Design and build of £7m strawberry growing glasshouse

Client: Berry Farming

Location: Arundel, West Sussex

Project overview:

Our team was approached by this client as they had developed a new growing system for strawberries and were in need of a bespoke glasshouse designing and building.

A key aspect of the challenge presented to us was to ensure the light coming into the glasshouse was able to travel as far as possible and reach all the plants on a tiered growing system. It also needed to be ensured that light could be evenly distributed across the site. This was achieved through the use of specialist glazing.

Our dedicated construction division completed all building civils, including access roads, laydown areas, drainage and foundations for the site heat storage tank.

A gas boiler, running off Liquid Natural Gas due to the site’s location being too far away from existing supply lines, was built and sited, generating heat to be stored in the day and used at night, and to redistribute vaporised liquid Co2 back into the glasshouse to aid the growing process.

Due to the nature of the growing method used, a much higher volume of water was required due to the increased periods of watering required, so therefore it was essential that the site was able to recycle water to ensure it can be reused.

We installed an innovative irrigation, filtration and sterilisation system to allow rainwater to be harvested and collected from boreholes, and then flushed through the entire system and reused.

The results:

Having taken the order to design and build the facility, the 5.2 hectares glasshouse was was taken from concept to completion and fully operational within eight months, with the first crop of strawberries planted.

The design has helped Berry Farming to be able to produce a much higher amount of strawberries per square metre than is normally found across the industry and the strawberries grown on site are distributed to Tesco supermarkets by dps Limited.

David Moore, Director of Berry Farming:

“We selected CambridgeHOK to develop this facility in partnership with us as we were aware of their reputation as leaders in the industry and for being innovative pioneers themselves when it comes to indoor growing facilities, processes and technologies. It was very much been a partnership from day one, and we were pleased with their input, expertise and support.”

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