Miriam Schaffer, Marketing/Communications Specialist ,Ceres
At Ceres, our goal has always been to design the most efficient, highest producing growing structures possible. This has led us to design what we believe to be the most productive, most efficient greenhouses available.
Large scale producers typically grow in enormous greenhouses. These greenhouses can range in size between 100k square feet and 850k square feet (or almost 20 acres!) Many of these greenhouses are designed to use natural ventilation, low quality glazings, and evaporative cooling systems. While the upfront costs might be cheaper for this kind of building, that is about the only advantage you can expect.
At Ceres, our goal has always been to design the most efficient, highest producing growing structures possible
In a large greenhouse it is difficult to find and eliminate outbreaks of mold, mildew, and pests. These infestations can lead to loss of entire harvests and massive cleaning costs to reset the greenhouses. These failures alone can put a grow operation out of business.
The Ceres Greenhouse
When Ceres began designing commercial greenhouses the goal was to harness the benefits of the sun, while maintaining indoor grow room like conditions.
Ceres stepped away from the traditional, gutter-connected greenhouse layout and moved towards a highly insulated, modular, passive style structure. The design of a Ceres greenhouse allows for much more consistent temperatures throughout a single day and throughout the year.
When we include the EcoLoop™ geothermal HVAC system, we are able to control temperature and humidity with precision and can effectively control VPD. When VPD is in the correct range based on plant needs, the plants grow faster and yield more. There is also less crop loss, lowering the cost per gram further. It should be stressed that an Ecoloop™ system, while incredibly effective for a sealed Ceres greenhouse, is not always necessary for a vented greenhouse. For vented greenhouses we suggest using a Ceres GAHT®
(ground to air heat transfer system), which uses the thermal mass under the greenhouse to regulate the temperature in the greenhouse.
We have learned that it often takes a little more planning and sometimes slightly more initial investment to design and create the best greenhouse for our customers, but that the added effort is always worth it
Ceres greenhouses are rarely constructed over 5,000 sq. ft. for a single grow space. Ceres has determined that larger spaces are harder to condition, and that smaller greenhouses allow for more precise control over the environment and the plants. In addition, the smaller grow room allows employees to be more focused on the plants, something that is often overlooked.
Coupling a smart controller with the Ceres sealed design can optimize growing conditions even further. Not only can the controller manage the buildings systems, but it allows the grower to collect data from the entire building, enabling the growers to learn and make operational adjustments to increase yield and efficiency over time. Knowing the minutiae of how the greenhouses are functioning gives the grower a granularity of knowledge that is not accessible in other greenhouses.
Growing In Unfriendly Environments
One of the biggest struggles with growing year round in a traditional greenhouse is the lack of insulation. This can make winter growing very difficult in very cold climates, where condensation freezes each night and controlling humidity can become very difficult. The same goes for humid climates in the summer, where if venting is the only cooling option it becomes impossible to control humidity in the greenhouses.
Ceres proprietary greenhouse design, with 3 solid, insulated walls (plus ⅓ of the roof) allows for easier control of temperature. The greenhouse doesn’t allow as much cold in, and holds heat better. When heat is needed, either for added warmth or lowering relative humidity, significantly less energy is needed to change the interior climate.
At Ceres, we understand that producing quality products for a reasonable cost is the ultimate goal. We have learned that it often takes a little more planning and sometimes slightly more initial investment to design and create the best greenhouse for our customers, but that the added effort is always worth it. Growing the highest quality cannabis means both a higher demand and a higher price for your product. Combine these positive outcomes with the design and functionality of the greenhouses, and you can see why “greenhouse” may not completely capture what we have created here at Ceres.