What’s Old Is New Again

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What's Old Is New Again

When it comes to structures, growers in the United States often look overseas for trends and technologies that will hit the U.S. shores in the future. There’s a new design concept brewing in Holland for the breeder Anthura B.V.

Anthura set out to build a new greenhouse that would centralize young plant production for the Anthura Plant, Anthura Microplants and Anthura Production departments. The design of the Palm house of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew in London was the source of the new design, which incorporates curved sidewalls and a second story. The greenhouse is being built by JM van der Hoeven B.V. under the guidance of architect Aad Bom. The construction is due to be completed by the end of 2008.

Kew Botanic Gardens 

The design of Anthura’s new facility is based on the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, which was built in 1848. Most greenhouses of the time were built near royal palaces, and many included orangeries, palm houses, in addition to botanic plant collections. The greenhouses of that period exhibited ancient examples of structural steelwork, which give the greenhouses of that era that still stand monument status.

New Design

While the look is antique, the new structure at Anthura incorporates modern technology. The greenhouse will feature 1.5 million square feet of growing area. The structure features an automated container system and sophisticated climate controls to lower energy consumption.

The greenhouse isn’t just a pretty face. “The new Anthura Greenhouse will result in a good climate, for both plants and employees,” the company shared in a press release. “It will be a benefit to the surroundings, will be climate friendly and will produce an even better quality of products.”

Three modern techniques are being used inside the greenhouse to save energy and for healthier plants. A diaphragm screen from Leen Huisman regulates sunlight in the greenhouse and blocks light during the night. The screen was awarded the Innovation Award in the technique division during Horti Fair 2006.

The greenhouse also employs a “greenhouse-in-a-greenhouse” technique, in which IR absorbent plastic sheeting is laid under plants to provide additional warmth to plants or around irrigation pipes.

Another technology used at Anthura will be a counterflow air current system. A current of air moves from the side of the greenhouse, through ventilation windows in the roof and outside. The structure will also feature phytosanitary measures, including a corridor around the complex that will include maintenance and controls equipment, so production isn’t disturbed.

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