A workshop by Dr. Greenhouse

Unpacking the complexity of HVAC

No matter where you grow, it may be an indoor farm, a greenhouse, or a vertical farm; there’s one thing they have in common: climate management. Being one of the biggest challenges of every grower, Dr. Greenhouse, Inc. is hosting a workshop on May 5-6, in Sacramento, CA. The workshop will touch upon a variety of topics, all grouped under the main theme of the event: HVAC Fundamentals for Indoor Plant Environments. “HVAC is very complicated,” says Dr. Nadia Sabe. “People understand lights, and that plants need to be watered and all of that, but the climate is oftentimes taken for granted.”

So, Dr. Nadia initially designed the workshop for growers only. Yet, she realized that many people in horticulture, and not only growers, are looking for information and understanding of how to manage their climate better. “The people that come to our workshop are growers, engineers, manufacturers and vendors, contractors, and even people from academia.” After two years of no workshop due to the pandemic, Dr. Greenhouse is set to return to educate horti people on the complexities of climate management.

Everything HVAC
In the two-day workshop, Dr. Nadia and other speakers will discuss everything HVAC, from load calculation, VPD, and energy balance to humidity and plant physiology. “It’s crucial for growers to understand how different seasons affect your ability to manage the climate,” she continues. “We specifically design HVAC to be hidden, and most people don’t directly interact with it. The easiest things to notice are lighting, irrigation, and nutrient deficiencies, all things that one can see with their eyes. With HVAC, that’s not so simple, and one has to consider that even climate management can have a big impact on nutrient deficiencies.”

At the same time, the workshop is not only strictly cultivation-related, but it will also touch upon other relevant topics, such as energy codes. “We will also stress the importance of considering energy codes coming out in various countries and states, and how to make one’s cultivation future proof.”

Practice the theory 
Theory alone is not enough, and the workshop will also allow participants to practice what they learn. “I really want this to be interactive. We have several group exercises where participants will do some different experiments such as using different sensors to monitor leaf temperature,” Dr. Nadia explains.

The interaction though is not only on a speaker-audience level, but rather involves everyone equally. “I like the cross-pollination of this group,” says she. “Not only because it’s a great networking opportunity, but also because it allows growers, engineers, and everyone involved to share their challenges and let the room support them. That’s why we always greatly encourage people to ask questions and to speak out during our sessions.” 

A common language for the industry 
The goal of the workshop is not only to share knowledge and let people interact with each other and practice with that but also to provide a common language for all the horti people to discuss certain topics. “Everyone in the industry should know what it’s about when one talks about VPD, or about psychometric charts. Not only for growers to better grasp what engineers do, but also for engineers to further understand the complexities of CEA. In this way, not only growers can make informed decisions when talking HVAC with engineers, but also engineers would know that, for instance, what plant transpiration is and why it needs to be taken into account,” points out Nadia.

All the major crops are going to be discussed during the workshop, with a special mention of upcoming crops such as berries and cannabis. “We will provide food, networking time, and we also have designated time off where we encourage people to go taste the food cultivated the way we discuss in the workshop,” she remarks. “I learned so much from my first workshop, and this was when it was a one-day event,” says Chanda Perman with Dr. Greenhouse. “Even if you are at the periphery of this tech, it's just so informative. Dr. Nadia makes it feel real, with real-life examples and experiments.” 

Click here to register for the workshop

For more information:
Dr. Greenhouse
930 Alhambra Blvd, Ste. 260
Sacramento, CA 95816
(916) 476-6078

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