on the north side. On the south side we grow plants from the ground and on racking. Some of the plants on the north side like heat (or frost free in the winter) but require some shading. Those would be lower down but everything from the benching up would still catch the sun. Obviously, the wider the greenhouse the better it is to get this effect.
                   
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                  • shiney

                    shiney President, Grumpy Old Men's Club Staff Member

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                    It appears to have opening vents along the apex. :blue thumb:
                     
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                    • Sheal

                      Sheal Total Gardener

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                      It's not the same as opening a window for a nice breeze though Shiney. I wouldn't want to live looking out through a permanent fog on dirty glass either.
                       
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                      • shiney

                        shiney President, Grumpy Old Men's Club Staff Member

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                        The window cleaner must have a good paying job!
                         
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                        • CanadianLori

                          CanadianLori Total Gardener

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                          This reminds me of the movies, "Murders in the Rue Morgue" and "Rear Window". There were flats that had huge windows, those slanting ones along a roof line. . In the one case for an artist and in the other for a top floor New York tenament composer. The light, the light. Such a delight. :)
                           
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                          • Coachman

                            Coachman Gardener

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                            Shiney - Each to his own in the world of gardening but the public generally is manipulated by manufacturers into buying what THEY want to produce, viz. the common dibber, but I have a design for my dream greenhouse that would a) last for decades and b) would make maximum usage of its space. However, as another 'wrinkly' male, my chances of ever building it are slim.
                             
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