US20060248807A1 - Greenhouse - Google Patents

Greenhouse Download PDF

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Publication number
US20060248807A1
US20060248807A1 US11/153,279 US15327905A US2006248807A1 US 20060248807 A1 US20060248807 A1 US 20060248807A1 US 15327905 A US15327905 A US 15327905A US 2006248807 A1 US2006248807 A1 US 2006248807A1
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Prior art keywords
glazing
greenhouse
roof
piece
connectable
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US11/153,279
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Edwin Penna
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Rough Brothers Inc
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Rough Brothers Inc
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Priority to US67158405P priority Critical
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Priority to US11/153,279 priority patent/US20060248807A1/en
Assigned to ROUGH BROTHERS, INC. reassignment ROUGH BROTHERS, INC. ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: PENNA, EDWIN IV.
Publication of US20060248807A1 publication Critical patent/US20060248807A1/en
Abandoned legal-status Critical Current

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    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A01AGRICULTURE; FORESTRY; ANIMAL HUSBANDRY; HUNTING; TRAPPING; FISHING
    • A01GHORTICULTURE; CULTIVATION OF VEGETABLES, FLOWERS, RICE, FRUIT, VINES, HOPS OR SEAWEED; FORESTRY; WATERING
    • A01G9/00Cultivation in receptacles, forcing-frames or greenhouses; Edging for beds, lawn or the like
    • A01G9/24Devices or systems for heating, ventilating, regulating temperature, illuminating, or watering, in greenhouses, forcing-frames, or the like
    • A01G9/241Arrangement of opening or closing systems for windows and ventilation panels
    • YGENERAL TAGGING OF NEW TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS; GENERAL TAGGING OF CROSS-SECTIONAL TECHNOLOGIES SPANNING OVER SEVERAL SECTIONS OF THE IPC; TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC CROSS-REFERENCE ART COLLECTIONS [XRACs] AND DIGESTS
    • Y02TECHNOLOGIES OR APPLICATIONS FOR MITIGATION OR ADAPTATION AGAINST CLIMATE CHANGE
    • Y02ATECHNOLOGIES FOR ADAPTATION TO CLIMATE CHANGE
    • Y02A40/00Adaptation technologies in agriculture, forestry, livestock or agroalimentary production
    • Y02A40/10Adaptation technologies in agriculture, forestry, livestock or agroalimentary production in agriculture
    • Y02A40/25Greenhouse technology, e.g. cooling systems therefor

Abstract

A closure assembly for a greenhouse has a first piece connectable to the roof, and a second piece connectable to the wall. The first piece is connectable to the second piece to form a pivotable joint therebetween for forming a joint between the roof and the wall. A shading system extends between purlins mounted over roof rafters, and vent screens and vent operators are mounted below glazing bars extending over the purlins.

Description

  • This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Application Serial No. 60/671,584, filed Apr. 15, 2005, the entirety of which is incorporated by reference herein.
  • FIELD OF THE INVENTION
  • The present invention relates generally to greenhouses and, more particularly, to an improved greenhouse.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • A greenhouse is a structure that traps solar radiation and is used to propagate, cultivate and/or exhibit plants. A greenhouse has a glazing system that is an assembly of one or more lites that provide a weather barrier. A lite is an area or panel of a glazing system that allows sunlight to pass therethrough, and a lite is often glass but may be made of other materials. A greenhouse often provides for the regulation of light, temperature and/or humidity.
  • Greenhouse construction has changed little since metal framed greenhouses first appeared around 1855, and a relatively standard greenhouse design and construction was well established by 1900. For example, glazing bar centers were separated by 24.75 inches, and roofs were designed with a 6/12 pitch for ease of construction and engineering. Lites were formed from a glass glazing material that was almost exclusively 0.125 inch B grade glass pane measuring 24×26 inches. The glass panes were supported at their lateral edges by glazing bars and were shingled from eave to ridge of the roof with unsealed joints overlapping by about 0.375 inch at their upper and lower edges. The glazing panes were sealed to the glazing bars with a glazing compound, for example, a putty or other sealant. At that time, the development of greenhouse designs was generally limited by glass manufacturing technology.
  • More recent greenhouses are made with steel or aluminum frames and aluminum glazing bars; and better sealants, such as, butyl “rope putty”, are used. Other glazing materials, for example, plastic non-glass glazing materials, have been developed and used in greenhouses, and such glazing materials often allow a larger rafter spacing. Non-glass panels have been used with varying degrees of success. The thermal expansion properties of plastic nonglass glazing materials demanded that another sealing method be developed. Elastomeric glazing gaskets are currently used in place of glazing compounds to cushion and seal the non-glass glazing panels to the glazing bars, but such elastomeric glazing gaskets are not generally used in glass glazing systems.
  • Many non-glass glazing materials experience a degradation caused by exposure to ultraviolet light in sunlight. This degradation changes the quality of light transmitted through the glazing. In greenhouse applications requiring a consistent, controllable and/or predictable exposure to sunlight, for example, in research greenhouses, glass glazing is still preferred. Thus, other than the improvements in materials, the design of greenhouses, including the dimensional and structural details, remains relatively unchanged.
