| WHY SPECIALIZED SERVICES
RANGE OF PROJECTS
High Containment / Quarantine Greenhouses
Institutional Greenhouses (research & teaching)
Custom Growth Chambers, Envirotrons, Insect Rearing, Tissue culture
Other Facilities and Systems
Technical assessments of existing facilities
Functional and Technical Programs
Specialized Research Equipment
WHY SPECIALIZED SERVICES (top of the page)
• Numerous types of construction today warrant specialized consulting services. As an example, laboratory consultants are routinely hired for the planning of science buildings. Consultants are hired for highly specialized projects where real in-depth knowledge of the field is required. Research greenhouses are specialized facillities calling for systems and equipment that are rarely found in any other type of construction.
Specialized design services such as Agritechnove’s provides depth, longer term planning and attention to details. The results are a new flexible facility, bid competitively and built on budget with a minimum of change orders, buildings that easily adapt to the changing requirements of research, with mechanical systems that perform over time with minimal maintenance. Most importantly, a facility controlled and monitored with specified routines for additional adaptability.
• Accurate and precise definition of the facility’s technical requirements.
• Fully detailed design and planning incorporating versatility and flexibility.
• Detailed coordination between greenhouse facility and the main building or campus for all trades involved. Required capacities are carefully computed, based on actual plants/insects behavior and requirements, not on standard human comfort parameters.
• Level field of bidding among manufacturers and contractors.
• Custom designed equipment to suit special research requirements.
• Among the tools that help us provide quality services, Agritechnove has a complete industry catalog with over 1300 manufacturers related to greenhouse specialized equipment and systems in addition to a library where electronic and paper catalogues are kept up to date.
• All Agritechnove’s activities are fully computerized. Our office offers a dedicated “FTP” site accessible from this web site for the easy and efficient upload and download of large size electronic documents. Hard copies are delivered within 24 hours anywhere in North America. Electronic documents of any size are routinely exchanged in several different formats.
RANGE OF PROJECTS (top of the page)
High Containment / Quarantine Greenhouses (top of the page)
Controlled environment research facilities that prevent the transfer of undesirable biological agents to the environment. Infrastructures must comply with different regulatory agencies standards (USDA/APHIS, EPA, FDA, NIH) which categorize facilities experimental risks (Biosafety level). Agritechnove has projects with bio-containment levels from BL-1 to BL-3 Ag currently in operation.
Institutional Greenhouses (research & teaching) (top of the page)
A variety of facilities from “almost” commercial greenhouses to precise air-conditioned controlled environments, based on requirements and budget. The greenhouse can be designed on a commercially available structure or rather on special architectural requirements. The facility may include custom designed research tools such as mesocosm benches or rhyzotrons.
Molecular Farming (top of the page)
Larger greenhouse facilities for molecular farming. This type of greenhouse must combine flexibility and containment at an industrial level. Standards of construction are higher than normal production greenhouses and the need for control is larger.
Headhouse (top of the page)
Potting and work areas, dedicated laboratories, water fertilization/filtration room, computer control room, mechanical/electrical areas, loading docks and storage spaces, circulation spaces, access to greenhouses.
Conservatories Atriums (top of the page)
Glass structures or skylights of various shapes and sizes. Projects are typically designed for the conservation or exhibit of various plants, insects or animal species. The potentially energy-intense facility should take advantage of all available energy-saving devices or systems.
Custom Growth Chambers, Envirotrons, Insect Rearing, Tissue culture (top of the page)
Experimental equipment for plants, insects and animals providing accurate environmental controls for agricultural and life science research applications of a highly specialized nature. Custom designed large size growth chambers are more economical than manufactured ones while maintaining climate control very tightly.
Other Facilities and Systems (top of the page)
Agritechnove has experience in various plant and insect related buildings and systems. Among them, underground growth facilities (mines), mushroom production, forest nurseries, field irrigation systems, field operation for scientific research, etc.
BASIC SERVICES (top of the page)
Design Services (top of the page)
Agritechnove offers complete A/E services for the design or upgrade of a greenhouse facility. The firm works directly with the Client or is added to the A/E team of a larger project to take care of the planning and coordination of the greenhouse/headhouse. From technical and functional programming to complete bid documents, the services extend also to construction administration phase and, ultimately to the commissioning of the facility.
Architectural Services (top of the page)
Design of esthetical issues related to the greenhouse and its connection to adjacent buildings. Detailing of walls, roof and floor of the facility. Finishes, room layouts and selection/specification of the materials. Compliance to Code issues and ADA requirements.
