Agriculture and AGRI – Food Canada (AAFC) Harrington Research Farm

Location: Charlottetown, PEI
Architect: Robbie/Young + Wright Architects Inc., Ann Percival, OAA
Greenhouse Square Ft.: 3552
  • 6 containment compartments
  • 1 main corridor
  • 1 basement corridor
  • 1 header house
  • Equipped with horizontal and vertical shade systems
  • Automated climate controls, accessible via internet
  • HID grow lights

Engineer: GHE


A 330 m2 research Greenhouse facility constructed for Agriculture and AGRI-Food Canada for the purpose of scientific research. This project was a design build greenhouse. JGS Limited provided both the Engineering expertise as well as the 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.

The greenhouse consists of 1 corridor, 6 containment compartments, 1 main corridor, 1 basement corridor and a header house. There are 4 compartments approximately 33 m2, 2 compartments approximately 66.7 m2, 1 main corridor approximately 3.3 m x 18.6 m and 1 basement corridor approximately 3.3 m x 18.6 m.

The greenhouse structure is constructed with hot dipped galvanized steel framing accompanied with an aluminum/glass cladding system. The glazing consists of 1 pc glazing for the roof, 1” insulated glazing 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. These units are controlled manually or automatically by the programmable centralized computer system provided by Argus Controls Inc. This centrally controlled computer system also has the ability of being accessed locally or via internet.

All compartments are equipped with horizontal shade systems and vertical light control curtains. The vertical light control curtains allow each compartment to have the ability of extending the light exposure to the crops with High Intensity Discharge (HID) grow lights provided by Kavita Canada.

Cooling of the Greenhouse compartment(s) is programed into the Argus Controls system as a sequence of operations. The system will first utilize natural ventilation by way of the shade system, ridge vents and horizontal airflow fans. When the temperature rises beyond the capability of natural ventilation there are evaporative coolers to further the cooling capabilities. Depending on the size of the compartment depends whether they are equipped with 1, 2 or 3 evaporative cooler(s). The evaporative coolers are centrally located in the basement corridor and are all controlled via the Argus computer system.

The evaporative coolers receive the intake air from a centrally located air intake located in the link. There are various sized insulated dampers controlled via the computer to accommodate sunny winter days where cooling is required. For the sunny winter days when evaporative cooling is required we have designed in louvers in the corridor to supply the evaporative coolers with 80% reclaimed air from the facility and 20% fresh air from outside. This is designed in this fashion such that the crop(s) are not exposed to extra cold air which may or may not be detrimental to the experiment(s).

Heating of the greenhouse is generated by a centrally located boiler in the header house 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 in their studies for many years to come.

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