About Piet Bom Innovations

The greenhouse: a high-tech production factor

Greenhouses are important to the Netherlands’ leading position in greenhouse horticulture. Dutch greenhouse builders made modern greenhouses a high-tech production factor. The same name keeps coming up when naming people who took the initiative on some iconic innovations: Piet Bom. Over more than half a century, introduced the world to numerous big inventions.

The Venlo greenhouse

His noteworthy career began in the mid-1960s, when greenhouse roofs were still made of wood and steel. It was then that Piet Bom built his first Venlo greenhouse, a greenhouse variant that to this day is still present in the face of greenhouse construction. It was that same greenhouse that he would perfect ten years later, by inventing the eight-metre trellis greenhouse that extended the span of the greenhouse. That new span made the Venlo greenhouse multifunctional, both for vegetable and ornamental cultivation. It also marked the moment that the Venlo greenhouse began to make its mark internationally. At present, it is essentially the only glass greenhouse that is continually being improved by small initiatives from other greenhouse builders.

New developments that are useful in a practical sense

For years, Piet Bom has headed his own greenhouse construction company: P.L.J. Bom Kassenbouw, which is now the Bom Group. The company has built up a reputation based on his innovations, which have always been characterized by their highly practical usefulness. Whatever Piet Bom envisioned was put into production immediately to achieve a certain effect. Horticulturalists recognize this added value: innovations launched by Piet Bom are immediately embraced by the market.

As recently as the early 2000s, he was still making an impact on international greenhouse horticulture. In 2002, he developed a slip element that was used in screen installations. The well-known manufacturer Snelders then successfully introduced the application of the patent to the market in 2008, thereby considerably extending the service life of the ventilation mechanisms.

The ultra-smart golf bag, made by Piet Bom

After transferring ownership of the Bom Group, Piet discovered golf and could not resist thinking of ways things could be done differently, better, or more efficiently. Take, for example, the golf bag. Piet made one that was smaller and foldable, which meant that it could be taken on board aeroplanes. The material that he familiarized himself with during his research is the same material that he used to create the greenhouse roof of the future: fiberglass.

A spectacular and sustainable transition

Following decades in which aluminium was the material of choice for making greenhouse roofs, now is the time in which fiberglass will assume this role. It is a spectacular and sustainable transition that is attracting attention from around the world. Once more, Piet Bom is the inventor. This time as the figurehead of Piet Bom Innovations, as opposed to the face of his own greenhouse construction company.

The Westland region: the birthplace of innovation

Over the years, the Netherlands has been the birthplace of many striking innovations in greenhouse horticulture. This is no coincidence, as the Westland region (situated between Rotterdam, The Hague, and the North Sea) is the largest interconnected greenhouse construction area in the world. It is renowned the world over as a production area for vegetables, flowers, and potted plants.

1850 First greenhouse construction (glass against the wall)
1900 First use of flat glass
1900 First use of greenhouse heating
1906 First greenhouse construction in Westland: flat glass on wood.
1920 First use of iron gutter
1928 New model greenhouse built near Venlo
1951 First use of the Venlo Greenhouse in Westland
1966 Piet Bom to build his first Venlo Greenhouse (PBI)
1974 Storm roof safe system (PBI)
1975 Rocker mechanism for ventilation (PBI)
1976 8.00 m truss greenhouse (making the Venlo greenhouse suitable for every cultivation) (PBI)
1982 Introduction of aluminum gutter at NTV Hortifair (PBI)
1982 Ventilation rail mechanism (PBI)
1983 PB Screen Greenhouse (PBI)
1984 Recon column drain (PBI)
1984 Multi roll-up gable screen (PBI)
1988 PB glass lifter (PBI)
1989 Lux-Plus ridge section (PBI)
1990 Steel-plus gutter (PBI)
1991 Gaastiek system (PBI)
1994 Frameless roof vent through application of thermally-toughened glass (PBI)
1996 Integrated cover strips (PBI)
1998 Far-open ventilation system (PBI)
2002 Stabiliser block (PBI)
2002 Management buy out Bom Group
2008 Slip block for screens (PBI)
2014 Pick-up Golfbag (PBI)
2017 Walk & Ride Golftrolley (PBI)
2019 Fiberglass greenhouse structure to replace aluminium and steel (PBI)