Nethouses are low-cost, lightweight structures used for cultivation purposes, protecting plants from meteorological hazards and pests and enhancing internal microclimate naturally. They offer improved crop quality, increased yield, reduction of pesticide requirements, and, therefore, higher profitability when compared to the open field cultivations. Nethouse applications can be effective in hot and mild climate regions, and they are found in various geometrical configurations depending on the specific grower's needs and environmental conditions.
The major reason growers in Europe hesitate to invest in nethouses is their empirical, inadequate design, which results in ineffective structures since the existing Standards do not include provisions for their design and construction. In the present work, conventional nethouse typologies are presented, design requirements are discussed, and design parameters are identified. Finally, the structural design of a steel flat-roof nethouse in south Greece, based on the previously established methodology, is presented. More specifically, the loads acting on the structure are determined according to the European Standards EN 1991 and EN 13031-1 regarding the actions on structures and the design of greenhouses, respectively. Especially, wind loads are calculated through Computational Fluid Dynamic analysis due to the lack of normative provisions concerning the calculation of wind pressures on permeable surfaces.
The structural design is realized according to the European Standard for the design of steel structures EN 1993. Results show that following the proposed rational structural analysis and design methodology, a safe and economic nethouse structure can be achieved.
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Antonodimitraki, Sofia & Giannoulis, Anastasios & Dougka, Yiouli & Briassoulis, Demetres & Vayas, Ioannis. (2022). Structural Design and Analysed Methodology for a Flat-roof Nethouse in Greece.