Greenhouses installation in the age of the COVID-19 outbreak
|Careful thought and planning can ultimately save time in setting up a farm |
|Nimrod Regev, water and irrigation systems engineering, Nameregev@gamil.com|
Before I discuss about coronavirus effect on designing, and about greenhouses, the “agriculture of the future”, I would like to say a few words about the future of agriculture, since this subject is much too broad to cover in a few words, I’d like to begin with a brief introduction.
Growing in greenhouse enable a high level of control over cultivation conditions, and facilitate to imitate most growing environments that we aim for, full climate control (temperature, humidity, radiation, etc.), nutrition options, close monitoring abilities, crop protection, day and night hours, etc. All these provide us not only with capacity for producing quality agricultural products anywhere at any time, but also possibilities for applying research and development under controlled conditions. These advantages inspire me with hope as I combine the two words ‘future’ and ‘agriculture’.
One could write books about greenhouse technological developments, from hydroponic and aeroponic crops, plant protection, lighting, autonomic growing systems, to the effect of sound waves on plants. Even so, I would like to note several points that interest me regarding basic technological developments currently being applied in commercial production greenhouse farms:
Until recently, I used to divide planning into several main factors, that must be defined prior to planning – agronomic, operational, regulatory-GAP and economic considerations. I have recently discovered that the economic considerations depend on more than our target market. There’s a player whose role is becoming more important -- the capital market. Agricultural greenhouse farms, even small ones, arouse considerable interest among investors. The stock exchange element has become more significant factor in the farm-planing process.
Lior Kelner from Agroplan is one of those architects that does precise, excellent architectural and engineering work. A well-organized plan file that includes conceptual planning of buildings, electricity, irrigation systems, water, fire extinguishers, sewerage, drainage and more, will save time and money during the detailed designing, during the building phase, and will makes things easier during ongoing operations as well.
Designing climate control, fertigation and irrigation systems – here, as well, I think there is a clear advantage in taking an independent designer, even though I’ve seen very nice work both in planning and in execute a project by various irrigation companies. But what’s the connection between planning and COVID-19 outbreak? Coronavirus has posed a complex challenge for planners and project coordinators – to put a project together abroad without the designer or any expert systems’ installer onsite sounds impossible. It means that construction management is left in local hands, whether skilled workers, or as in most cases, cheap but not really skilled labor. Here, we discovered the significant advantage of using 3D-modeling, a tool which enables us to set up a project precisely as we planned. Following are three planning offices that doing a great and impressive work:
Over the past two years, Irri-altal, has installed very complex systems at two different greenhouse farms, and in my opinion took the water systems design industry one full step ahead.
And of course, it’s hard not to notice the fine work of KIM, aside from their perfect looking modeling, their professionality is expressed at every project stage, from initial planning to on-site assembly.