Giant Greenhouse!

Discussion in 'Member's Gallery' started by S-H, Mar 24, 2024.

  1. S-H

    S-H Hardy Maple

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    Was visiting a private university in my city of Karachi few days back. It was once called CBM, (Center for Business Management), but today it's known as IoBM (Institute of Business Management) See Google Maps link at the bottom.

    Anyway to cut a long story short, I was delighted to see a huge climate controlled greenhouse on their campus - Which I think is part of their Sustainable Living Society and Agricultural Studies. So it really felt very good, that a university which otherwise was once strictly focused on business studies, is now taking a serious interest in agriculture with sustainable and renewable living concepts in mind...

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    So these are the pictures I took of that greenhouse - Clearly this means that academic thinking too is now evolving for the better in my country, (trying to work with the environment instead of against)...

    I wasn't allowed to see inside, but here is whatever I saw from outside - I'm sharing it with everyone over here. In case anyone of us was wondering about building a greenhouse of their own - And are looking for ideas.

    It's basically an almost airtight weatherproof construction of double glazed clear poly-carbonate sheets. Which are held in place by aluminum frame, made out of I-Beams, U-Channels, and 90°-Angles, (with lots of nuts & bolts).

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    The entrance & exit is exactly like a clean room airlock, (with 2 sets of double doors), so that no pathogens and pests from the outside can get in. There is also a rack which has hazmat suits hanging on the rails, (with filtered face masks).

    There are also 2 giant industrial exhaust fans with a screen mesh filter to regulate airflow, (and keep birds and insects out). And inside is a shower system too, to simulate rainfall, Curtins too can be extended inside, to exclude sunlight on an area. With other temperature and humidity controlling equipment, plus artificial grow lights for night. Along with pumps and other related equipment which is needed for hydroponics.

    There has to be some real serious stuff going on inside. Which is why it is always locked, and in clear view of the security guard's post, (who are always armed). And so no unauthorized person is allowed inside.

    This level of security gives me the impression that maybe genetically modified crops might be experimented with inside - But honestly, this is just hearsay at this point. I have honestly not seen any such sign or label anywhere which says GM crop experimentation inside. Maybe they are affiliated with SUPARCO, (Pakistan's Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission), which basically is Pakistan's NASA. Because that will explain everything. But again, I have not seen any such sign or label anywhere...

    It could very well be that they have built something amazing. So are just jealousy guarding it. Who really knows to be honest? My hope is that it's for the greater good of the environment, and further prosperity of humankind. Anything beyond that, I don't care about... One thing though, is that this university did go green by installing lots of solar panels on all their rooftops, (attempting to become carbon neutral). So in light of that, I'm sure they are doing something very positive and highly responsible with this giant greenhouse.

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    It's even got an independent weather station of it's own! Obviously to get accurate weather readings from outside, to compare with the conditions inside. Where the computer controlled system will decide how to best regulate temperature and humility.

    Below is a link which shows the prototype greenhouse when it was newly built, in 2021, and only had net mesh and steel pipe construction, (it's been demolished since, and this much more bigger and complicated one has been built in its place on the same land).

    https://www.iobm.edu.pk/news-events/detail/the-farm-an-experiential-learning-activity

    Today this is the new and much more bigger greenhouse, which I have shared pictures of above. This picture below is from Google Maps. To give you guys an idea about how big it actually is, (almost as wide as a 4 lane road, and little over 1 soccer field long).

    Screenshot_20240324-151931.jpg

    This link below is of Google Maps, in case anyone wants to learn of it's exact location in the world.

    https://www.google.com/maps/place/R469+RHP+SSK+Center+IOBM,+Korangi+Creek,+Karachi,+Karachi+City,+Sindh,+Pakistan/@24.812582,67.1183205,17z/data=!3m1!1e3!4m6!3m5!1s0x3eb33b82eadf741f:0x66efd98021be4069!8m2!3d24.8120842!4d67.1189396!16s/g/11j32x19fw

    Of course, this climate controlled greenhouse is literally state of the art, top of the line in the world, a true overkill of overkills, as well as a technical marvel of automation... So we clearly don't need to build something this big, costly, and complicated for our own personal use, (unless we want to break the bank). I'm only sharing this here, for construction ideas, and inspiration.

    I particularly like the all aluminum frame construction over hard reinforced concrete floor base. No use of steel anywhere above the ground. As steel of any type in my locality often starts to rust very quickly, (because of the salty environment so close to the ocean). So steel structures are a bit maintenance hungry. But this all aluminum frame construction will last forever, (although it'll be at 3 times the cost of steel). However when it comes to standing the test of time - This amazing greenhouse is indeed built to last for a very long time.
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2024
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  3. Pacnorwest

    Pacnorwest Hardy Maple

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    Very interesting . It is very similar in structure to the tiny greenhouse I built with my son years ago. Same system screw in sides panels , steel supports . Mine is a dome shape so snow and ice falls off the roof ,12x24. It has lasted thru many winters of snow/ice/wind storms over the years. Has all the bells and whistles , helped create my garden from the beginning thru cuttings, seeds and also overwinter plants thru many cold winters.