  • The requirements for research greenhouses differ from those used for commercial plant production and present more demanding and stringent requirements with respect to being able to create, and accurately recreate, a wide variety of growing conditions, as well as provide sunlight uniformly throughout the plant growth area. For example, although the design and construction of research greenhouses haven't changed much in the last century, there has been a substantial increase in the variety of systems available for use in the greenhouse. Supplemental lighting, requirements for photoperiod manipulation, fertilizer injection systems, evaporative cooling systems, high pressure fog systems, automatic shade systems, circulation fans, microprocessor based environmental controls, and more have all been made available to a research greenhouse user. This equipment in addition to more typical mechanical, electrical and plumbing requirements are often mounted in convenient locations inside the greenhouse This large amount of support equipment not only may use valuable space inside of the plant growth area but also, may cast shadows that interfere with the availability of sunlight. However, in a research greenhouse, the ability to conduct repeatable experiments and obtain high quality data requires that changes in exposure to sunlight caused by greenhouse components be minimized if not eliminated.
  • Meeting the more demanding and stringent requirements for research greenhouses is also more difficult given various known construction practices. For example, first, a majority of research greenhouses are framed with trusses separated by about 10 feet. The trusses sit on posts and are connected together by horizontally extending girts. A glazing system is then attached to the girts to enclose the building. The trusses present a substantial structure that is below the glazing system and casts shadows over different areas of the plant growth area.
  • Second, research greenhouses are often constructed in the midst of a heavily congested university campus and may be built on existing building roofs or as a wing of an existing or a new building. These conditions often dictate a roof slope other than the industry standard 6/12 pitch. Trim joints between the side walls and the roof are often made from a custom-designed aluminum extrusion. Further, a different custom-designed aluminum extrusion is required for each different roof pitch. In addition, another custom-designed aluminum extrusion is needed for the joints between the roof and gabled end walls. Therefore, designs employing nonstandard roof pitches add substantial costs to the construction.
  • Third, automated shade and/or heat retention systems have become almost universal in research greenhouses. Shades cut down solar gain in the daytime, which greatly improves an ability to maintain a temperature range; and shades may also be used to retain heat in cold weather. One current practice is to hang the shades in a sloped-flat-sloped configuration between the trusses, and the shades are pulled horizontally from truss to truss to close. The presence of the shades below the trusses reduces the number of places where additional components and equipment can be mounted. Further, in most installations, such a shade mounting may result in gaps along the shade edges and between the shades. Such gaps are often closed using separate closing shades. In addition, gaps may occur in odd size bays, where a partition is located at an end of the greenhouse and/or at an area where the shade cannot be fully retracted.
  • Fourth, with many research greenhouses, screens are located above the rafters in vent openings on the roof. In this location, it is necessary for vent operator arms to pass through respective screens, thereby compromising their function as an insect barrier. Also, replacing a screen requires dismantling the vent operator, which is labor intensive and expensive.
  • Fifth, known inside gutter systems are used to direct condensate and water infiltration to interior collectors and drain lines. The drain lines extend downward from the gutter system to direct the water to interior floor drains or drain lines that extend through a greenhouse wall near floor level. The interior collectors and drain lines provide further structure in the plant growth area that adds cost and can interfere with other components as well as user access.
  • Sixth, known roof vent operators are located below rafters and move respective long, curved rack arms back and forth to open and close respective vents. When the vents are closed the long rack arms extend well into the greenhouse interior and may interfere with other greenhouse components as well as cast unwanted shadows inside the greenhouse plant growth area.
  • Advancements in equipment design and microprocessor based environmental controls have added many opportunities for shadows from the equipment and the supply and control plumbing and conduit. In addition, current plant growth research often involves transgenic and genetically modified organisms (GMO's) and thus, requires higher levels of containment than are available using current greenhouse standards.
  • Therefore, there is a need for a greenhouse that addresses the above problems.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • The present invention provides a greenhouse that meets the more demanding and stringent requirements for a research greenhouse, has a clean uncluttered interior architecture and permits the use of steel, polymer and aluminum structural shapes as applications dictate without changing the basic greenhouse design. The greenhouse of the present invention has an exterior trim closure that permits common parts to be used along side walls for roofs of different pitches as well as along gabled end walls. Thus, the exterior trim closure eliminates the costs of designing and handling different extrusions for different roof pitches. Further, the exterior trim closure reduces labor and time required to assemble closures around the roof and therefore, is less expensive to construct.
  • In accordance with the principles of the present invention and the described embodiments, the invention in one embodiment provides a greenhouse with a roof and a wall. A closure assembly has a first piece connectable to the roof, and the first piece has a first joint component. The closure has a second piece connectable to the wall, and the second piece has a second joint component. The second joint component is connectable to the first joint component to form a pivotable joint therebetween, and the pivotable joint forms a joint between the roof and the wall. The pivotable joint allows a common closure assembly to be used to connect walls to roofs of any pitch as well as mutually perpendicular walls to each other.
  • In another embodiment of the invention, the greenhouse has two rafters with at least two purlins extending over, and connected to, the rafters. A roof glazing system has at least one roof lite and extends over, and is connected to, the at least two purlins. A flexible material, for example, a shading or heat retention material, is located above the rafters and between the at least two purlins and is movable to block and unblock light from the at least one roof lite of the roof glazing system. With the flexible material located above the rafters, a more uniform shaded area is provided; and more locations are available on the rafters for mounting accessories and other equipment.
