Insulating a metal storage shed (to use as a greenhouse) - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-25-2011, 07:49 PM Thread Starter
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Insulating a metal storage shed (to use as a greenhouse)

I need to move my tanks out of my garage and I have a metal storage shed (~ 10x12') that I plan on converting into a greenhouse to grow orchids, anubias, and crypts. I only intend on having filtered sunlight coming from the roof.

The problem I have is that the temperature can rise up to 110-115 degrees in the summer. What is the best way to insulate this shed?

Any advice given will be greatly appreciated.

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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-25-2011, 07:58 PM
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It's probably not the best way but the way I would do it be to just fit pink extruded polystyrene insulation all around the inside.

If you are really going ot keep it as a greenhouse with sunlight shining inthrough glass pains then insulation is probably not the best approach. You would have to air condition it crazy to keep it cool. It would be better I think to instead increase the ventilation a lot. You can also cool it with evaprotive cooling.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-25-2011, 07:59 PM
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Frameless metal shed....

I would use construction adhesive and rigid foam boards.

Don't forget ventilation. Adjustable dampers and fans on thermostats would be nice.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-25-2011, 08:13 PM
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Just my opinion, but I think you might be better off building a simple hoophouse. I think that no matter what you do to insulate your shed, you will end up needing to put an air conditioner in there for your summer months. Unless the shed is under an old growth forest or something? For instance, I have a shed in the backyard of a family member's house that I use as a workshop, and it has been insulated. And because it is under a bunch of old oak trees, it never climbs much above 90 degrees when I have the door open in the middle of summer.

But a hoophouse isn't really enclosed, per se, so a hoophouse would pretty much remain close to whatever the ambient temperatures are in your area at all times.

I just think that you might end up saving time and money if you build a simple PVC hoophouse and cover it with clear plastic.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-26-2011, 01:36 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the replies fellas.

Evaporative cooling sounds like a good way to reduce the temperature in an open environment where the air supply flowing into the unit is dry. But once the shed is humidified, the ability to cool the air is reduced.

I plan on installing a mist system as well. Would it have the same effect as evaporative cooling?

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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-26-2011, 01:39 AM
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If this is going to get direct sun, short of a real cooling system you won't do much to knock the temp down. The insulation will prevent swings, but if you don't cool it, it will eventually heat up(and thus cool down slower...) You'll be surprised just how hot it gets.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-26-2011, 02:14 AM
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Combining ventilation and insulation and shading will give the best results.

Hook up your fans to solar power. When the sun shines, the air is moving.

LA is dry enough that evaporative cooling will work really well. I would set this up so it takes up at least half the height of one wall. The system itself will add humidity, so you may not need misters. I have seen the system in use at California Carnivores.

Shading the building during the hottest part of the day will benefit the plants as well as keep it a bit cooler. There are very few tropical plants that want the full mid-day sun. You might start just by white-washing the roof panels, but if that is not enough you will probably add shade cloth above the roof so there is shade from about noon to 4PM, maybe longer.
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