DIY Portable Greenhouse Project
is a small, practical DIY project for creating a portable greenhouse that
can grow edible vegetables throughout most of the year, and that can be
disassembled, moved, and reassembled with ease. It will also be a test
demonstration of our "Green Equity Building System" since
it will utilize some standardized, modular building components made from
off-the-shelf building materials. Special thanks to Christa Malone for her
generous support of this project.
Greenhouse Design Goals:
use readily available, inexpensive building materials that can be
purchased at Lowe’s, Home Depot, any lumberyard, or acquired at any
town dump or demolition site. Some specialized parts can be used if
they are inexpensive and can be ordered over the internet very easily.
be based upon standard 4’x8’ panelized wall construction, and
should easily come apart
for transport & re-assembly.
be flexible enough to accommodate slight design changes that take
advantage of available raw materials, like discarded glass windows of
various sizes, polycarbonate sheets, different types of in-wall
temporarily anchor to the ground to resist high winds and other
sheathing must be impervious to moisture, high humidity and
material must allow rainwater collection without contaminating the
passive solar & active compost digester heating should be
incorporated into the design. Some sort of auxiliary heating might be
required on cold, cloudy days.
way to collect extra sunlight to stimulate & maintain plant growth
needs to be included.
wireless environmental monitoring & control system needs to be
created that can continuously report temperature & humidity, as
well as prevent freezing or overheating in the greenhouse.
required to construct the greenhouse must be very basic, inexpensive
and readily available. And nothing so intricate that Dad & Mom
couldn’t figure it out.
Our Starting Point:
Our Summer garden plot was harvested and then re-fertilized with donated,
aged, organic compost. We planted our Fall garden of leafy greens which
have been growing quite nicely and which we cover at night to protect from
the cold. We have dumpster-dived for some discarded sash-mounted windows,
and a friend has some old, salvaged, loose window panes available. Another
friend has some recycled 1" PVC water pipe, and we got a wireless
temp & humidity monitoring system at a thrift store (hope it
Utilizing the beginnings of my
idea for panelized wall sections based on standard 4'x8' sheets of
plywood, modular corner joinery units, and standardized bolt hole spacing
for flexible component joinery, I have begun designing the greenhouse
components. Perfecting this model before putting a saw to the wood is
important because I'll want this greenhouse to be portable &
expandable after it is completed. If it fully adheres to our standard
panelized model, then these goals will be entirely realized and extensible
to all sorts of custom homes, greenhouses, sheds, and specialized
outbuildings. (Imagine a simple building system where all wall sections
are fully interchangeable, so that a floor plan can be changed on the fly
by simply substituting a wall with windows for a solid wall, or a wall
with a door for a solid wall. Outside corner, inside connector, and
outside extender joinery units will make joining wall panels into a
structure extremely simple, and it will provide easily accessible
chaseways between floors for routing electrical, plumbing, telecom,
security, and HVAC subsystems.
Visit back here in the near
future to see the first design drawings.