    I read the link presented in your post and the students are using a hydroponic system for growing plants in the greenhouse.
     
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  4. S-H

    S-H Hardy Maple

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    That was the old greenhouse (in that link). Which is all that the students had in 2021. Which has since been demolished, however on Google Maps it can still be seen - Yellow arrow points to the old greenhouse, which wasn't airtight, as it was only a steel structure built out of welding pipes together, then draping it with a nylon net.

    Screenshot_20240325-051103.jpg

    While the red arrow points to this new giant greenhouse - See the difference in size?

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    So this was the old green house, (above picture). Which students could visit. Outside people too could go and see. But in 2022, it was demolished. And the new one built on the other side of this open ground.

    However the new and giant one - No unauthorized person can go near... Which I sometimes am having a little trouble comprehending. Because it's literally state of the art, and huge. Therefore it's a major achievement for the university. So why aren't they proudly exhibiting it? Why not invite the media also, so they can not only show-off, but will also open the door for financial grants from the government too. As the authorities encourage such innovations nowadays.

    But instead everyone is being very tight lipped about it. Keeping everything in low key, (not even mentioning it on their website). Like pretending that it doesn't exist - And when you ask direct questions about it, you get answers which are neither here nor there...

    What's the big secret??? :headscratch:

     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2024
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  5. Pacnorwest

    Pacnorwest Hardy Maple

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    I’m curious now … I wonder if the new “secret” greenhouse is all automated entirely on a computer system with programs for different sections for applications designed for appropriate treatments for different growing conditions for propagating and developing new varieties of plants as well as introducing new cultivars.

    Working on new cultivars of fruits is what the Washington State University has developed and introduced a new cultivar of the apple called the Cosmic Crisp and Sunrise Magic. Also Washington State University's Office of Commercialization has announced WA 64, a new unnamed upcoming apple cultivar release available through an application process for growers in the state.
     
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  6. Daniel W

    Daniel W Young Pine

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    Such an enigma! I hope you will update us if there are developments.

    Those look to me like very tall tomato plants. Maybe they are developing types that survive and produce in hotter conditions?

    I have a sunroom, which is basically a glass enclosed room of the house. I had to install reflective, insulated panels under the glass roof, because it became so hot. It was 130F last summer (54 C). I use it during the summer to dry clothes and to make dried fruit. This winter on chilly days outside, it still reached 90 F on some days (32 C). It was hard to keep up with the watering.

    With such big greenhouse in your climate, I wonder how they prevent it from becoming so hot.

    There are people trying to develop more heat tolerant plant varieties, including tomatoes.

    https://blogs.bcm.edu/2021/08/10/fr...-plants-heat-tolerant-in-rising-temperatures/

    https://www.nature.com/articles/s41438-021-00647-3

    https://www.asianjab.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/02/AJAB-2021-03-112.pdf

    Since I don't know anything about it, I vote for creating heat tolerant tomato varieties :)
     
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  7. Pacnorwest

    Pacnorwest Hardy Maple

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    I second that vote for heat tolerant plants and especially lettuce …and I thought the tree sized plants in the pic were tomato too.

    Interesting articles…the loss of crops due to climate change,drought, heat is complicated . I really miss my fresh garden lettuce once all the garden lettuce bolts from warmer temps it’s gone for the rest of the season.
    I wonder if that could work in the opposite direction for making plants more cold tolerant.
     
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  8. S-H

    S-H Hardy Maple

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    @Pacnorwest Yes, I think it's completely automated inside. Which is why it's always locked up - So that kind of deepens the mystery a lot further, regarding what's really going on... :shrug:

    It's only speculation on my part at this time. But what if the reason why I'm not seeing any human activity inside - Is perhaps because the atmosphere inside is mostly carbon dioxide? Humans can't live in that, but all plants will thrive like crazy!

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    See the armed security guards who are always around it, (see enhanced picture below).

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    See the locked sliding doors also!? As well as the CCTV security camera on top of the building, (keeping a constant eye on everything)...

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    Anybody here knows Tom Cruise and his Impossible Mission Forces team? People like those can come in handy, when we need to solve a mystery like this. :cool:

    @Daniel W I think they are keeping it cool during the summer months - With the help of a retractable curtain of reflective mylar film, which is suspended above the plants inside of a frame. So I think it can not only be drawn open or closed, but can also be raised and lowered - It probably has artificial grow lights in that frame as well...

