Greenhouse: Facts and Figures

Space and Usage of the Biology Greenhouses

Greenhouses

The Biology greenhouse facility encompasses 6626 sq. ft under glass of which approximately 90% is occupied by plants. The "Morrill" house is a semicircular unit attached to the south end of the Morrill Science Center. A glass tunnel leads to four identical ranges, numbered 1 to 4, that are divided into East and West sections. The "Clark" house is located about 100 feet away from Morrill and is attached to Clark Hall.

What follows are sizes of specific areas in the various greenhouses. Also shown is the purpose for a particular space. "Class/Collection" is the category that includes plants grown for course demonstrations or lab materials, and for undergraduate research projects. The "Research" category indicates space that is primarily for faculty research, and is used by post docs, graduate students, and by visitors, technicians etc. from the faculty member's lab. "Service" refers to space dedicated to propagation, seed germination, and seedling growth. The actual uses and sizes of the areas given below vary somewhat from year to year.

Plant Growth Area (sq. ft.)
House
Class/Collect
Research
Service
Total
Morrill
1448
0
0
1448
Tunnel
208
0
0
208
Range #1,
East and West
527
453
74
1054
Range #2,
East and West
527
527
0
1054
Range #3,
East and West
527
527
0
1054
Range #4,
East and West
1054
0
0
1054
Clark
700
54
0
754

Temperatures are regulated throughout the greenhouses by a thermostat-controlled venting system and by fan-powered evaporators in ranges #1 through #3, East and West. Lights of various intensities with programmable timers can be rigged over any bench. Range #4 (East and West sections) is devoted solely to tropical plants, and the Clark house is where plants are grown (e.g. alpines) that thrive under cooler conditions.

Growth Chambers

The Conviron growth chambers are housed in a 60' x 18' structure that is located opposite the four ranges. There are four walk-in chambers, eight smaller chambers, and one upright incubator. Almost all of the plants in these chambers are used for research, although some space is allocated for class use, especially when school is in session.

The growth chambers are controlled by a dedicated computer located in the head house. The environmental parameters are determined by the individual users, but the greenhouse manager is responsible for insuring that the conditions are maintained. When requested, the greenhouse staff sees to the watering of the plants in the chambers.

Other Greenhouse Space

The Biology greenhouse facility includes a head house with space for pots, potting media, manipulation of plants, etc., and a large double sink. Off this room is the manager's office of 180 sq. ft. where the dedicated computer for the growth chambers is located. There are two separate, lockable rooms of 180 and 270 sq. ft. that are maintained for storage of greenhouse-related items - power equipment, tools, spray materials, etc.

Near the entrance to the Morrill house, is an autoclave room for materials needed to be sterilized, and a short distance away is a walk-in cold room maintained at 10C that is available for cold-requiring plants. Another room of 270 sq. ft. just before entering the Morrill house is set up as an office for the greenhouse staff. This area (pictured below) has two sets of office furniture, bookshelves and a desk-top computer that has the collection spread sheet.