Photon Modular Greenhouses

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Design Build Modular Greenhouse: Part 2: Foundation Layout

Design Build Modular Greenhouse: Part 2: Foundation Layout

GrowerNode™: Web Enabled Control & Sensing for Gardens & Greenhouses

GrowerNode™ Greenhouse Construction: 8x12 'The Islander'

GrowerNode™ is our garden and greenhouse sensing and environmental control system. It’s web browser based for control and sensing of field operation, garden and greenhouses. We are using The 'Islander' is our greenhouse design and perfect to use as a demonstration project.

If you aren’t lucky enough to be a ‘flat lander’, this is a good example of how to build on an uneven sloped ledge. Below are images of the beginning stages of our project on Vancouver Island.

rough greenhouse layout

To begin, we laid the parts out roughly to determine where the building envelope would be.

foundation height estimate greenhouse corner

Next, we leveled out the lowest corner with the highest corner by building it up. This was to determine out how much concrete would be needed. It should be noted that the concrete block shown in the picture is not going to be used in the construction.

form tube height greenhouse column appraisal

Here's a close-up picture of how we built up the corners to make them level.

form tube cut and placed over rebar anchors greenhouse

We dug a hole about one foot below grade, and then used 3 foot lengths of epoxy-coated rebar to be an anchor for the concrete corner column. The first one we pounded in with a maul; note the angle. All corners of the foundation get two of these installed at opposite angles to provide resistance to any lifting forces.

2x4 column pad greenhouse form for corner

After we got the rebar anchors into position, we cut the concrete form tubes to the length we needed. We installed them over the anchor, after the footing pad has been poured. In this case we used Quickcrete® tubes from Home Depot®, but you could whichever brand you like such as Sonotube®

greenhouse 2x4 form for corner column pad

*Note that the 3' rebar that is pounded in at an angle; there is another one at an opposing angle under the 2x4 to ensure that the footing isn't going anywhere.

The three other footing pads will have column tubes of varying heights on each of them, and the pipe for the beam leveler rod will be in the top of the column itself.


The metal beam adjuster is designed to fit into the concrete blocks you see in the first pictures above, although we will be putting it straight into the PVC tubes we are inserting into the concrete columns.

greenhouse beam level adjuster

These handy beam levelers allow us to make easy height adjustments on the greenhouse foundation beams, so we can make it precisely level by simply adjusting the nut with a wrench.

We had been looking for an adjuster for the foundation beams for quite some time, and this beam leveler at Home Depot fits the bill nicely. At about $20 each, they solve any leveling issues later on. We also have a different piece we picked up that may do the same thing and is about a quarter of the price.

GrowerNode™ Greenhouse Construction Index (The Islander):

Design Build Modular Greenhouse: Part 1: Introduction

Design Build Modular Greenhouse: Part 2: Foundation Layout (you are here)

Design Build Modular Greenhouse: Part 3: Foundation Concrete Footing

Design Build Modular Greenhouse: Part 4: Foundation Pier Column Setup

Design Build Modular Greenhouse: Part 5: Bubble Wrap Insulation: Floor Modules

Design Build Modular Greenhouse: Part 6: Framing: Bubble Wrap vs Glass Walls

Design Build Modular Greenhouse: Part 7: Roof Module Installation

Design Build Modular Greenhouse: Part 8: Phase 1 Completed, Ready for Sensors & Wifi Control System

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