What to expect when working with ArchSolar

 

We look forward to the opportunity to work with you on your project. This article will give you a brief overview of what to expect when working with ArchSolar should you continue with our services for your greenhouse solution.

Sales Process

During the sales process an ArchSolar sales consultant will be your guide to understanding ArchSolar and the various options available. They will make sure that your growing goals and strategies are translated into a high level solution.

Our sales consultants will:

  1. Introduce you to basic types of structures and systems offerings to help you make preliminary design decisions to match their needs.

  2. Provide you with options for consideration and product information to help you make informed decisions about your solution.

  3. Provide budgetary design numbers based on your preliminary selections. Based on all comparative information and budgetary numbers provided, you will make the decision of whether to proceed with ArchSolar for your greenhouse solution.

Contracting with payment terms, production schedule, and milestones: Final pricing may be subject to refinement during the detailed design phase depending on engineering, choice of finishes and other equipment.

Design Phase 1: Requirements Gathering & Initial Drawings

Once you have selected ArchSolar as your greenhouse provider we will begin the two stage design process.

  1. To begin Design Phase 1, you will execute a project contract and provide a deposit the design phase fee.* 

  2. During the design phase activities we will first work to define the requirements for the system into a General Requirements and Specifications Document.

  3. Design Phase 1 deliverables include:

    1. Requirements Document: Your growing requirements for veg and flower, plant size, square footage requirements, lighting requirements, method of growing, climate goals including relative humidity and temperature. This information is then translated into a light plan, room layout with tables, carts or beds, target yields, room schedule, etc.

    2. Objectives: We then translate these growing and environmental requirements into a set of objectives and loads that need to be met and a proposed solution to meet them: 

      1. Heating: Air only, Air and radiant in slab.  Integrated HVAC

      2. Cooling: Open (Fans and Evaporative),  Mechanical cooling via chiller or air conditioning units

      3. Dehumidification:  What is the watering/feeding schedule?  How does it translate into a predicted daily transpiration rate? What level of dehumidification will be required to meet these goals? 
        What does this translate into for VPD goals?

      4. Power needs: What is the draw of different equipment going to be used and what are available services to meet these needs.

    3. Final Requirements Packet is put together along with a 60% engineering set of plans so that bids can be obtained from other project participants including:

      1. Civil engineer responsible for site plans, foundation design and submission to local code enforcement for permitting.

      2. MEP engineer: Responsible for electrical loads, design of services, panel layout and wiring inside of the facility.  

      3. Architect:  Ideally a cannabis experienced architect is hired to facilitate the final details of build out of headhouse, administrative, office, security, and processing areas within the overall project.  They will ensure that code issues related to fire, emergency egress and lighting, other layouts are designed to maximize usability and meet code.

      4. Unless otherwise arranged, you are then responsible for making decisions around who will perform the contracted work.  Engineers/contractors are hired to develop plans. As a project participant ArchSolar will provide input into the bids and scope of the other subcontractors.

* If a project has a tight delivery timeline, we will typically take a production deposit at this phase to procure materials, set up the production lines, hold your place in the production queue, producing stock etc.  

Design Phase 2: Finalized Documents and Engineering

When all Design Phase 1 deliverables are approved, Design Phase Two will begin:

  1. Structural Engineering: At this point we will begin to take the 60% version of plans and engineer against these requirements.  Engineering will be done to confirm layouts with load calculations and engineering analysis to be used by the civil engineer and other engineers. 

  2. Shop Drawings: Once we have settled in on any changes to the 60% plans we will work to get updated shop drawings.

  3. Final Review of 90% plan will be released for final review prior to submission docs.

  4. Submission Package: Structural plans and other project plans are reviewed at this point with the selected builder and traders to get final input on the design and build-ability. ArchSolar will review installation documentation and work with the contractor to make sure that they are approaching the project with best practices learned from other installations. Client and ArchSolar will agree to a targeted level of construction support at this time. 

  5. Revision and Release for Construction: After meeting a final time and revising any plans to incorporate feedback from code officers and broader team a final construction set is released. A timeline is put together by your team for product delivery and construction, with input from ArchSolar.

Design Phase 2 deliverables include:

      1. 60% complete, 90% complete, Stamped Structural Drawings

      2. Installation Guide

      3. Shop drawings

      4. Final costs estimates if any changes have been requested

      5. Any amendments to Project Contract

When Design Phase 2 deliverables are approved and a 50% payment is received, ArchSolar will begin procurement and fabrication.  In cases where a project timeline is more time sensitive, manufacturing may be initiated up front.

Manufacturing

This stage typically takes 10-15 weeks from time of approved design to final delivery of equipment to the site greatly depending on the size of the project. Progress shipments may begin as early as 4 weeks into the project.

HVAC equipment typically will ship within 6 weeks. Tables, lighting and other systems will be scheduled to arrive after the structure has glazing and walls installed and MEP trades are on site and ready to receive.

Construction

SIP Wall Installation ArchSolar

Site work and foundation or slab pouring are typically done as soon as permits are acquired. Typically 2 weeks for site preparation and 1-3 weeks for pouring and curing the foundation can be expected.

Depending on the size of the project, greenhouse materials are received on site and unloaded using either a flatbed or a crane. Typically an ArchSolar supervisor will be on site to review the bill of materials, make recommendations on staging and review different components against installation documents. 

Steel work and arches will be installed on the foundation/slab first. Then, the structures endwalls will be put into place. The following timeline reflects the construction time of a 10,000 - 15,000sf greenhouse with a team of four:

Site work & foundation/slab: 3-5 weeks

Steel work: 2-3 days

Arches and Purlins:  5 days

Endwalls: 1-2 days per bay

Glazing and Insulation:  3 days

Installation of Systems

Greenhouse Systems ArchSolar
  1. Open Heating & Cooling Systems: For an open system greenhouse, systems installation includes: Electrical, light dep and/or shade curtains, fans, heaters, wet walls, and grow control system and sensors.

  2. Closed HVAC Systems: For a closed system greenhouse: In-slab ducting will most likely be installed prior to the slab being poured. Cement pads for external HVAC units and split systems will be poured with all hookups in place. Other systems will be installed as greenhouse construction progresses such as, electrical, light dep and/or shade curtains, grow control system and sensors, and HVAC units (HVAC units typically take 2 hours each).

Supervision and Commissioning

ArchSolar typically will provide a base amount of supervision unless further support is requested. We will work with the selected contractors to review construction documents, installation plans and answer questions. On average we will build in about 5 days of support across the project. We take your success seriously, so don’t hesitate to discuss support options with us as you kick off your project.

 
Julia Pope