  • In a further embodiment of the invention, the roof glazing system of the greenhouse has two glazing bars and a vent movable with respect to the two glazing bars to open and close a vent opening. A vent operator having an extendable drive is operably connected to the vent and mounted above the rafters. The vent operator is operable to open and close the vent while maintaining an entirety of the extendable drive above the rafters. In one aspect of this invention, the vent operator is a scissors extension arm. Therefore, the vent operator does not intrude into the greenhouse interior.
  • In a still further embodiment of the invention, a screen is mounted below the glazing bars and the vent operator; and thus, the screen does not require any opening to accommodate the vent operator.
  • In yet another embodiment of the invention, an interior gutter extends along an upper portion of the a wall glazing system below the roof glazing system. The interior gutter system has a weep hole for directing water and condensate from the interior gutter system to an exterior of the greenhouse. Thus, the interior gutter system eliminates interior collectors and drains carrying water below the interior gutter system.
  • Various additional advantages, objects and features of the invention will become more readily apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art upon consideration of the following detailed description of embodiments taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • The accompanying drawings, which are incorporated herein and constitute a part of this specification, illustrate embodiments of the invention and, together with a general description of the invention given above, and the detailed description of the embodiments given below, serve to explain the principles of the invention.
  • FIG. 1 is a cut-away perspective view of a greenhouse in accordance with the principles of the present invention.
  • FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional view illustrating an intersection between a roof glazing system and a side wall glazing system.
  • FIG. 3 is an enlargement of a portion of the cross-sectional view of FIG. 2 further illustrating a closure trim piece.
  • FIG. 4 is an enlargement of a portion of the cross-sectional view of FIG. 3 further illustrating a snap connector of a closure trim piece.
  • FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional view illustrating an intersection between a roof glazing system and a gable portion of an end wall glazing system.
  • FIG. 6 is a cross-sectional view illustrating an intersection between an end wall glazing system and an side wall glazing system.
  • FIG. 7 is an enlarged view of a portion of FIG. 1 illustrating a shade in an area under a single roof lite.
  • FIG. 8 is a cross-sectional view of a roof glazing system illustrating a vent, vent operator and vent opening screen.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
  • Referring to FIG. 1, an exemplary greenhouse 20 is constructed from a frame structure 21 supporting glazing systems 24, 25 and 28. A lower frame 22 supports an end wall glazing system 24 forming a first end wall and a side wall glazing system 25 forming a first side wall. An upper frame 26 supports a roof glazing system 28. The end wall and side wall glazing systems 24, 25 can also be used to formed an opposed second end wall and an opposed second side wall, which are not shown in FIG. 1. The lower frame 22 is comprised of a plurality of substantially vertical posts 30 that are generally equally spaced, for example, every four feet, around a perimeter of the greenhouse 20. The vertical posts 30 are secured at their lower ends to a concrete footer in a known manner as shown in FIG. 2. As shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, the upper frame 26 has rafters 32 that are connected at outer or lower ends 34 to upper ends of the vertical posts 30. Inner or upper ends of opposing rafters 32 are connected to each other along a roof ridge 36 as shown in FIG. 8. A plurality of purlins 38 (FIGS. 1 and 2) are attached to upper surfaces of the rafters 32 and extend in a direction substantially perpendicular to the rafters 32. The purlins 38 are used to support the roof glazing system 28. The roof glazing system 28 typically includes vertical glazing bars 40 attached to the purlins 38. Horizontal glazing bars 42 extend between, and are supported by, the vertical glazing bars 40. Roof glass lites 44 are mounted within the vertical and horizontal glazing bars 40, 42. The roof glass lites 44 are fabricated from a laminated glass and typically measure 4×5 ft. The end wall glazing system 24 uses horizontal glazing bars 46 that support vertical glazing bars 48 as well as wall glass lites 50. Substantially similar wall lites 50 are used in both the end wall glazing system 24 and the side wall glazing system 25.
  • One challenge in constructing the greenhouse 20 is providing a structural interface or connection between the glazing systems 24, 25 and the roof glazing system 28. More particularly, exterior trim must be provided along an eave, that is, an intersection line 52 between the side wall glazing system 25 and the roof glazing system 28. In addition, exterior trim must be provided along an intersection line 54 between the roof glazing system 28 and a gable portion 56 of the end wall glazing system 24. As previously discussed, it is known to use custom-designed aluminum extrusions for such trim but a different extrusion must be made for each different roof pitch. Referring to FIGS. 2 and 3, a universal exterior closure or trim assembly 60 has a first roof trim piece 62 and a second side wall trim piece 64. The roof trim piece 62 has a first socket-type joint component 66 formed on a lower end 68. The side wall trim piece 64 has a pin-type second joint component 70 formed on an upper end 72. Thus, upon inserting the second joint component 70 into an opening 74 of the first joint component 66, the roof trim piece 62 and side wall trim piece 64 are able to be rotated or pivoted with respect to each other.
  • After the lower and upper frames 22, 26 and glazing systems 24, 25, 28 are constructed as shown in FIG. 3, the wall trim piece 64 has an extruded slot 76 that is sized to receive an extruded projection 78 extending upward from an uppermost horizontal glazing bar 46. A seal 80 is mounted in the projection 78 and provides a seal with the wall trim piece 64. A bracket 82 is used to secure the wall trim piece 64 to one or more vertical glazing bars 40 of the roof glazing system 28. After the wall trim piece 64 is mounted, the opening 74 of the socket joint component 66 on the roof trim piece 62 is aligned with, and pushed over, the end 84 of the pin joint component 70. Upon the pin joint component 70 being inserted in the socket joint component 66, the roof trim piece 62 is rotatable or pivotal with respect to the pin joint component 70 and the side trim piece 64. Thus, as shown in phantom in FIG. 4, the roof trim piece 62 can be moved to any desired angle with respect to the wall trim piece 64 to accommodate any pitch of the roof glazing system 28. The roof trim piece 62 is pivoted toward the horizontal glazing bar 42.
