Achieving Passive Solar, Year-Round Greenhouse Gardening

Passive Solar, Year Round Greenhouse – Technical Details


Our passive solar greenhouse design not only provides year round growing, but it also provides superior engineering and durability in a variety of environments. Unlike some solar greenhouse kits, the Growing Dome® geodesic greenhouse withstands wind, snow, heat, and a variety of harsh weather conditions.

Our year round greenhouse kit is ready for owner construction or for installation by our highly skilled Growing Spaces® crew. These Growing Dome greenhouses allow peaceful sanctuary in a lush year-round garden and work especially well in places with cold, harsh winter climates.

Along with purchase of our passive solar greenhouse kit, we provide you access to an entire website containing the following useful documents and videos to ensure your success in assembling your Growing Dome geodesic greenhouse:

  • Detailed Instruction Manual
  • Engineered Plans
  • Owner Supplied Items List
  • Installation Videos

And, we are always just a phone call (800-753-9333) or email ([email protected]) away to provide technical support and answer any questions about our Growing Domes!

Geodesic Dome Greenhouse Structure

Structural units of the Growing Dome greenhouses consist of Douglas Fir lumber, treated with an eco-friendly Lifetime Wood Treatment, ready to fasten to strong, custom-made aluminum connecting hubs. The Growing Dome geodesic greenhouse structural members are warranted for 5 years from the date of purchase of the Growing Dome.

Our passive solar greenhouse kits come pre-cut, pre-drilled, and color coded. If you are semi-handy with a hammer, circular saw, and electric drill, you can choose to assemble sizes 26 ft. diameter and under of Growing Dome geodesic greenhouse yourself.

Greenhouse Foundation Wall

The Growing Dome greenhouse wall is built from lumber studs and plates clad with a structural siding, insulated with R-12 insulation, and lined with galvanized metal flashing on the inside. Enjoy raised bed gardening in our garden greenhouses with the 24″ foundation wall that comes with your geodesic greenhouse kit.

Polycarbonate Greenhouse Glazing Panels

Our year round greenhouses feature high quality polycarbonate glazing that is a clear translucent covering that allows 62% to 81% light transmission. This greenhouse covering resists breakdown by ultraviolet light and harsh weather impacts, like hail. The greenhouse polycarbonate glazing has a life expectancy of over 20 years and comes with a 10 year warranty by the manufacturer against yellowing and hail damage. You and your plants will love the soft diffused light inside our Growing Dome greenhouses.

We offer a multi-wall (16mm) polycarbonate glazing with an R Value of 3.0 and a twin-wall (8mm) polycarbonate glazing with an R value of 1.7.

The Following Features
are included with the Growing Dome Kit

Above Ground Pond:

The main thermal mass of the passive solar Growing Dome greenhouses is a large elliptical shaped above ground pond for the 15′-26′ Growing Domes. Round ponds are standard for the two larger Growing Dome greenhouses.

Pre-drilled brackets, hardware, and a pond liner are provided in our geodesic greenhouse kits by Growing Spaces. Locally purchased items include sheet metal and some lumber to complete the tank assembly for these year round greenhouses. Upon purchase you will receive exact dimensions and quantities of these Owner Supplied Items.

The pond in the year round greenhouse can be used as a water garden to grow aquatic plants and fish and is a critical feature of the Growing Dome’s passive solar design. Ask us about our Solar Fountain Option.

North Wall Insulation:

With our passive solar greenhouse kits, Reflectix® custom-cut insulation panels are provided to cover the northern 2/5ths of the Growing Dome, acting as a blanket to cut down heat loss in the winter months and shading the above ground pond like an umbrella would during summer months. This keeps the Growing Dome greenhouses warmer in the winter and cooler during summer. The reflective surface increases the available light inside the Growing Domes.

Automatic Vents:

Automatic greenhouse vent openers open and close the vents which prevent the geodesic greenhouses from overheating. In our year round greenhouses, these openers are adjustable and work by the natural heating and cooling of a tube of compressed wax. Read more about our Automatic Greenhouse Vent Openers.

Central Air System:

In the central air system (also known as an undersoil heating and cooling system), a small fan draws warm air through pipes buried under the soil of our garden green houses, raising the soil temperature to enable plants to grow better during cold weather conditions. The passive solar greenhouse kit contains the fan, distribution box, and a solar panel to power the fan. The pipe is one of the locally purchased items and readily available through most building supply stores.

Cooling System:

The 26 foot Growing Dome passive solar greenhouse comes standard with one thermostatically controlled, solar powered, 12V cooling vent fan (a $465 value).

The larger Growing Dome greenhouses (33′ & 42′) come standard with 110V cooling fans which require an electrical power supply. A Solar Powered Cooling Upgrade is available for these larger year round greenhouses at additional cost.

A solar cooling fan can be added to any size of Growing Dome greenhouse with the Desert Heat Package upgrade.

Owner Supplied Items

The Growing Dome is purchased as a geodesic greenhouse kit. However, there are items for our year round greenhouses that are very bulky, costly to ship and inexpensively available at your local building supply store. These items are not included in the Growing Dome kit; doing so lowers the overall cost for the Growing Dome owner.

A detailed list of these items with measurements and quantity will be provided along with the installation package you receive from Growing Spaces.
Some of these locally purchased items for geodesic greenhouse kit include: the central air system ducts, perimeter and wall insulation, sand, 3/4 inch washed gravel for the Growing Dome perimeter, sheet metal and lumber for the above ground pond. Most materials are easily found at your local hardware supply.*

Below is an estimate of the cost of the above items, but they can vary according to local suppliers.

15 ft. diameter Growing Dome: $650
18 ft. diameter Growing Dome: $700
22 ft. diameter Growing Dome: $800
26 ft. diameter Growing Dome: $1050
33 ft. diameter Growing Dome: $1400
42 ft. diameter Growing Dome: $1850

*The sheet metal can be found at a heating & air conditioning or sheet metal supply store.
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