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Low Energy - Year Round 16ft x 16ft Aquaponics/Wicking bed Greenhouse I designed.  RSS feed

 
Marty Mitchell
Posts: 322
Location: Mobile, AL
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I designed this using free Sketchup. Just though I would share.

The boards and such as proper measurements. So you can go in and estimate how much the system would be to build if you took the time.

Most climates would never even require heat to grow all winter with something like this. The thermal battery/mass within the greenhouse combined with a though out design/orientation would enable this.

https://3dwarehouse.sketchup.com/model.html?id=e15a6c02-bde7-4e2f-ae4e-8d3b8cf36ab5
 
Gail Moore
Posts: 209
Location: south central Appalachia, southwest Virginia, US zone 6/7
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Nice, Marty. good attention to detail.

are you planning to build this year?
 
Marty Mitchell
Posts: 322
Location: Mobile, AL
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Though I absolutely do want to. I am about to move next spring. To where I do not even know yet (military).

I am going to totally build one of these though. Possibly with another 16ft addition either to the East or West walls... with tropical fruits and such that don't require chill hours... more water storage on the North Wall... and some more wicking beds across the whole thing. The fruit trees being in the ground will act as heat sinks/pumps as well once they get established. My deep soil temps here in Virginia are pretty warm.


Marty
 
Tristan Alexander
Posts: 11
Location: Panama City, Florida, USA
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Marty Mitchell wrote:I designed this using free Sketchup. Just though I would share.

The boards and such as proper measurements. So you can go in and estimate how much the system would be to build if you took the time.

Most climates would never even require heat to grow all winter with something like this. The thermal battery/mass within the greenhouse combined with a though out design/orientation would enable this.

https://3dwarehouse.sketchup.com/model.html?id=e15a6c02-bde7-4e2f-ae4e-8d3b8cf36ab5
 
Katy Rose
Posts: 29
Location: Ypsilanti, MI (zone 6a)
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Thank you for sharing this! Can't wait to look at it in more detail when I'm on a computer that can handle it.   We have a south-facing porch that we're thinking of converting into a greenhouse, and something like this would be amazing to do.
 
Marty Mitchell
Posts: 322
Location: Mobile, AL
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Katy Rose wrote:Thank you for sharing this! Can't wait to look at it in more detail when I'm on a computer that can handle it.   We have a south-facing porch that we're thinking of converting into a greenhouse, and something like this would be amazing to do.


Your welcome Katy! I hope you like it.

On a side note... if your porch is made of wood and is not a solid slab of concrete or well set pavers I would NOT put in the water storage or aquaponics system of the same design as in my drawing.

Each of those 6 330gal IBC water tanks would weigh approx. (8.35lbs/gal x 1980gal = 16,533lbs!!!) Plus the weight of the gravel in the flood/drain beds the IBC totes and such them selves... and not counting whatever the amount of water weight ends up in the rather larger sump tank I drew out.

A system of wicking beds would possibly do the trick for a wooden porch. I would keep the soil about 12" deep and the reservoir of water could be pretty shallow too if auto filled. Keeping the weight down. Of my two sets of wicking beds I have built so far I used sand in one base and peat moss in the other. The sand kept the PH neutral and the peat moss brought it down towards blueberry territory. I would build a few beds first and see if they would work(what the final weight is) for your porch before investing fully in the greenhouse.

Of course just having an awesome sun room would not hurt either on those cold winter days. Or if you wanted to get a jump on Spring every year.

I never did draw in the middle roof support(single 2" x 4" vertical on the middle running board) or the vents on the ends... or the cross roof supports. That will all depend on what type of greenhouse material you would want to use though... and what snow/wind loads you see in your area.

Here is a link for some ideas on wicking beds...
http://wickingbed.com/


Marty
 
Katy Rose
Posts: 29
Location: Ypsilanti, MI (zone 6a)
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Thanks again for the additional info, Marty! The porch is indeed wood right now. However, our (tentative) plan would be to actually remove the wood, hopefully carefully enough that we could re-use it for a porch in a different location.   Then we'd put down some kind of combination of rock and gravel to increase the thermal mass and build the floor level back up close to where the door into the house is. We could certainly consider pouring a small slab of concrete where the tanks would be located, which I think would be on the north side (against the house) to absorb heat from the house. We'd love to use the system to continue producing food through the winter... a tricky proposition here in Michigan! But such fun to think about.
 
Marty Mitchell
Posts: 322
Location: Mobile, AL
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Katy Rose wrote:Thanks again for the additional info, Marty! The porch is indeed wood right now. However, our (tentative) plan would be to actually remove the wood, hopefully carefully enough that we could re-use it for a porch in a different location.   Then we'd put down some kind of combination of rock and gravel to increase the thermal mass and build the floor level back up close to where the door into the house is. We could certainly consider pouring a small slab of concrete where the tanks would be located, which I think would be on the north side (against the house) to absorb heat from the house. We'd love to use the system to continue producing food through the winter... a tricky proposition here in Michigan! But such fun to think about.



Lots and lots of cold days up there for sure during the Winter! A good foundation would be your friend. Don't want a couple of cars worth of weight falling on anyone.

My single 330gal IBC I use to fill the aquaponics system in my 6' x 8' greenhouse is frozen solid right now.... so I wish it were in the greenhouse. lol I hope it thaws within the next 5 days or so or I will have to find a different source.

Other than a wood porch the only thing I can think of that would be a problem would be building codes. I tend to make things as a "temporary structure" so I can move them if I ever get asked. I hear it gets windy up there. You may want some good strong anchors at the corners if you don't want to concrete anything in.

You should do pics of your build and start a thread! I would love to read it.


Marty
 
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