  • Referring to FIG. 4, a pair of first ribs 86 are extruded on a lower surface 88 of the roof trim piece 62. A pair of opposing ribs 90 are extruded on an upper surface 92 of the horizontal glazing bar 42. The ribs 86, 90 are shaped and located relative to each other such that upon the roof trim piece 62 being pushed against the horizontal glazing bar 42, the ribs 86 snap over the ribs 90 to secure the roof trim piece 62 with the horizontal glazing bar 42. A spacing leg 94 extruded on the roof trim piece bottom surface 88 is designed to rest against an upper surface 96 of a vertical glazing bar 40 to provide further strength and stability to the roof trim piece 62. Thus, referring to FIG. 1, the roof and wall trim pieces 62, 64 are used to define an exterior joint or corner at an eave 52 between the roof glazing system 28 and the side wall glazing system 25 of the greenhouse 20.
  • As shown in FIGS. 1 and 5, a substantially similar exterior closure or trim piece 98 can be used to form external corners creating a joint at the intersection line 54 between the roof glazing system 28 and a gable portion 56 of the end wall glazing system 24. The closure 98 is comprised of the roof trim piece 62 that connects to a vertical glazing bar 40 defining a lateral edge of the roof glazing system 28 and a second wall trim piece 104 that connects to an upper-most horizontal glazing bar 46 in a gable portion 56 of the end wall glazing system 24. The roof trim piece is substantially identical to the roof trim piece 62 shown and described in FIGS. 3-5. The vertical glazing bar 40 has a pair of ribs 100 extruded on an outer directed surface 102. Upon the roof trim piece 62 being located over, and pushed against, the vertical glazing bar 40, the ribs 86 snap over and connect with the ribs 100.
  • The second wall trim piece 104 has a pin-type joint component 70 identical to that shown and described in FIG. 3 with respect to the trim piece 64. In addition, the second wall trim piece 104 has a pair of ribs 106 extruded along an inner surface 107, and the horizontal glazing bar 46 has a pair of ribs 108 extruded along an outer surface 110. Upon the wall trim piece 104 being located over, and pushed against, the horizontal glazing bar 46, the ribs 106 snap over and connect with the ribs 108.
  • Referring to FIG. 6, a substantially identical wall closure 98 is used to form external corners creating intersections between the lateral edges of the end wall glazing system 24 and the side wall glazing system 25. In this embodiment, the trim piece 62 is located adjacent a lateral vertical glazing bar 48 a of the side wall glazing system 25. The vertical glazing bar 48 a has a pair of ribs 112 extruded along an outer surface 114; and upon the trim piece 62 being located over, and pushed against, the vertical glazing bar 48 a, the ribs 86 snap over and connect with the ribs 112. Similarly, the trim piece 104 is located adjacent a lateral vertical glazing bar 48 b of the end wall glazing system 24. The vertical glazing bar 48 b has a pair of ribs 116 extruded along an outer surface 118; and upon the trim piece 104 being located over, and pushed against, the vertical glazing bar 48 b, the ribs 106 snap over and connect with the ribs 116. Thus, all intersections between the end wall glazing system 24, side wall glazing system 25 and roof glazing system 28 of any pitch are provided by the same three extruded trim pieces 62, 64, 104. Further, the external joint provide by the trim assembly 60 is highly resistant to water infiltration; and if properly sealed is effective to contain air and allows the plant growth area to be maintained at a pressure slightly less than atmospheric pressure.
  • Referring to FIGS. 1 and 7, the greenhouse 20 has an exemplary shade system comprised of individual shades 120 a-120 f for each of the roof lites 44. In one example shown in FIG. 7, a shade 120 a is illustrated in an open position and is located adjacent an upper facing side of a purlin 38 a. To close the shade 120 a, a lead bar 132 is pulled upward toward the roof ridge 36, and the shade 120 a is moved in a direction parallel to the roof lite 44. When fully closed, the lead bar 132 is located adjacent a lower facing side of a purlin 38 b; and lateral edges 134, 136 of shade 120 a lie on upper surfaces of respective adjacent rafters 32 a, 32 b. Thus, the shade 120 a fully covers an area bounded by purlins 38 a, 38 b and rafters 32 a, 32 b below a roof lite 44 and effectively blocks light without auxiliary or closing shades.
  • The shade 120 a is moved by a motor 122 mounted to the rafter 32 b below the purlin 38 b as further shown in FIG. 8. Referring back to FIG. 7, a drive shaft 124 is mechanically coupled to the motor 122 and has a distal end mounted on the rafter 32 a. Idler pulleys 126 a, 126 b are mounted on respective rafters 32 a, 32 b adjacent an upper facing side of purlin 38 a. Drive cables 128, 130 extend between ends of the drive shaft 124 and respective idler shafts 126 a, 126 b. The drive cables 128, 130 are also connected to ends of the leader bar 132 of the shade 120 a. Thus, by operating the motor 122, the drive shaft 124 moves the drive cables 128, 130 and pull the leader bar 132 from its open position adjacent purlin 38 a to a closed position adjacent purlin 38 b. By reversing operation of the motor 122, the drive cables 128, 130 move the lead bar 132 of the shade 120 a back to its open position adjacent the upper directed side of the purlin 38 a. With the above embodiment of having a separately operable shade, a wide variety of lighting conditions can be created and accurately repeated.
