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Not every greenhouse is suitable for crop gutters

Sometimes you hear growers talking about swapping the load for 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. If you want to use crop gutters in your existing greenhouse always ask your greenhouse builder or us to calculate if the construction is suitable for this.

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. Do you still want to assess the capacity of your existing greenhouse on the application of hanging crop gutters? Contact your greenhouse builder or ask us.

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.

If you want more information on this topic, please don’t hesitate to ask us. As your insurer and partner in business we have the knowledge and equipment to inform and help you out.

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