What would you say to the chance of 40 percent energy savings plus an extended spring season? Pike Nurseries said yes and made the simple move of replacing ineffective black and green shadecloth with reflective shades that breathe. The results have been dramatic.
“Our intent was to cool the greenhouses so the plants, consumers and our associates are more comfortable,” said Mike Chapman, Vice President of Merchandising & Store Development for the Atlanta-based retail nursery chain. “Those three nurseries are much cooler than others.”
In fact, employees and customers alike report noticing a huge difference in the retail operation’s comfort level.
That’s no surprise to Jaderloon’s Cal Looney, who helped Pike Nurseries choose their systems. “A 30 foot wide Quonset greenhouse can be 15 to 20 degrees cooler consistently throughout the summer with good airflow,” he says. “That’s pretty substantial.”
Pike Nurseries has put the new Svensson shading in three locations so far, and the system has been so successful that they’re planning to roll it out in the rest of their 16 locations in and around Atlanta and Charlotte. Three Atlanta-area locations — Toco Hills, Buckhead and Roswell — got retractable shading in tandem with evaporative cooling. At Toco Hills, one 40,000 sq.ft. greenhouse got interior shade and all greenhouses got exterior shade on top of the plastic hoops. The Buckhead store, with the unique setup of chemicals and the registers outside in a greenhouse, got shade there and over the houseplants section. And Roswell’s house plants section received the cooling treatment of shade.
For the Pike Nurseries installations, they went with two different shading types for maximum results. For the interior, they used a Jadershade retractable energy/shade system built with Svensson *XLS Revolux reflective shade material. This closed type system maximizes energy savings by reducing the heat load to cool in the summer and increasing the insulation value of the roof during the winter to conserve energy. On the exterior of the Toco Hills greenhouses, which have no roof vents, they cut the plastic out and replaced with Svensson’s *FLS reflective exterior shade.
The key is in the fabric choice. “Use a reflective shade that breathes,” says Svensson’s Kurt Parbst. “At the 60% shade level, our shades compared with black reduce the heat gain by 30%. Plants and people can cool themselves, but both feel stress and discomfort.”
In reality, it only takes a 3 to 5 degree reduction to get noticed, says Cal. But that little cut adds up to big success. “If consumers are more comfortable, they’re going to spend more money,” Mike explains.
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*In June, 2014 our product names changed; FLS shade screens referenced in this article are now known as
SOLARO W/B shade screens. Closed XLS Revolux screens are now called TEMPA FR screens.