Solar Greenhouse Design and Construction

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ILLUSTRATION: MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF
The greenhouse design guidelines that follow are for the design of a solar greenhouse where light, not heat, is the limiting factor for plant growth.

A solar greenhouse is different from a sunspace. One is
designed to suit the needs of plants, the other those of
people. A solar greenhouse is a pleasant place to visit,
and it helps heat the house it’s connected to, but these
aren’t its primary purposes.

Solar Greenhouse Design and Construction

The solar greenhouse design guidelines that follow are for the design of a solar
greenhouse where light, not heat, is the limiting factor
for plant growth. A greenhouse built to these parameters
will require a small amount of back-up heat to maintain
optimum growing conditions. Still, it will provide more
energy to the house on an annual basis than it will require
for occasional auxiliary heating.

(For a thorough discussion of design considerations for
various types of greenhouses and sunspaces and a complete
explanation of building methods, see The Homeowner’s
Complete Handbook for Add-On Solar Greenhouses and
Sunspaces,
by Andrew M. Shapiro, Rodale Press, 1985;
$19.95.)