To efficiently design a space-saving mobile vertical grow system it is very important to understand the grow stage and how the customer intends to grow. Here at Pipp Horticulture, we have years of experience in creating space-saving facilities across the globe. Here we’ll discuss some items to consider when designing a grow system.
1. Critical Wall Dimensions
2. Ceiling Height / Light Height
4. Egress Paths
5. Electrical Panels
7. Any other known obstructions in the grow area
8. Floor variations (type of flooring)
9. Type of grow room (Flower, Vegetation, Mother, Dry, Clone, etc..)
10. Grow Racking Height
11. Desired number of grow tiers and tray type (ABS, Combination, Wire Grid)
12. Notate any staging, receiving areas, workstations, managers desk, etc…
13. Provide a importable PDF (non scanned or marked up), CAD (.dwg) file , or a detailed sketch.
Flow of the Room
When in the early design concept phase of designing your grow system consider the flow of the room. You must understand all of the fixtures in the room. (Ex. electrical panels, overhead emergency lights, HVAC, pipes, drains, columns, sprinklers, and even doors.) While not always needed, keeping an open design on final door and wall location is very beneficial in maximizing canopy in a new construction application. If the room is part of a facility renovation or existing building, door relocation is not always needed, but adjusting door location can be extremely beneficial to increasing both canopy and also ergonomics for workers
Design of Grow Room
After working on the flow of your room, now it’s time to think about design. Stationary grow rack units are used sparingly in horticulture for ergonomic reasons. Stationary grow rack units can be 4’ deep if access is available on both sides, otherwise 2’ deep racks are utilize for ergonomic reasons and ease of plant management. Next, when looking at the number of carriages consider these factors:
- The size of the room
- The length and height of the carriages
- Seismic Regulations
- Canopy Considerations
- Generally, we want to utilize a 4ft moveable aisle per 5 carriages under 16ft high; (4 carriages 16ft high and taller)
- Customer Request
The back of the mobile system needs to be at least 6″ – 12″ off the parallel wall. This needs to be at least 6″ for drains located on the back wall, and 12″ – 18″ for air movement equipment mounted to the back of the mobile carriage. Grow Rack blocks used for horticulture layouts were created with finished size included. Track end stops also have blocks drawn to exact size for accurate mobile aisle and track length configuration. When using Rivet Grow Racks for horticulture applications, proper carriage sizing has to be shown by adding spacing between the carriages. See the diagram below for a bit of help.
Now it’s time to get creative! To begin your layout, label the drawings with as much information as possible, including the location for seismic purposes. Next, label each room as their own separate entity (flower room, vegetation, mother, curing, drying etc.) Next, complete the canopy chart. Canopy is defined as the area plants are grown, typically this is an 8′ x 4′ area (32 sq. ft. if canopy), multiplied by the number of grow levels. Complete your project information and then you have a designed a mobile vertical grow rack system layout that is efficient and easy to maintain!