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JGS state-of-the-art greenhouses for institutional purposes:

"LED growing chambers will become widespread under commercial growers"

Frank Jonkman started his greenhouse business in 1970, and five years ago, Gerry Harrison, owner of GGS, expressed his desire to get into the institutional market, which led to the founding of JGS. While the former still focuses on the construction of commercial greenhouses, JGS is specialised in the design of institutional greenhouses mostly intended for research purposes.

JGS’s latest project was the assembly of a state-of-the-art plant growing chamber with LED lights for KISR in Kuwait. According to Frank, “what made this project unique is that we brought the light level to 700 micromoles with a whole spectrum of colours adapted to different stages in the plants’ development.” The biggest challenge with this was to maintain the constant temperature inside the chamber as well as cool the light arrays.

This new growing chamber can be used to cultivate all kinds of vegetables, including aubergines, peppers, lettuce or tomatoes. “We have studied what colour and type of light is needed for different plants at different stages, so I believe it goes one step further than what everyone else has been doing so far,” affirms Frank.

For now the project will remain in the domain of architectural research, as at this stage it is still very expensive technology for commercial growers, but eventually it will become widespread. “Our greenhouses cost approximately $3000 to $5000 dollar per square meter, while a normal commercial greenhouse cost about $100 per square meter,” says Frank. He explains that “once the client has the prototype set up, they’ll be ordering 30 more of these benches for them to use as part of a large scale experimental project.”

JGS is also devoted to the construction of rooftop greenhouses, mainly for Universities and intended for research and educational purposes. “This is not much more of a complex process, but you must pay close attention to waterproofing the floor to prevent liquids from dripping below. Most of the work we do is with new buildings, so most are strong enough for the undertaking of such projects,” explains Frank.

The material of choice for these greenhouses is tempered glass, as it allows more light to go through and it is also more durable. Frank says that “in Canada, naturally there is also the issue of snow, and depending on the local snow loading we will use a different glass thickness and increase the strength of the steel substructure. It is all down to how strong it needs to be. We generally use steel main structures and an aluminium system for the glazing.”

JGS develops its projects mostly in the U.S. and Canada for experimental stations, institutions such as Agriculture Canada and the United States Department of Agriculture, we have also done work in Africa, South America and are currently working on a turnkey design for KISR in Kuwait “For the type of work that we do, I find it essential for clients to work with people who understand what they need in terms of electrical, mechanical, heating, cooling, lighting or irrigation features. In this sense, JGS is ready to provide the design for the entire turn-key project from start to finish,” concludes Frank Jonkman.

For more information:
JGS Architectural and Research Greenhouses
Frank Jonkman
Tel. 905-775-5353
Fax. 905-775-4785
[email protected]