Fabric Structures Offer Modular Cannabis Grow Rooms
Cannabis cultivation and extraction are fast growing industries, a reflection of the legalization of medical and recreational marijuana in state after state. To date, 31 states have legalized medical marijuana, and nine have legalized it for recreational use. Canada recently became the second country in the world to legalize marijuana, opening a rush of entrants into that market. The cannabis industry is clearly a growth industry, expanding rapidly in size, scope and geographic location. With demand rising, cannabis growers and producers need to be able to scale quickly, but assure that their facilities are properly outfitted to handle the environmental and purity conditions for growing quality cannabis products. With ongoing legal challenges in the US, banking restrictions, regulatory and delivery challenges, and other unforeseen problems in an as yet very young industry, having the flexibility to scale down quickly is also a feature that savvy growers seek in securing grow facilities.
One increasingly popular solution to quality indoor grow space is the modular cannabis greenhouse. Prefabricated, these structures can be delivered, configured and installed rapidly. The space can be customized to meet the client’s immediate requirements, and then reconfigured later as use needs change. Modular greenhouses can also be equipped with lighting, temperature and humidity controls, as well as air filtration systems to provide the proper grow environment for a quality crop yield. Prefabricated buildings are less expensive and can fit tight budgets for startups and self-funded growers.
Key Elements of a Successful Grow Room Operation
For the best crop results, there are a number of environmental factors that are crucial to crop success. An indoor grow room environment must be sufficiently equipped and insulated to reliably provide these conditions for optimal results. The cannabis plant originated in Southeast Asia’s warm, moist climate, so reproducing a similar environment gives the plant optimal growing conditions. Here are the most important environmental factors that a grow room must be able to provide:
Temperature – Ideal temperatures for the cannabis plant are 70-80 degrees Fahrenheit. Consistency is key as temperatures that are too hot or too cold, even temporarily, will result in poor growth or damage to the plant. Depending on your geographic location and the season, internal heating and cooling systems and thermostatic control of the grow space may be advisable. The grow room should be well-insulated to economically deliver a consistent and proper grow room temperature.
Humidity – The cannabis plant is extremely sensitive to humidity which is as critical as temperature to assure crop success. Humidity levels of 60-70 percent are most desirable for young shoots and plants, followed by a reduction in humidity to 40-50 percent during flowering. Humidity levels that are too high may result in mold infestation, while dry air will inhibit the plant’s healthy growth. You’ll need to factor in how much you water the plants, as water will be transpired back into the air, as well as whether you use CO2 injection, to determine the amount of humidity control. The best solution for maintaining crucial humidity levels is an automated humidity control system in a fully enclosed grow room.
Lighting – A properly installed lighting system is an important investment in your grow room. High wattage traditional HID and HPS bulbs at 400 or 600 W are generally adequate. Many commercial growers may push lighting as high as 600-1000W per square meter of plants to achieve higher yields. More costly LED lighting is now available that can deliver the high wattage necessary at much lower operating costs, making it an attractive alternative. Lighting will vary depending on stage of growth, with the vegetative (growth) stage requiring longer days (18-24 hours of light), while the flowering stage generally requires 12 hours each of light and dark. The grow room should be able to achieve blackout conditions for full control of light exposure. Lighting systems can be installed overhead and programmed according to need, making sure that electrical systems are adequate to handle the load.
Air Circulation – Access to outdoor fresh air is crucial for strong, healthy plants, delivering an adequate supply of CO2 for growth, and helping to prevent insect infestations, including spider mites and fungus gnats, and mold. Adequate air flow can be achieved with an HVAC system, louvers or vents equipped with fans, or other type of exhaust systems. Many growers use oscillating fans interspersed among the young plants to simulate breezes which help plant stems grow stronger, allowing the plant to produce and carry a higher yield. If odor is a concern, carbon filters can be applied to exhaust systems and vents. Negative airflow systems can help contain and disperse odors safely.
Irrigation Systems – Indoor grow operations successfully use drip irrigation to provide plants with adequate water supply. Quality drip systems will prevent flooding of plants and can be regulated for volume and timing. Your grow room will need access to a clean water supply as well as a drainage system in the floor to remove the possibility of extra unwanted moisture in the facility. Make sure walls and floors are of waterproof material so that mold and mildew cannot get established.
Security – A cannabis grow operation will attract prying eyes and should be isolated from public view and access to the facility secured. Secure indoor grow rooms that provide for odor control help to deflect interest as well as avoid nuisance complaints.
Consolidation of Operations Functions in Modular Facilities
By designing in the right amount and use of space, modular cannabis greenhouses can accommodate multiple activities in a single facility, including environmentally controlled space for cannabis cultivation, as well as areas for harvesting, processing and packaging the products. The interior can also be configured to provide laboratory and office space for use alongside the grow and processing activities. A large enough facility can accommodate a significant volume of plants for more cost efficient operations.
Large Grow Operations Have a Supersize Alternative
Allsite Structure Rentals provides large modular cannabis greenhouse space in our highly durable and versatile tension fabric structures (TFS). Starting at 48’/15m width and available in any length in 16’/5m increments, the TFS is ideal for larger grow operations and provides ample space for a fully outfitted indoor cultivation environment. The TFS is well-suited for agricultural use, constructed with a rust- and corrosion-free high grade aluminum alloy frame and covered with a waterproof, treated PVC fabric cover that resists mold, mildew, UV light and other potential contaminants. The opaque structure provides a controlled light environment, with a high ceiling for better air circulation and odor removal. The structure accommodates electrical, HVAC, drip irrigation and overhead lighting, as well as offering a variety of ventilation options, including fans, vents and louvers, and a range of doorway options to fit your requirements.
The cannabis grower can configure the interior of the TFS in any configuration to most efficiently accommodate different stages and functions of the operation. Built with modular panels, the structure’s length can be altered at any time to lengthen or shorten the building, depending on current space needs. The structure is highly durable and can be used for decades with little maintenance needed. It is available for short or long term lease, allowing maximum financial flexibility when it comes to grow space in a still volatile industry.
For more information on the Allsite modular grow room option, please contact us at 888-599-5112.