Structural Engineering (top of the page)
Services include elements such as concrete works, steel or aluminum structures, design of glass or other glazing systems. Structural is always highly coordinated with mechanical systems and designed to cast the least possible shade within the environment. Documents are highly detailed to ensure the design intent is carried through construction.
Mechanical Engineering (top of the page)
Agritechnove makes a solid difference when it comes to greenhouse mechanical systems. Greenhouses are designed for plants or insects, not for humans. Proprietary software is used for cooling, heating and plumbing calculations. Loads are verified with source systems to ensure required capacities are delivered to the greenhouse. Air conditioning is planned based on sensible and cooling loads highly different from regular buildings, with special care for supply/return temperatures and distribution within the space. Mechanical systems are highly coordinated with structural elements and electrical systems of the greenhouse. The ultimate target is to provide facilities as closely controlled as possible given the construction budget.
Greenhouse specialties (top of the page)
Part of the mechanical systems but typically treated under division 13 of the specifications, these services include design of greenhouse specialties. These include systems such as a natural ventilation, shading/blackout, supplemental lighting, photo-period control, movable lighting canopies, growing benches, fertilizer injection and filtration systems, CO2 control, propagation systems and many others. All above systems are coordinated carefully with mechanical and electrical systems down to their exact location in the space.
Electrical/Control (top of the page)
Greenhouses have damp environments that corrode electrical material. Our electrical engineers are highly trained in industrial processes and tough environmental conditions. A great deal of care is brought to hide or appropriately locate all electrical equipment to avoid casting undue shade in the greenhouse. Most of the conduits are embedded in concrete floors and knee-walls, to pop out precisely coordinated with the mechanical system. Computer control is based on available specialized greenhouse systems with all necessary tie-ins to commercial campus-wide building automation and security/alarm systems. Systems can be upgraded and are very flexible faced with the changing requirements of research.
Construction administration (top of the page)
In our experience, the shop drawing process and the RFIs are critical in the case of a greenhouse project. A well planned facility can be turned upside down if there is little supervision during construction. During that phase, Client, Consultant and Contractors must keep communication open and quickly review day to day problems with the overall picture of the project in mind. Our project managers follow closely the process from our offices and do several visits to site at critical stages of construction. Detailed greenhouse TABS specifications, start-up process, list of deficiencies are all services routinely performed by Agritechnove on greenhouse projects.
Commissioning (top of the page)
After the greenhouse is tested and balanced, the overall operation of the new research tool has to be verified to ensure the design intents are reflected in the performance. Range of temperatures, humidity control and specialized systems are all integrated and tested as a whole. The control system is verified for accuracy and each point is tested in all control modes. Specified strategies of control are also verified along with all special software routines needed for particular functions of the facility. Agritechnove helps in writing detailed specifications, frequently communicating with the commissioning agent to solve minute problems witnessed along the tests, setting start-up parameters for the control systems, etc.
OTHER SERVICES (top of the page)
Technical assessments of existing facilities (top of the page)
Technical evaluation of existing greenhouses and budgetary estimates of the upgrading to meet established criteria. Assessments include capacities of all systems, including structural elements, glazing system, mechanical systems, electrical and control systems. They can be produced for restoration work, renovation of mechanical systems, damage assessment following fire or storm, general modernization, etc.
Functional and Technical Programs (top of the page)
In-depth review of the requirements with users help establish the detailed functions of the new greenhouse. The number of zones, the characteristics of each zone are determined. The mechanical features are planned and the preliminary layout of the facility. Probable costs of construction are also presented.
Cost estimates (top of the page)
Over time, Agritechnove gathered a greenhouse database for which even specialized costs consultants have no equivalent. Evaluation of probable cost of construction is an important element in any project. Typically, early costs are presented on a square foot basis. With progress of design, the greenhouse evaluation becomes very detailed, based on standard specification format (div. 01 to 17). All specialized greenhouse systems are included in the costs analysis.
Specialized Research Equipment (top of the page)
Clients may have research programs that call for some special pieces of equipment not commercially available. Agritechnove custom designed several such systems and, in some cases, contracted out the fabrication. Here are examples of such unique designs: large growth rooms for fungus research, mesocosm benches for wetland research, rhyzotrons for root studies, hyproponic solution testing apparatus (20 plots with 5 different solutions), and A/C laminar flow benches with HEPA filtration and control of gaseous content of air.
Shade Studies (top of the page)
Shade cast by trees, buildings or structures is projected over the planned greenhouse. The exercise helps better plan the facility, particularly for greenhouses to be built on congested sites.
Operating Costs (top of the page)
Reports presents detailed breakdowns of systems’ operating costs like cooling, heating, lighting. The costs can be used for planning purposes or to make decisions on the installation of energy saving devices or glazing systems.