- Warehouse sizing exercise (0:20)
- Greenhouse sizing exercise (4:17)
- Designing & sizing aisle spaces (7:50)
Sizing Your System
Sizing your system is one of the most critical steps on your path to implementation. Whether you are in a backyard greenhouse, a large industrial warehouse, or on a commercial greenhouse property, your system needs to fit your market demand, your financing, and many other considerations. In general, we use a simple baseline calculation to help us estimate how many ZipGrow towers will fit in your system.
In warehouses, we’re looking at 1.5 to 2.0 square feet per tower including access aisles. You’ll want to leave room for IBCs, seedling space, etc., and account for separation if you need it (like if you’re running two different zones). However, every time you break up your space, it will leave you with less usable space and can impact the efficiency of your layout (which is not always a bad thing).
Let’s say you have a greenhouse that is 2000 square feet. You’re conserving 30% of that for access (30% is 600 square feet.) In the remaining 1400 feet, you can fit 560 towers at 2.5 square feet per tower.
Sometimes you can cheat by edging the front row of young, small plants right up against the aisle if you’re doing conveyor cropping.
Aisles need to be 3-5 feet wide. Utility aisles need to be at least 4 feet wide for moving carts and equipment around. The size of your equipment will effect your layout.
The other thing to think about is having enough space for easy access to utilities, spigots, hoses and other things that people need to be able to get to. This will be directly tied to labor cost and time. Allow your people to do what they do best as fast as possible.
If you need help with layouts, get hold of us, and make sure to check out our SketchUp Basics course.
Other questions to ask:
- Hoses and other utilities – is there good access throughout the facility?
- Can I reduce the amount of walking that my laborers have to do?