GrowerNode™: Wifi Sensing & Control for Greenhouses

GrowerNode™ is our greenhouse and garden environmental sensing and control system. It is a web based system for sensing and control of greenhouse, field and garden operations. The 'Islander' is our small prototype greenhouse design used as a demonstration project for GowerNode & IoT (Internet of Things).

In Part 6, we discussed some details of the wall framing construction; you can see the finished result in the following pictures, with siding on the 2 walls that don't get much sun. Part 7 is about the installation of the roof modules.

main 2x6 roof beams form the upper skylight opening

The modular design of our greenhouse system is optimized for DIY (do it yourself) construction, but it also makes it easier and quicker for our crew to construct these when a customer requests a turnkey operation. In the above picture, Stew makes the final adjustments to the double 2x6 roof beam which also encloses the large opening skylight that captures a lot of photons.

The roof construction can be very tricky as it is high up and would normally require someone to be up on the roof - a dangerous place to be. With our modular system, each roof section is quite light, and they can be easily pulled into position by 2 people on the ground. The final fastening can be done from a short step ladder, and there is no need at all to have someone on the roof.

The sheathed gable end and double 2x6 roof beam provide support for the roof sections, securely anchoring it to the structure. In the picture below, you can see the sheathing in place on the gable end, which sits above the doorway in the end wall.

modular roof construction gable end framing

The greenhouse modular roof system uses double 2x4 on 24" centers and is very rigid. It does not require any internal webbing or support, enabling an unobstructed flow of hot air to escape through the opening skylight in the warmer months. In the following picture Andy completes a roof module (while the October fog rolls in) by stapling the bubble wrap insulation between the rafters. In this particular application, we used 2x4 set on 16" centers, but we later switched to double 2x4 on 24" centers to make it more rigid.

bubble wrap insulation is stapled into roof module

The greenhouse roof module is then carried over to the back wall and placed upright, with a rope attached to the frame. One person will lift it up from the back while the other person pulls it into place from the front. It goes up easily, and the final position is easily set and locked down from the inside - no need for someone on the roof. In the following picture you can see it propped up against the back wall, with the rope in place, ready for hoisting.

greenhouse roof module is ready for lifting into place

After a few hours, we had 3 of the 4 modules in place, they go up fast. One more to go, and then we don't worry about the rain anymore. You can see the final result on the next page in this series.

greenhouse roof modules in place

GrowerNode™ Greenhouse Construction Index (The Islander):

Part 1: Greenhouse Construction: Introduction

Part 2: Greenhouse Construction: Site Prep & Footings Forms

Part 3: Greenhouse Construction: Foundation Concrete Footing Pour

Part 4: Greenhouse Construction: Foundation Pier Column Setup

Part 5: Greenhouse Construction: Bubble Wrap Insulation re Floor Joist Modules

Part 6: Greenhouse Construction: Framing the Structure for Bubble Wrap vs Glass Walls

Part 7: Greenhouse Construction: Roof Module Installation (you are here)

Part 8: Phase 1 Completed, Ready for Finishing Stain & Bubble Wrap Skin