Prior to 1995, poly greenhouses had “hoop” type arches, resulting in condensation water from the roof area dripping on the crop. For plug growers, this was especially an issue — one drop of water would take out a plug, often resulting in 10% or more plug loss. For flower and produce growers, cold water dripping on foliage could also cause diseases such as Botrytis.
In 1995, Westbrook Greenhouse Systems developed the first “peaked-styled” poly house called the “APEX” greenhouse to address those issues. It remains the accepted standard in the market for poly houses.
The APEX greenhouse was designed to be multi-functional in nature. For budget reasons, growers could initially build poly with future conversion possible.
Currently, the APEX roof can be converted to tempered glass, polycarbonate or acrylic, and more recently to insulated roof panels.
The APEX poly greenhouse is available with fan ventilation (fixed roof), gutter vents, raised vents, and also a peak vent for maximum ventilation. The standard in the industry is gutter-vented design. However, in northern climates where growers have to contend with colder weather, there are times when the vents cannot be opened. For this reason, the “raised” vent was developed, eliminating that problem. Since hot air rises, the peak vented roof was developed – trapped peak air can escape – providing an additional 4-5° Celsius of cooling.
The APEX glass house is available with a fixed roof or continuous ridge vents. The same applies to the APEX polycarbonate of acrylic roof designs. Additionally, the APEX roof can be retrofitted to most arched style houses.
The APEX service building comes with insulated roof panels (designed for any snow loading requirements), insulated walls and gables, and is available in a number of widths. Offices, coolers, veg rooms, planting and packaging areas all fit will inside this facility.
In short, the APEX house is multi-functional, with the added bonus of easy expansion since the frame is used in all house styles.