Not every greenhouse is suitable for crop gutters

Sometimes you hear growers talking about swapping the load of snow for the load of crop gutters. After all: the largest load of crop and gutter will be in summertime and obviously there will be no snow in summer. Although the train of thought is not strange, this is a mistake! In the past greenhouse constructions were not calculated on the load combination of hanging gutters, crop and snow. So don’t think you can swap the load capacity for snow with the weight of a gutter. It may cause the greenhouse to collapse.

Calculating for hanging crop gutters
The greenhouse construction must be calculated on several load combinations. In case of hanging crop gutters it is important to take the winter load for the crop into account. In the past this was not the standard. Therefore older greenhouses are usually not suitable for hanging crop gutters.

Snowfall in wintertime
There are a lot of differences in the way to calculate a greenhouse. For instance, which snow load is taken into account. Is the snow load based on a non-insulated roof and applicable to the steel construction as well as the roof? In case of a reduced snow load it is important to maintain a temperature of 12⁰ C under the roof in case of snowfall. Depending on the number of snow pipes it might be necessary to close the screen a bit. If you calculate with this scenario you must ensure that the capacity of the heating is calculated on the use without a screen. After all; you rather want to be safe than sorry.

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