We believe that polythene films have now overtaken glass as a greenhouse cladding material. Over the last 20 years polythene manufacturers have included various additives within their polytunnel covers which slow down the rate of night-time heat loss, reduce condensation forming on the underside of the polythene and also which diffuse sunlight to make it more useable by the plant. More recently we’ve seen polythene films, which are UV open, allowing UV light to pass through (unlike glass) which can have several benefits to your crop. In the future we anticipate films that will deter specific pests and diseases, and films that will react with the changing atmospheric conditions to optimise the internal growing environment.

To enable us to manufacture this type of greenhouse structure competitively we have implemented CASTA design software which is specifically designed to calculate the design loads on greenhouses to current EN standards. We have implemented ISO 9001 and gone through the certification process to BS-EN1090 which enables us to issue our ALTUS structure with a CE certificate.

The use of twin-skin polythene films has widely been used to reduce energy costs by 30%.

This coupled with our AGAM dehumidifier/heating system should be able to reduce energy use compared to a conventional glasshouse fitted with thermal screens. Recent tests by Farm Energy have shown a 50%-60% energy cost saving and provide better growing conditions with the related lower humidity benefits.

Our new sheet fixing system which will enable the polythene covers to be changed in poor weather conditions without exposing the crop, and with minimum labour, has been granted patent pending status. The equipment to manufacture this system has now arrived, and we hope to be in production in the 1st quarter of 2015.

A detailed study of the manufacturing process has lead us to invest in robotic welding equipment to produce the trellis beams efficiently and also CNC plasma cutting equipment.

The next stage is to build a prototype structure, minimum 1000m2, to prove these concepts, ideas and energy
savings. We anticipate this greenhouse will be ready for sale by mid 2015. Please call if you are interested, so we can keep you informed with our developments and the results that are being produced.