State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry

Location: Syracuse, NY
Architect: Ashley McGraw Architects, P.C., Ryan-Biggs Associates P.C., Pathfinder Engineers & Architects LLP, Watts Architecture & Engineering
Greenhouse Square Ft.: 7300
  • 12 containment compartments
  • Divided into 2 sections: Science and Teaching
  • Automated climate controls, accessible via internet
  • Equipped with horizontal/vertical shade systems
  • HID grow lights

Engineer: GHE Greenhouse Engineering, Levac Robichaud Leclerc Associates


A 7300 ft2 research Greenhouse facility constructed for SUNY at the College of Environmental Science and Forestry for the purpose of teaching and scientific research. This project was built on the 5th floor of an existing building (Illick Hall) and is expected to have a life span of 30 – 50 yrs.

JGS Limited provided Engineering Expertise, Project Management and on site Construction Expertise to complete the project in a professional and timely manner. Our knowledgeable Sales & Project Management teams provided constant communication with the General Contractor and end user.

This Greenhouse structure consists of 12 independent containment compartments. These compartments range in size from the smallest at approximately 275 ft2 to the largest compartment at approximately 873 ft2.

This facility is divided into 2 independent sections each having their own unique characteristics. One section is known as the ‘Science’ side and the other as the ‘Teaching’ side. As there are many specialized characteristics throughout the Greenhouse facilities one unique characteristic for the ‘Science’ side is it is equipped with a level of containment capable of keeping specific sized insects in or out, while the ‘Teaching’ side allows for diversity by the teachers and/or students a like.

The greenhouse structure is constructed with hot dipped galvanized steel framing accompanied with an aluminum/glass cladding system. The glazing generally consists of 1 pc glazing for the roof, 1” insulated glass for the exterior walls, and single glazing for the interior partitions.

Although under one roof each compartment is an individual airtight unit by itself, capable of maintaining temperature, humidity, light, irrigation and insects of specific size, independent from compartment to compartment and the outside environment. These units are controlled manually and/or automatically by the programmable centralized computer system provided by Link4 Corporation. This centrally controlled computer system also has the ability of being accessed locally or via internet.

The Scientific compartments are equipped with horizontal and vertical shade systems. Each compartment is also equipped with High Intensity Discharge (HID) grow lights provided by Kavita Canada to allow the end user to extend the daily light intensity and/or duration.

Cooling of the Greenhouse compartments is programed into the Link4 computer system as a sequence of operations. The computer system will first utilize natural ventilation by way of the ridge vents, side vents, and shade system. When natural ventilation has been deployed and more cooling is required the controls system will launch the vertical airflow fans then the fogging system and finally in some compartments (science) the under the bench fan coil units.

Heating of the greenhouse is generated by a centrally located boiler in the mechanical room then delivered via pipe to each compartment. Each compartment is independent of each other and is computer controlled manually or automatically. The heating system inside each compartment consists of pipes located around the perimeter at the concrete knee wall and along the underside of each gutter. The heating along the underside of the gutter(s) is also utilized as a snow melt system.

Overall this ‘greenhouse’ is a complex research facility which will aid the researchers, teachers and students in their studies for many years to come.

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