For the North American market, expanding or building a new greenhouse is becoming increasingly complex. Many requirements are imposed and many aspects need to be considered for a new location that requires significant amounts of time, energy, and expertise. Site evaluation, permit assistance, utility and financial feasibility analysis, and climate study, are just some of the items examined. Through collaboration with Blueforest Environmental Development, Havecon presents a solution to these complex issues.
Havecon’s partnership with Blueforest Environmental Development started eight years ago when Havecon’s clients were looking to expand into new markets. Knowing the complexity of planning, building, and operational regulations Blueforest was brought on. Founded in 2014, Blueforest specializes in property identification and assessment, permitting and incentive procurement, community education and outreach, and project management and coordination. With Blueforest's strategic project-development skills; and Havecon's expertise in modeling, engineering and construction, a comprehensive approach is taken to leave no stone unturned. This partnership has allowed the companies to work with investors and growers alike to provide a full-service experience.
Land identification and assessment
Before construction can start, understanding the needs and wants of the client is imperative in the site-selection process. A detailed investigation is completed where multiple properties are evaluated from logistical, social, environmental and financial perspectives using Blueforest’s in-house 50-point selection criteria. Top sites are moved to the next phase where further site studies are completed with local subcontractors until the best site prevails. During this process discussions are held with key stakeholders to educate and address any developmental obstacles.
Design and engineering
During the land identification and assessment phase, the client works with Havecon and its Atrium partners on greenhouse design, site layout, construction phasing, cultivation concepts, automation implementation, and component systems requirements. This information is needed to estimate load requirements for system analysis, utility connection, and eventually permit approvals.
Financial feasibility study
Top sites are run through Havecon’s in-house financial feasibility model. This model determines the viability of the project based on the projected capital investment and estimated operating costs at each location. The data derived from this study gives the client a solid understanding of their investment based on various inputs and scenarios in order to review and present financial impact. In addition to providing insight to the client, data from this study is used to support financing applications.
In selecting a site, the local weather plays a significant role in how the greenhouse is designed and what component systems are needed to create the best growing environment for the crop. The Havecon’s climate study involves an in-depth mathematical climate model that uses historical weather data as inputs to understand the impacts the local weather conditions have on the greenhouse design and what systems are required. Working with its Atrium partners to model and create an optimal indoor growing environment.
With each location, different permits are needed for site development and greenhouse construction. Navigating which permits are required and what reports are needed can be overwhelming and confusing. Years of experience have helped Blueforest streamline this process by working with the regulatory authorities at the beginning of the process and aligning ourselves with local subcontractors to organize the necessary studies needed for approval.
"Communication, coordination, and transparency between all parties is critical to the success and completion of the project. Throughout the entire project from land selection to final completion, the client is working with one group that takes responsibility for all aspects of the project. We take your mind off the development so you can focus on your day-to-day operations," says Henk Verbrakel with Havecon.
"With the completion of the greenhouse, Havecon does not walk away, instead Havecon works with leading growing consultancy and automation providers to ensure clients maximize all the technology capabilities installed. Clients have the option of working with growers to ensure projected yields are met and the highest quality of product is achieved," he adds. "In short, Havecon unburdens its client from start to finish. With the collaboration of Blueforest, Havecon has created a one-stop-shop that enables clients to have all elements carried out by one main contractor. This results in a great level of customer support Havecon offers its clients. We make your vision become reality."