  • As will be appreciated, many other embodiments of a shade system can be implemented depending on needs of a particular user; and in other embodiments, combinations of shades can be simultaneously operated. For example, mounting the motor 122 to a rafter 32 is only one implementation; and in other embodiments, the motor 122 can be mounted at other locations, for example, on a purlin 38 above the drive shaft 124, in line with the drive shaft 124, etc. Further, motors for respective shades 120 a-120 f (FIG. 1) can be operated independently but simultaneously to partially or wholly open and then close all of the shades. In another exemplary embodiment, the shades 120 a, 120 b, 120 c can be replaced by a single shade that extends over several lites 44, and a single drive shaft is operated by a motor to close and/or open the single shade extending between purlins 38 a, 38 b. Similarly, the shades 120 d, 120 e, 120 f can be replaced by a single shade that extends over several lites 44, and a single drive shaft is operated by a motor to close and/or open the single shade extending between purlins 38 b, 38 c. In a further embodiment, drive shafts of respective shades 120 a, 120 d, etc. can be mechanically coupled together and operated by a single motor to simultaneously close a vertical row of shades 120 a, 120 d, etc. extending between rafters 32 a, 32 b. In any of the above embodiments, the motors 122 can be eliminated; and the drive shafts 124 and respective shades 120 can be operated manually, for example, by chains, cables, crank shafts, etc., that are located for ready operation by a user.
  • A decision of which shades to operate simultaneously is user and application dependent and thus, will vary with different greenhouses. However, regardless of how the shades are operated, locating the shades 120 between the purlins 38 and above the rafters 32, has numerous advantages. First, by extending only between the purlins 38, smaller shades can be used; and a less bulky amount of shade material needs to be collected when the shade is open. Further, when open, the shades are mostly hidden in the purlins above the rafters, which minimizes unwanted shading and shadows and further, enhances the openness of the greenhouse. Second, the higher location of the shades above the rafters, frees up locations for the mounting of auxiliary equipment on the rafters. Third, closing the shades over upper surfaces of the rafters results in a good light seal between lateral edges of the shades and the rafter upper surfaces and supplemental closing shades are not required. Fourth, the individual shades are smaller, which permits different types of shades to be utilized again depending on a preference of the user. For example, shades that simply gather material in a closed position may be utilized. Alternatively, shades that are rolled onto and off of a cylinder can be used as well as shades that have an internal torsional return spring that facilitates rolling the shade onto the cylinder as the shade is opened. Therefore, such a shading system provides for more accurate, consistent, uniform and repeatable lighting conditions.
  • Referring to FIG. 1, movable wall vents 139 are used to provide ventilation in the end and side wall glazing systems 24, 25. The movable wall vent 139 has an upper edge pivotally hinged adjacent horizontal glazing bars 46, so that a lower edge can pivot open as shown. An operator 146 a has a drive shaft 147 a supporting one or more operator drives 148 a. Each operator drive 148 a has a pair of nuts 149 threaded on the drive shaft 147 a and connected to an inner end of a scissors extension arm 153. An outer end of the scissors extension arm 153 is connected to a lower edge of the wall vent 139. An operator motor (not shown) is connected to one end of the drive shaft 147 a. Operating the motor in one direction causes the nuts 149 to move toward each other, thereby extending the scissors extension arm 153 and pivoting the vent 139 outward to an open position as shown in FIG. 1. Operating the motor in an opposite direction causes the nuts 139 to move away from each other, thereby retracting the scissors extension arm 153 and pivoting the vent 139 inward to a closed position. In different embodiments, the drive shaft 147 a may extend through holes in webs of respective vertical posts 30 or, alternatively, may be mounted to inner directed surfaces of respective vertical posts 30. Thus, whether the vent 139 is open or closed, the operator 146 a remains substantially between the vertical posts 30 and does not extend into the plant growth area. Thus, the compact construction of the operators 146 a substantially reduces a potential for physical interference with persons working in the greenhouse, allows more space for unimpeded activity and thus, can effectively increase available plant growth area.
