It is the addition of covering that turns the skeleton of a greenhouse into an environment compatible with the culture of plants. Essential to creating the desired greenhouse effect, the right covering has a large influence on the quality and characteristics of the microclimate the greenhouse will provide. There are three main types of greenhouse coverings: glass, polyethylene film or polycarbonate sheets. Each has its advantages but for economic reasons, more than 90% of greenhouses in the world are covered with plastic material. If you need advice choosing the right covering for your greenhouse, our experts will gladly review your project with you and assist in your decision.
Polyethylene films represent an affordable and efficient solution for greenhouse covering all around the world. Technological breakthroughs in film development in recent years now allow this type of covering to effectively influence the climate in the greenhouse and create optimal culture conditions.
Thanks to several additives that can be included in the resin during the film's manufacturing process, we can now control the quantity and quality of the light entering the greenhouse, as well as prevent common problems such as condensation.
There are several films available on the market, such as diffusing, thermal, anti-virus, anti-condensation and infrared films. Each has its own characteristics and its specific usefulness. When used in a double layer, inflated with air, polyethylene films can provide an insulation factor that makes the greenhouse energy-efficient when heating costs are a concern, whether year-round or during specific periods of the year.
When a rigid covering is the preferred solution, polycarbonate is offered as an affordable and energy-efficient alternative to glass.
With a longer life than polyethylene films, polycarbonate sheets relieve the grower from the need to change films every 4 years. The transmission of light is almost as effective as glass and when it is double-walled, it offers an insulation factor slightly superior to a double layer of polyethylene films.
Available in various colors and with multiple characteristics, polycarbonate can also have an influence on light quality to create a uniquely suitable culture environment.
The classic greenhouse covering, it offers maximum light transmission while being aesthetically pleasing. Glass is the favorite of garden centers, since it allows passers-by to peek inside, tempting them to stop and shop. It is also the preferred covering of institutional and research greenhouses, as well as greenhouses built in areas with mild but cloudy climates where its high light transmission capacity can significantly enhance crop productivity.
However, glass has very little insulation factor and can have a deep impact on the energy balance of a greenhouse project, especially in temperate and northern climates where heat loss will be a greater concern than light transmission.