Greenhouse Special Features and Automation Options

by | Apr 4, 2018 | Planning

Greenhouses and pool enclosures are unique among our custom glass construction projects because we always emphasize their role as workspaces. In the case of greenhouses, our goal is to create a productive environment in which greenery can flourish while still introducing an elegant, beautiful addition to the client’s home. For example, a greenhouse enclosure will usually feature flooring materials selected for their rugged durability and long term performance. We discuss this in greater depth in our flooring options for glass enclosures article – check it out!

Other considerations include the solar and thermal performance characteristics of the glass and framing materials used in construction. While we’re still able to adorn your greenhouse with the gorgeous decorative elements Sunspace Design is known for, your greenhouse will nonetheless provide you with an high-performing environment that will satisfy all of your horticultural demands for years to come.


An engineered architectural blueprint of a custom Sunspace Design greenhouse with advanced automation features like remote controlled ridge vents

An architectural blueprint of a Sunspace Design greenhouse.
Each project undergoes a careful planning process where your input and requests are addressed.


In addition to these considerations, we can outfit your greenhouse with a number of specialty features which make work even easier. Some of these features are simple and need no further explanation, including but not limited to: horticultural circulating fans, plant shelving, custom grow light attachments, and custom greenhouse benches. In this article we’ll be discussing some of the other, lesser-known greenhouse enhancements and automation methods we offer clients. Each of these options is time-tested, Sunspace approved, and available for installation in each project we undertake.


Specialty Ridge Vents for Greenhouses

Good ventilation is crucial for maintaining the long term performance of your greenhouse. Greenhouse air is often hot and humid in order to support plant growth, so controlling the quality of that air becomes extra important if you want to maintain your greenhouse over time. Ridge vents are usually installed on sloped roofs and allow warm, damp air to exit the greenhouse’s interior as needed.

Ridge vents with thermostatic control represent an additional enhancement by effectively converting a standard ridge vent system into a key component of your temperature and atmospheric control system. Your greenhouse will seek an optimal temperature via automated opening and closing of the ridge vent. These systems can even be solar powered to improve your operating efficiency.


A view of an automatic, thermostatically controlled ridge vent from a Boston, Massachusetts greenhouse

A view of a thermostatically controlled, automatic ridge vent installed in a Boston, MA greenhouse.
Check out our build journal entry for this project if you’re interested in learning more!

Remote Controlled Greenhouse Shades

Remotely controlled or automatic shade systems are excellent additions to any greenhouse workspace. They offer utility in two key ways. First, the shades control the levels of solar transmittance during the day, thereby allowing you to more carefully dictate the amount of sun your plants receive while helping regulate the temperature in your interior space. Second, the shades can be deployed at night to serve as an additional layer of heat retaining insulation.


Greenhouse Watering, Misting, and Fogging Systems

The key difference between a watering, misting, and fogging system is the method of water dispersal. Automatic watering systems will provide a standard flow, while a misting system will mist the air around the plant to saturate it. A fogging system is a step beyond a misting system in which the water droplets being dispersed are even smaller. Each of these systems can be automated to decrease the amount of hands-on work required to keep your plants healthy and thriving.


Greenhouse Heating and Cooling (HVAC) Systems

HVAC systems are crucial to the thermal regulation of any glass space. We cover this in greater detail in our article about thermally regulating glass enclosures. We often use a Mitsubishi Ductless-Split system in our glass spaces. A system like this one offers the client total control over the thermal characteristics of the workspace. No changes need to be made to the thermostat in your home; the greenhouse will be heated per your specifications, and you won’t waste a dollar on heating costs when the greenhouse isn’t in use.


Advanced Temperature Control Systems

Sunspace-approved temperature control systems like the MiniSTEP Control allow horticulturalists to carefully automate their greenhouse environment. Working in tandem with the other systems mentioned in this article, temperature control systems can monitor both indoor and outdoor conditions, triggering heating and cooling elements as needed to achieve the desired performance. It’s even possible to use automatic alarms which contact you via phone when something goes wrong, thereby ensuring that your plants are never in danger!


Unique Greenhouses for Unique Clients

These greenhouse automation systems and features represent just a few of the possibilities we can offer you. As always, each of our glass enclosures is a custom project uniquely tailored to meet your specifications and aesthetic needs. We’ll involve you throughout the project planning process so that you’re sure of what to expect from your new glass space. The end result will be thriving vegetation and flora, a reduction in your energy expenditures, and an overall increase in your yields. For more information don’t hesitate to contact us by calling 1-800-350-2505, writing us at our company email address (, or by submitting a contact request via our convenient online form.

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