A commercial greenhouse is a structure that allows nurseries, landscaping companies, and farmers to grow crops all year round. Commercial greenhouses extend the growing season, protect seedlings and plants from harsh weather and pests, and increase profit opportunities. If you are interested in commercial greenhouse design or are wondering how to build a commercial greenhouse, read on. 


What to Know When Building a Commercial Greenhouse

When learning how to build a greenhouse, you need to consider several important factors, including:

  1. Location - Where do you want to build a commercial greenhouse? Retailers benefit from proximity to residential areas, and wholesalers benefit from proximity to highways. 
  2. Local regulations - Various sites have a building, wetland, and zoning regulations.
  3. Topography - Sites with a small slope between 1-2% provide the ideal drainage. 
  4. Orientation and exposure to the sun - The same slope of 1-2% also provides ideal solar exposure. 
  5. Water access - Approximately 0.3 gallons of water are required for each square foot of growing space every day. 
  6. Temperature control and ventilation - If you experience cold winters, your greenhouse will need heat during the winter months. Some plants need cool temperatures so ventilation is key. Plus, plants need air to grow. A natural ventilation system will be less expensive and provide better circulation than fans. 
  7. Energy conservation - It is important for the environment and your bottom line to minimize and offset energy usage. 
  8. Business growth objectives - Do you want to expand your greenhouse as your business grows? 
  9. Design aesthetic - How do you want your greenhouse to look? 

Building a Commercial Greenhouse vs. a DIY Backyard Greenhouse

Commercial greenhouses differ from DIY backyard greenhouses in a number of ways. Commercial greenhouses are typically larger than backyard greenhouses. While it is feasible to build a DIY greenhouse on your own, you will need a team of experienced builders to construct a commercial greenhouse. Additionally, commercial greenhouses are typically engineered to effectively and efficiently grow specific crops and support wholesale or retail goals. It is important that you consult with an engineer or designer who specializes in commercial greenhouses when creating your commercial greenhouse.


Commercial Greenhouse Design Ideas

There are many different types of commercial greenhouse design ideas, and they generally fall into the following two categories - either temporary or permanent structures. 

Seasonal Commercial Greenhouses

PVC-coated spring wire and greenhouse plastic sheeting are commonly used for seasonal or semi-permanent commercial greenhouse operations. These types of structures have curved roofs, and they are relatively easy to install and break down. Commercial growers often choose these types of structures because they can selectively remove the plastic covering to facilitate ideal plant growth cycles. 

Permanent Commercial Greenhouses

Multiwall polycarbonate panels, Tuftex sheeting, wood, steel, and aluminum are commonly used to build permanent commercial greenhouse structures. These buildings are custom-engineered and built to last for many years. The polycarbonate material is ideal because it is 20x stronger than glass, is cost-effective, allows light to shine through, and is an excellent heat insulator. 


Tools & Materials for Building a Commercial Greenhouse


  1. Pressure-treated wood posts

  2. Metal posts

  3. Wood screws

  4. Hinges, latches, and handles

  5. Windows

  6. Doors

  7. Nails

  8. Multiwall polycarbonate panels and/or Tuftex sheeting

  9. Tuftex closure strips

  10. Tuftex fasteners

  11. 100% silicone sealer, vinyl adhesive, or PVC cement

  12. Concrete

  13. Lighting, heating, and ventilation equipment


  1. Drill

  2. Hand or circular saw

  3. Hammer 

  4. Pencil

  5. Measuring tape

  6. Sand paper

  7. Staple gun

  8. Work gloves and protective goggles

  9. Level

  10. Shovel

  11. Ladders and scaffolding 


  1. Engineer

  2. Professional builders 

Steps in Building a Commercial Greenhouse

While commercial greenhouses come in a few different shapes and sizes, there are a few critical steps involved in building a commercial greenhouse. 

  1. The first step is to select or create your design. Consult with an engineer and professional greenhouse builders to create a design that meets your business goals, meets safety and industry standards, and adheres local zoning requirements. 

  2. Select the ideal location and orientation for your greenhouse. 

  3. Take note of the measurements, all necessary tools and materials, and the quantity of materials needed. 

  4. Acquire all the tools and materials needed for the project. 

  5. Prepare the land for the construction of the greenhouse.  

  6. Lay the foundation for the greenhouse. 

  7. Construct and erect the greenhouse frame. 

  8. Install the polycarbonate sheeting on the greenhouse frame by following the instructions in the Tuftex Installation Guide

  9. Install doors, windows, equipment, and any additional features you need to complete the commercial greenhouse. 

  10. Finally, begin growing seedlings and plants. Celebrate the completion of your commercial greenhouse with a grand-opening ceremony.  

For more professional resources and high-quality materials, visit the Onduline site today.