Horticultural and engineering considerations for the design of integrated greenhouse plant production systems

Gene A. Giacomelli, K. C. Ting

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Design and operation of a greenhouse for plant production are challenging tasks even for the most experienced growers or designers, primarily because they are a highly complex system of biological and mechanical subsystems. These subsystems are deeply interrelated and must function together to provide successful crop production. With fundamental understanding and a desire to develop integrated crop production systems, the design of future greenhouses may become less guesswork, less design by "experience", and more methodical and reliant on information databases. The specific greenhouse structure, the crop production system, the environmental control and the labor/management procedures, directly affect the ability of the greenhouse manager to successfully produce high quality crops within the greenhouse. The greenhouse design requires the selection of many individual component systems, within the three primary areas of automation, culture and environment. Having selected the crop or crops, thereby knowing the culture requirements, it becomes necessary to select a water/nutrient delivery system, which when housed within a greenhouse structure, will efficiently incorporate labor requirements and environmental control. The complexity of the dynamic greenhouse system requires that problem solving and planning should not occur with the daily management decisions, but during the design stage of the greenhouse, prior to implementation. A logical procedure of design steps needs to be developed, in order to avoid the trial and error methodologies typically utilized, and whose success or failure depends totally on the past experiences of the designer, with too little input from the grower. Although a detailed design procedure does not currently exist, the basis for its development will be considered in this paper.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)475-481
Number of pages7
JournalActa Horticulturae
StatePublished - Jan 1 1999


  • Automation
  • Culture
  • Environment
  • Greenhouse design
  • Integrated plant production

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Horticulture


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