  • Referring to FIG. 8, vents 138 are used to provide ventilation through the roof glazing system 28. An upper end 140 of a vent 138 includes a pin-type component 141 of a hinge 142 that has a socket-type component 143 located near the roof ridge 36. Thus, the vent 138 is pivotable between a closed position shown in solid lines and an open position shown in phantom. A lower end 144 of the vent 138 is connected to an operator 146. The operator 146 has a drive shaft 147 extending between and mounted to lower surfaces 151 of adjacent vertical glazing bars 42. An operator drive 148, for example, a compact scissors extension arm, which has an upper end connected to a movable edge of the vent 138 and a lower end connected to nuts threadedly engaged on the drive shaft 147. A drive motor 150 is operably connected to the drive shaft 147. In the embodiment of FIG. 8, the drive motor 150 is secured to a glazing bar 42; but in alternative embodiments, the drive motor 150 may be mounted to a purlin 38 with a belt or pulley drive connecting the motor to the drive shaft 147. Operating the motor 150 in one direction causes the nuts to move toward each other, which extends the scissors extension arm as shown in phantom at 148. The extending scissors extension arm pivots the vent 138 upward as viewed in FIG. 8 to an open position as shown in phantom. Operating the motor 150 in an opposite direction causes the nuts to move away from each other, thereby retracting the scissors extension arm and pivoting the vent 138 downward to a closed position. The entirety of the operator 146 including the operator drive 148 and motor 150 are located above the rafters 32. Thus, the compact construction and location of the operators 146 minimizes any intrusion of the operators into the greenhouse, which substantially eliminates any shadows inside the greenhouse from the operator drive 148. One embodiment of the operators 146, 146 a is commercially available from Lock Antriebstechnik, Gmbh located in Ertingen, Germany.
  • When the vent 138 is open, an opening into an interior of the greenhouse 20 is covered by screens 154 a, 154 b that are mounted adjacent to lower surfaces 151 of respective vertical glazing bars 42. The screens 154 a, 154 b provide a barrier preventing insects from entering a plant growth area below the vertical glazing bars 42. The opening above the screens 154 a, 154 b is bounded laterally by two adjacent vertical glazing bars 42. An upper end of the opening is bounded by a ridge purlin 152. A space extending above the ridge purlin 152 between the two adjacent vertical glazing bars 42 is common openings covered by screens 154 a, 154 b. A lower side of the opening is bounded by a spacer 156 mounted adjacent a lower surface of a horizontal glazing bar 40 and extending between the two adjacent vertical glazing bars laterally bounding the opening. The spacer 156 has a lower surface 158 that is flush with the lower surface 151 of the two adjacent vertical glazing bars 42. An operator cover 160 extends between the two adjacent vertical glazing bars 42 and has a lower edge 162 adjacent lower surfaces 151, 158. The screen 154 a has an upper edge 164 that fits beneath a purlin flange 166 and a lower edge 168 that is held in place by a flange 170 on the cover 160. A screen lateral edge 172 is located immediately adjacent the vertical glazing bar lower surface 151 and in some applications, may be secured thereto by fasteners and/or clips (not shown). Thus, the screens 154 a, 154 b fully cover the opening beneath the vent 138. Further, with the vent operator 146 above the screens 154 a, 154 b, the screens 154 a, 154 b do not have any openings larger than a size of a screen mesh. Thus, the screens 154 a, 154 b provide an excellent barrier to the entry of insects either into or out of the greenhouse via the vent 138.
  • Referring back to FIG. 3, the wall trim piece 64 has an interior gutter 174 extruded therein. Further, the gutter 174 has a weep hole 176 in fluid communication with a channel 178 leading to the exterior of the greenhouse 20. Consequently, any condensation from the roof lites 44 or any infiltration of water is collected in the gutter 174.
  • The gutter 174 extends the full width across and above the side wall glazing system 25; and therefore, the gutter 174 is effective to capture all water that condenses from, or infiltrates through, the roof glazing system 28. Further, the water is drained via the weep hole 176 and channel 178 to the exterior of the greenhouse, thereby eliminating the need for any interior drainage system below the purlins 38.
  • The greenhouse 20 shown and described herein is designed with the equipment and performance requirements of today in mind. The greenhouse 20 is an integrated system with very high weathering performance as a baseline. It also has flexibility designed in, which allows the best configuration for a given site and use to be developed.
  • While the present invention has been illustrated by a description of an embodiment, and while such embodiment has been described in considerable detail, there is no intention to restrict, or in any way limit, the scope of the appended claims to such detail. Additional advantages and modifications will readily appear to those skilled in the art. For example, in the described embodiment, a research greenhouse is identified as an application to which the inventions herein are particularly well suited; however, it should be understood that the inventions described and claimed herein may be applied to any type of greenhouse. Further, in the exemplary embodiment described herein, glazing systems are used in the roof, the end walls and the sides walls; however, in other embodiments, glazing system(s) may be used in the roof and fewer than all of the walls, or in only the roof, or in only one or more of the walls.
  • In addition, in the described embodiment, the trim assembly 60 is shown and described as creating a corner between two glazing systems. However, in alternative embodiments, a substantially similar trim assembly may be used to form a corner between a roof glazing system and a wall having no glazing system, or between a wall glazing system and a wall without a glazing system, or between two walls without a glazing system. Further, the trim joint 60 is shown and described as forming a corner that is on an exterior of the greenhouse; however, in an alternative embodiment, the trim joint 60 may be covered by a further piece of trim providing a drip edge extending beyond an edge of the roof and then downward. In a further alternative embodiment, a drip edge may be extruded in the roof trim piece 62 to provide a further barrier to water infiltration in high winds.
  • Further, in the described embodiment, shades 120 are mounted above the rafters 32 and extend in a direction perpendicular to purlins 38. The lateral edges of the shades lie over upper surfaces of the rafters 32. In an alternative embodiment, the shades can be mounted at right angles to the mounting shown and described. In this embodiment, the shades would extend over the rafters in a direction parallel to the purlins, and lateral edges of the shades would lie over an upper surface of lower flanges of the purlins. Also, while a shade material 120 is described, in alternative embodiments, a heat retention material or any other flexible material may be used.
