Greenfield Community College, located in Greenfield, Massachusetts, contracted KSR to construct a greenhouse in an effort to expand their Science department. The plan called for an energy efficient facility in which students could learn botany through hands-on experience.
The 1,000 square-foot greenhouse was designed in a deliberate way to maximize energy efficiency while maintaining an optimal growing environment. It is made using a combination of triple-pane polycarbonate windows and double-paned glass windows which can withstand harsh weather and trap heat, but still provide optimal sunlight for photosynthesis. The insulation on the back walls, in conjunction with the concrete floor of the greenhouse, help absorb heat loss. A special set of solar panels at the top of the greenhouse was added as a secondary method of heating the structure. As the sun heats the solar panels, fluid circulates through piping under the floor and radiates heat directly beneath the plant beds. This will heat the area inside the greenhouse and warm the soil. The greenhouse energy system does not burn any fossil fuels, lessening its eco-footprint.
Kronenberger & Sons was responsible for all aspects of construction, including foundations, footings, framing, glazing, electrical, solar thermal collectors, photovoltaic panels, plumbing, and finishes.