Greenhouse over Exactum

Today, we finally brought the plants into our greenhouse. I’ve intentionally kept this project in the dark until we had proper pictures, but that changes now:

Lassi placing the first plants.

Lassi placing the first plants. (Click image for the picture gallery.)

On December 5th, 2012 we finished the construction of our experimental rooftop greenhouse. The idea is to harvest the exhaust heat from the computer servers we’ve been free cooling with outside air since 2010. In this, our project is similar to that of Dr. Paul Brenner‘s Green Cloud supercomputing project. They harvest server exhaust heat up a greenhouse at the South Bend Conservatory.

The main differences between South Bend and us are that

  1. we constructed the greenhouse from scratch in order to examine the viability of rooftop gardening
  2. the greenhouse is part of a larger green roof installation under construction for the World Design Capital Helsinki year 2012
  3. our climate is somewhat more harsh, presenting additional questions about the sustainability of the plants (see below)
Greenhouse surrounded by snow

Greenhouse surrounded by snow

Due to its prototype nature, our greenhouse is also much smaller than that of the South Bend Conservatory. The full size of our greenhouse is only 9,4 m². We heat our greenhouse using an experimental 26 U rack presented earlier in this blog.
I will present the greenhouse dimensions, heat characteristics, and plant selection in more detail in upcoming posts. Right now, we are looking for volunteers to help out with the project. If you become interested, don’t hesitate to contact Mikko Pervilä and/or Lassi Remes at the University of Helsinki.
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