  • Therefore, the invention in its broadest aspects is not limited to the specific details shown and described. Consequently, departures may be made from the details described herein without departing from the spirit and scope of the claims which follow.

Claims (44)

1. A greenhouse comprising:
a plurality of walls; and
a closure comprising
a first piece connectable to a first wall and comprising a first joint component, and
a second piece connectable to a second wall and comprising a second joint component, the second joint component being connectable to the first joint component to form a pivotable joint therebetween, the pivotable joint comprising a joint between the first wall and the second wall.
2. A greenhouse comprising:
a wall;
a roof supported above the wall; and
a closure comprising
a first piece connectable to the roof and comprising a first joint component, and
a second piece connectable to the wall and comprising a second joint component, the second joint component being connectable to the first joint component to form a pivotable joint therebetween, the pivotable joint comprising a joint between the roof and the wall.
3. The greenhouse of claim 2 wherein the first joint component of the first piece comprises a socket-type component, and the second joint component of the second piece comprises a pin-type component.
4. The greenhouse of claim 2 wherein in the first piece comprises a first connector and the roof comprises a second connector connectable to the first connector for securing the first piece to the roof.
5. The greenhouse of claim 2 wherein the wall comprises a first connector and the second piece comprises a second connector connectable to the first connector for securing the second piece to the wall.
6. The greenhouse of claim 2 wherein the first piece and the second piece are extrusions.
7. The greenhouse of claim 2 wherein the roof comprises a roof glazing system and the first piece is connectable to the roof glazing system.
8. The greenhouse of claim 2 wherein the wall comprises a wall glazing system and the second piece is connectable to the wall glazing system.
9. The greenhouse of claim 2 wherein the roof is nonperpendicular to the wall and the first piece is connectable to the roof and the second piece is connectable to the wall.
10. The greenhouse of claim 2 wherein the roof is perpendicular to the wall and the first piece is connectable to the roof and the second piece is connectable to the wall.
11. The greenhouse of claim 2 wherein the wall comprises an upper end and the second piece comprises an interior gutter extending below the roof adjacent an upper end of the wall, the interior gutter system comprising a weep hole for directing water and condensate from the interior gutter system to an exterior of the greenhouse.
12. A greenhouse comprising:
a first wall glazing system;
a second wall glazing system;
a closure comprising
a first piece connectable to the first wall glazing system and comprising a first joint component, and
a second piece connectable to the second wall glazing system and comprising a second joint component, the second joint component being connectable to the first joint component to form a pivotable joint therebetween, the pivotable joint comprising a joint between the first wall glazing system and the second wall glazing system.
13. A greenhouse comprising:
a roof glazing system;
a wall glazing system;
a closure comprising
a first piece connectable to the roof glazing system and comprising a first joint component, and
a second piece connectable to the wall glazing system and comprising a second joint component, the second joint component being connectable to the first joint component to form a pivotable joint therebetween, the pivotable joint comprising a joint between the roof glazing system and the wall glazing system.
14. An external trim piece for use with a greenhouse to form a joint between a wall and a roof of the greenhouse comprising:
a first piece adapted to be connectable to the roof and comprising a first joint component; and
a second piece adapted to be connectable to the wall and comprising a second joint component, the second joint component being connectable to the first joint component and forming a pivotable joint therebetween, the pivotable joint forming a joint between the roof and the wall.
15. A greenhouse comprising:
a frame comprising at least two rafters;
at least two purlins extending over, and connected to, the at least two rafters;
a roof glazing system comprising at least one roof lite, the roof glazing system extending over, and connected to, the at least two purlins; and
a flexible material located above the at least two rafters and between the at least two purlins and movable to block and unblock light from the at least one lite of the roof glazing system.
16. The greenhouse of claim 15 wherein the flexible material is a shade material.
17. The greenhouse of claim 15 wherein the flexible material is a heat retention material.
18. The greenhouse of claim 15 further comprising a motor operably connected to the flexible material, the motor being operable to move the flexible material and block and unblock light from the at least one lite of the roof glazing system with the flexible material.
19. The greenhouse of claim 15 wherein the flexible material comprises lateral edges extending over upper surfaces of the rafters.
20. The greenhouse of claim 15 wherein the flexible material comprises lateral edges extending over, and resting against, upper surfaces of the rafters.
21. A greenhouse comprising:
a frame comprising at least two rafters;
at least two purlins extending over, and connected to, the at least two rafters;
a roof glazing system extending over, and connected to, the at least two purlins, the roof glazing system comprising
two glazing bars, and
a vent movable with respect to the two glazing bars to open and close
a vent opening; and
a screen mounted below the glazing bars.
22. The greenhouse of claim 21 wherein the two glazing bars have respective lower surfaces and the screen is mounted against the respective lower surfaces.
23. The greenhouse of claim 22 further comprising a cover extending between the two glazing bars and the screen comprises:
a first pair of opposed edges mounted adjacent the two lower surfaces;
a third edge mounted adjacent one of the purlins; and
a fourth edge mounted adjacent the cover.
24. The greenhouse of claim 22 wherein the screen comprising:
a periphery; and
a screen mesh of a mesh size, the screen extending continuously and without an opening larger than the mesh size inside the periphery.
