Cannabis greenhouses require constant and precise climate control as the amount of heat that the different technological components (like lighting) generate can become a serious problem in the blink of an eye. That is why it is important to rely on greenhouse companies that take into consideration all the smallest details. In an indoor grow lighting is a major heating issue. In a greenhouse, lighting is not the heat issue. The heat comes from the sun, but so does a huge amount of lighting, usually around 2200 ppfd during peak sunlight.
This is one of the most crucial aspects when setting up a greenhouse, according to Alex Park, Vera Cultivation CEO. “Vera Cultivation is a wholesale cannabis cultivation company located in Boulder, Colorado. We sell dried flowers, fresh frozen flowers and a number of ancillary products such as trim and kief. Kief is the resin that gets fluffed off the cannabis flower”, Alex explains.
In his impressive greenhouse, Alex controls the climate with extreme precision. “The most important thing is to maintain a very precise climate control throughout the year. The structure itself of the growing facility is highly insulated. This provides us with a good platform to incorporate a number of different climate control components that help regulate temperature, humidity and CO2 within our growing space.”
Every aspect under control
Of course, controlling all of those aspects is not an easy endeavor. “It is quite challenging to control all of them. That is why it is crucial to have a highly insulated structure and very substantial climate control components that can adapt to multiple conditions. In Colorado, for instance, the weather is quite changeable”, Alex points out.
In order to achieve the goal that Alex set for the company, he received the support of Ceres Greenhouse Solutions, a greenhouse design and manufacturing company that has worked with Vera Cultivation since the beginning. “Ceres provided us with the core and shell of the structure. They provided consulting efforts throughout the growing process,” he says. “Our biggest challenge was to design a substantial enough system that could handle how intense the sun is in Colorado and therefore the amount of solar gain, which roughly translates into the amount of heat the facility receives during the summer period.”
However, Alex could rely on Ceres with regards to advice and consultancy on different matters. “Ceres during the process provided prospects and opinions on the models that we now created. They provided us with good advice on different technologies. But mostly, they continue to work collaboratively with us, helping us to improve our model.”
For example, Alex explains: “They come back and ensure that our blackout system is working correctly – that is the system regulating our photo period. They are interested in data analysis. Oftentimes, we sit down and review some of the yield quality parameters that are created in this facility. Over time, they have helped us optimize the production capacity of our facility.”
Josh Holleb, Ceres’ lead designer on the project, says “It has been our goal to not only design the most efficient and controllable greenhouse that we could, but also to work with Vera Cultivation over time to ensure the greenhouse is working at maximum efficiency and producing the highly quality product possible.”
High output with limited input
Vera Cultivation grows cannabis hydroponically, as this allows the company to minimize their impact on the environment. As Alex states: “The premise for our system is very high output with very limited input.”
He continues: “We recapture and reuse almost 90% of our irrigation water. We use very little electricity for our artificial supplemental lights, as we have very intense sun in Colorado and sunny days quite often.” This is the reason why Alex takes climate control extremely seriously. “A hydroponics system requires constant chilling to achieve the optimal root system. There is quite a bit of interplay between our climate control components and how to effectively operate the hydroponic system,” he concludes.