Dartmouth College Life Sciences Center - Rooftop Greenhouse

Location: Hanover, NH
Architect: Bohlin Cywinski Jackson
Greenhouse Square Ft.: 5700
  • 14 containment compartments
  • 1 main corridor
  • Divided into 2 sections: Science and Teaching
  • Automated climate controls, accessible via internet
  • Equipped with shading systems and light control curtains
  • HID grow lights

Engineer: Agritechnove


A 5700 ft2 rooftop research Greenhouse facility constructed for Dartmouth College Life Sciences Center for the purpose of teaching and scientific research. This project was built under the LEED directive 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 14 independent containment compartments and 1 main corridor. There are varying sized compartments ranging from the smallest at approximately 154 ft2 to the largest compartment at approximately 432 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 in the bench layout capable of moving benches to whatever layout is desired by the teachers and/or students.

The greenhouse structure is constructed with hot dipped galvanized steel framing accompanied with an aluminum/glass cladding system. The steel structure has been coated with an intumescent paint allowing for greater fire protection. 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 Argus Controls Inc. This centrally controlled computer system also has the ability of being accessed locally or via internet.

Some compartments are equipped with horizontal shade systems and some compartments are equipped with vertical and horizontal light control curtains.

Each compartment is 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 Argus Controls system as a sequence of operations. The computer system will first utilize natural ventilation by way of the shade system, ridge vents, vertical sash, horizontal airflow fans and exhaust fans. When the temperature rises beyond the capability of natural ventilation there are some compartments equipped with mechanical cooling devices to further the cooling capabilities.

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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