New era for greenhouse construction: Revolution in the greenhouse horticulture sector

New era for greenhouse construction

Revolution in the greenhouse horticulture sector

NAALDWIJK, 5 JUNE 2019 – Piet Bom Innovations launches a revolutionary development in the greenhouse horticulture sector. Aluminium will no longer be used for the deck structure for horticultural greenhouses and will be replaced by fibreglass instead. The production of fibreglass, otherwise known as Glass fibre Reinforced Plastic (GRP), reduces the CO2 footprint considerably compared to aluminium and offers a number of benefits when in use. The new standard for greenhouse construction has been nominated for the GreenTech Concept Award 2019 for innovations and will be presented for the first time at the international trade fair GreenTech, which is due to take place from 11 to 13 June 2019 at RAI Amsterdam. Piet Bom Innovations doesn’t construct greenhouses itself, but is presenting its innovation at GreenTech in order to gauge responses from the world as a whole.

Material development

It is the umpteenth invention with which well-known greenhouse innovator Piet Bom has been shaking up the world of greenhouse horticulture since 1966. Piet Bom is responsible for a number of patents. Greenhouse construction began with the wood era, gradually made the shift to steel and subsequently developed to the material introduced by Piet Bom in 1982, aluminium. After 37 years, a new fibreglass era is dawning because the manufacturing process for aluminium is not sustainable.

Significant benefits

With the use of fibreglass for the construction of the deck, a new era is dawning in greenhouse construction. The CO2 that is released when fibreglass is produced is almost a fifth of the amount of CO2 released when aluminium is produced, which is making a significant contribution to sustainable business practices in the covered crops sector. Growers will also be happy to know that horizontal profiles, such as gutters, ridges and rods, will no longer have what is known as a ‘thermal bridge’, whereby fibreglass prevents stubborn and detrimental condensation from forming, . The material can be supplied in plain white, is glass-friendly and has a much lower shrinkage and stretch factor.

Future of the construction industry

The cost price of fibreglass is no trivial matter. It is stable compared to that of aluminium, whose price on the global market fluctuates over the years. The risk of an unexpected cost increase shortly before a fibreglass greenhouse is constructed has therefore been reduced considerably. Piet Bom Innovations expects that, over time, the basic structure of the Venlo greenhouses can be made out of fibreglass as well, but currently the substructure of the greenhouse is mainly made out of steel. If this development in the greenhouse construction sector continues, the entire construction sector may discourage the use of steel and aluminium in order to reduce greenhouse gas during production.

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‘The Fiberglass Greenhouse Roof’ is nominated for the GreenTech Innovation Award 2019!