Glasshouse extension to help Scottish nursery improve plant production efficiency

The expertise of the CambridgeHOK commercial glasshouse design and build team has helped a successful Scottish nursery expand its business and benefit from working in a much-improved growing environment.

McLaren's Nurseries in Barrhead, a wholesale and retail supplier and grower of plants, turned to the expertise of the CambridgeHOK team when looking replace part of its site with a new 5,040 square metres glasshouse.

The project included the full design and build of the new Venlo glasshouse, which replaced an old facility which was removed after decades of use.

The new glasshouse extension was spilt into three sections for general work, planting and heating and included mobile benching and manual conveyor systems to aid the growing process and increase efficiencies. A new biomass boiler room was also built in a concealed cladded area.

Glasshouse extension completed in four months

Having started work on site in October of last year, the project was completed to a tight timescale in order to be handed over in February 2022, ready for McLaren's to start planting ahead of the busy spring and summer period.

Daryl McWhinnie, Nursery Manager at McLarens Nurseries, said he had been hugely impressed with the service provided by CambridgeHOK, and the final product they are now benefitting from.

“When we were talking to our contacts in the growing industry about our need to replace our old glasshouse we were advised to go with CambridgeHOK if we wanted the best quality facility and environment, and that advice has proved right,” he said.

“Noel O’Leary from CambridgeHOK came to see us here in Scotland and we discussed exactly what we wanted before presented us with the designs. We were able to be very specific in what we needed in terms of the zones we wanted to create and all the extras such as petitions, heated areas and automated curtains and doors.

“The project faced a tight schedule as we first met to discuss the project in May of last year. Cambridge started on site in October and they handed over to use in early February, which was perfect for us to start the new season.

“We have ended with a facility which has provided us with a much improved growing environment with 25 bays in total, spread over zones with differing levels of ventilation and shading. The flexibility of the mobile benching system, which is really easy to use, allows us to cycle crops very quickly.

“We are already feeling the benefits of being able to work much more effectively and efficiently.”

Glasshouse provided stunning location for music video

As the build was completed on schedule, it even allowed time for a local alternative metal band, Six Year Silence, to use the new glasshouse as the location to film their latest music video single ‘My Enemy’, providing a stunning background.

“We’re certainly not in the business of building rock music video venues, but this was a project right up our street in terms of providing and effective and efficient new growing environment, built to meet the specific needs of a client,” said Stuart Neylon, project manager for CambridgeHOK.

“We were of course delighted to be chosen by McLaren’s Nurseries for this project as it is a business with a great reputation for suppling the highest quality of plants, shrubs and trees to commercial customers such as garden centres, as well as of course to the general public. To do that it needs the very best glasshouse facilities.

“It is always particularly pleasing to be chosen on a glasshouse project by a new customer who we’ve not worked for before, and to be recommended by others in the industry, as this demonstrates our ever-strengthening reputation in this market as leaders in the field.

“It is great to know all at McLarens are happy with the final product and how it has improved their growing systems. The site also looked great on the music video, although we have to say providing good acoustics for staging concerts was not part of the brief!”

CambridgeHOK has made headlines for the completion two huge, highly-sophisticated UK strawberry growing developments in recent times, building a six hectare strawberry growing facility for Dyson Farming in Lincolnshire and a similar £7m facility for Berry Farming in West Sussex.

The new glasshouse at McLaren's Nurseries can be seen on the Six Year Silence music video

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