How To Build An Attached Greenhouse

When constructing an attached greenhouse there are a few essentials to consider. Find out how to build your own greenhouse here.

An attached greenhouse is a great feature in any permaculture design because it serves so many functions. Your greenhouse can become not only a growing space but also a living space.

An attached greenhouse:

  • Provides a protected environment for growing seedlings.
  • Extends the growing season into cooler months.
  • Provides shade through hot months and shelter from extreme weather events (eg. frost, hail, wind).
  • Controls the growing environment (eg. irrigation, beneficial insects, nuisance animals).

To begin, work out how you will use your attached greenhouse – is it mostly for gardening or is it to warm or extend domestic space?

seedlings in the greenhouse

Design considerations for your attached greenhouse

Site

Slope; orientation; location of services (power, water, drainage); altitude and latitude; climate and weather (eg. prevailing winds); space available; access to garden and relevant features (eg. location of compost); potential for shading (of and by it); and fire risk.

Budget

This will limit size possible and choice of materials; using standard dimensions is economical; attached greenhouses can be cheaper than freestanding ones.

greenhouse design

Aesthetics

Influenced by the architectural character of the house or other buildings (e.g. overall shape, proportions).

Sustainability

Active and passive features required (to store heat, screen, ventilate and circulate air); choice and availability of materials (including recycling/reuse of timber, windows and doors, paving); hygiene (how will you clean it?).

Personal and practical

A layout to fit your gardening style, tool use, physical circulation (e.g. to move a wheelbarrow) and storage needs; the sorts and size of plants you want to grow; time of day/year you will be active there – do you need supplementary lighting?; your interests – do you want somewhere to eat breakfast, read a book or entertain?

How to build an attached greenhouse

In Issue #1 of Pip Magazine, we reveal everything you need to know building an attached greenhouse, including:

  • Construction considerations when building your greenhouse, including thermal mass, insulation and ventilation.
  • What materials to use in your build, including advice on flooring, walls and roof materials.
  • Permaculture uses for an attached greenhouse. 

You can access this article online here as part of our digital subscription offering, or subscribe to the print version of Pip Magazine here

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