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    Rest of the cooling can be managed by those 2 giant industrial exhaust funs on both sides of the entrance.

    On the far side of it, I think I can see something which could either be a standby power generator. Or a cooling plant, (or both). Or perhaps that's the CO2 plant also? So I guess they have it all figured out - I mean, this is such a huge investment on the part of the university. Therefore they should have thought of a way to tackle every issue. But exactly how? We unfortunately can't know for sure. Instead can only speculate. :headscratch:

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    Last edited: Mar 25, 2024
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  9. S-H

    S-H Hardy Maple

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    Here is the view from the other side. I think this is how they are regulating the temperature and humidity inside, (through this membrane screen). Which could be soaked with water, to increase humidity and lower temperature, (I suspect it could be just stacked cardboard or straw). So with the help of those 2 giant industrial exhaust fans on the side where the entrance & exit is - Will push the air out, forcing new fresh sea breeze from the South side to get sucked in through this filter/membrane.

    Basically a desert cooler, also known as a swamp cooler...

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    Last edited: Mar 28, 2024
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  10. Pacnorwest

    Pacnorwest Hardy Maple

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    The filter system you describe for temp control sounds much like a water evaporator system.
     
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  11. S-H

    S-H Hardy Maple

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    Correct! Because that's exactly what a swamp cooler is - Working on the evaporative cooling principle.

    [​IMG]
     
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  12. Pacnorwest

    Pacnorwest Hardy Maple

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    We have swamp coolers here too , they are highly effective in high desert areas in several different states in the western US.

    Also another example of a natural swamp cooler as described in the giant greenhouse can also be demonstrated in my garden . I have planted many trees, shrubs and grassy areas around my home which also works as a ‘Nature’ swamp cooler. Keeps my home cool even in hot extreme summers when temps are in 89F-100F. Never need air-conditioning.

    Trees, vegetation such as bushes, shrubs, perennials, tall grasses, and the grassy pastures lower surface and air temperatures by providing shade and cooling through evaporation and transpiration, also called evapotranspiration. Transpiration is a process in which trees and vegetation absorb water through their roots and cool surrounding areas by releasing water vapor into the air through their leaves naturally .

    By cooling my home naturally, Freon gas is not used in my air conditioning units since I don’t use them. Freon has been banned in cars since 2010 in the US but not in home AC units. Many newer homes have AC units that donot use Freon which has a negative greenhouse effect on the planet.
     
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  13. S-H

    S-H Hardy Maple

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    About 10 years ago, I designed a carbon dioxide generator, (see link below).

    https://www.gardenstew.com/threads/choose-the-greater-good-and-share-or-become-a-profiteer.31737/

    So if I now built a climate controlled greenhouse and supplied all the plants inside with CO2, I'll never again need to worry about a lot of things. Because in a CO2 rich atmosphere, many pests too won't be able to survive. And whatever that do, the healthier plants themselves will overcome such attacks.

    I basically did this, and other crazy stuff at the time, 10 years back, because I was experimenting with biofuels, (see other link below).

    https://www.gardenstew.com/threads/what-cotton-can-create.25730

    So now I'm thinking, what if I combined some of my past projects - And created a fully climate controlled greenhouse of my own!

    10+ years ago, although I was habitually planning for a global disaster of one type or another, (while majority of the people just laughed behind my back) - However now, after we've all experienced a COVID-19 pandemic, I think I should start working on a greenhouse of my own. To ensure my own supply of food, in a self-sustainable way.

     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2024
  14. Pacnorwest

    Pacnorwest Hardy Maple

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    We used carbon monoxide to pipe down the mole holes. We have a connection that fits the exhaust pipe from the truck on one end then the other end fits the garden hose and run the hose down the mole holes. It sorta worked but what it really showed were all the air hole across the pastures where exhaust fumes come up from. This showed the escape of gas thru all the air holes was not effective . Plus not good for the planet. Quickly abandoned that mole elimination technique . It’s not that effective and found that traps works best.
    Both carbon monoxide and CO2 are the major culprits causing climate change by scientists studies.

    I read many articles about CO2 years ago about scientists performed many experiments to see what happens when plants and agricultural crops receive extra CO2. When supplemental CO2 was pumped into the air around plants, they grew faster. For this reason, CO2 is sometimes piped into enclosed greenhouses to boost production. But greenhouse plants are in a climate controlled condition.

    Other studies found that growing rice in high-CO2 conditions makes it less nutritious. As a basic grain, rice plays a critical role in feeding the world’s population. The extra CO2 caused an imbalance within the crop’s chemical makeup, which resulted in rice that had lower amounts of protein, iron, zinc, and B-vitamins. Studies I have read have shown many pros and cons.
     
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