25. A greenhouse comprising:
a frame comprising at least two rafters;
at least two purlins extending over, and connected to, the at least two rafters;
a roof glazing system extending over, and connected to, the at least two purlins, the roof glazing system comprising
two glazing bars, and
a vent movable with respect to the glazing bars to open and close a vent opening; and
a vent operator comprising an extendable drive operably connected to the vent and mounted above the rafters, the vent operator being operable to open and close the vent while maintaining an entirety of the extendable drive above the rafters.
26. The greenhouse of claim 25 wherein the extendable drive is a scissors extension arm.
27. The greenhouse of claim 25 wherein the vent operator is mounted to the two glazing bars.
28. A greenhouse comprising:
at least two substantially vertical posts;
a wall glazing system extending over, and connected to, the at least two vertical posts, the wall glazing system comprising
two glazing bars, and
a wall vent movable with respect to the glazing bars to open and close
a wall vent opening; and
a wall vent operator mounted to the at least two vertical posts and comprising an extendable drive operably connected to the wall vent, the wall vent operator being operable to open and close the wall vent while maintaining an entirety of the extendable drive substantially between the vertical posts.
29. The greenhouse of claim 27 wherein the extendable drive is a scissors extension arm.
30. A greenhouse comprising:
walls;
a roof glazing system mounted above the walls;
an interior gutter extending along an upper portion of the walls and below the roof glazing system, the interior gutter system comprising a weep hole for directing water and condensate from the interior gutter system to an exterior of the greenhouse.
31. A greenhouse comprising:
a frame comprising
a lower frame, and
an upper frame connected to the lower frame;
a wall glazing system connected to the lower frame;
a roof glazing system connected to the upper frame;
a first piece connectable to the roof glazing system and having a first joint component;
a second piece connectable to the wall glazing system and having a second joint component pivotably connectable to the first joint component and connecting the wall glazing system with the roof glazing system; and
an interior gutter extending above the wall glazing system and below the roof glazing system, the interior gutter system comprising a weep hole for directing water and condensate from the interior gutter system to an exterior of the greenhouse.
32. The greenhouse of claim 31 wherein the second piece is integral with the interior gutter system.
33. A greenhouse comprising:
vertical posts;
a wall glazing system extending over, and connected to, the at least two vertical posts,
rafters connected to the vertical posts;
at least two purlins extending over, and connected to, at least two rafters;
a roof glazing system comprising at least one roof lite, the roof glazing system extending over, and connected to, the at least two purlins,
a first closure comprising
a first piece connectable to the roof glazing system and comprising a first joint component, and
a second piece connectable to the wall glazing system and comprising a second joint component, the second joint component being connectable to the first joint component to form a pivotable joint therebetween, the pivotable joint comprising a joint between the roof glazing system and the wall glazing system.
34. The greenhouse of claim 33 wherein the first joint component of the first piece comprises a socket-type component, and the second joint component of the second piece comprises a pin-type component.
35. The greenhouse of claim 33 wherein the wall glazing system comprises an end wall glazing system and a side wall glazing system and the greenhouse further comprises:
a second closure comprising
a first piece connectable to the end wall glazing system and comprising
a first joint component, and
a second piece connectable to the side wall glazing system and comprising a second joint component, the second joint component being connectable to the first joint component to form a pivotable joint therebetween, the pivotable joint comprising a joint between the end wall glazing system and the side wall glazing system.
36. The greenhouse of claim 33 further comprising a flexible material located above the rafters and between the at least two purlins and movable to block and unblock light from the at least one lite of the roof glazing system.
37. The greenhouse of claim 36 wherein the flexible material comprises lateral edges extending over, and resting against, upper surfaces of the rafters.
38. The greenhouse of claim 33 wherein the roof glazing system comprises two glazing bars and a roof vent movable with respect to the glazing bars to open and close a roof vent opening, and the greenhouse further comprises a screen for the roof vent opening mounted below the glazing bars.
39. The greenhouse of claim 38 wherein the two glazing bars have respective lower surfaces and the screen is mounted against the respective lower surfaces.
40. The greenhouse of claim 38 further comprising a roof vent operator comprising an extendable drive operably connected to the roof vent and mounted above the rafters, the roof vent operator being operable to open and close the roof vent while maintaining the entirety of the extendable drive above the rafters.
41. The greenhouse of claim 40 wherein the extendable drive is a scissors extension arm.
42. The greenhouse of claim 33 wherein the wall glazing system comprises two glazing bars and a wall vent movable with respect to the two glazing bars to open and close a wall vent opening, and the greenhouse further comprises a vent operator mounted to the at least two vertical posts and comprising an extendable drive operably connected to the wall vent, the vent operator being operable to open and close the wall vent while maintaining an entirety of the extendable drive substantially between the vertical posts.
43. The greenhouse of claim 42 wherein the extendable drive is a scissors extension arm.
44. The greenhouse of claim 33 wherein the wall glazing system comprises an upper end and the second piece comprises an interior gutter extending below the roof glazing system adjacent the upper end of the wall glazing system, the interior gutter system comprising a weep hole for directing water and condensate from the interior gutter system to an exterior of the greenhouse.
US11/153,279 2005-04-15 2005-06-15 Greenhouse Abandoned US20060248807A1 (en)

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US20150013238A1 (en) * 2012-02-24 2015-01-15 Jean-Louis Castel Covering device having sliding cover elements
US9920523B2 (en) * 2016-04-14 2018-03-20 Timm Bierman Pressure-sensitive roof structure for screened enclosures of swimming pools, spas or patios
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