cannabis grow room

Sealed & Portable Medicinal Cannabis Grow Rooms

How Cleanrooms Reduce the Energy Footprint of Indoor Medical Cannabis Grow Rooms

Modular Grow Room Design Efficiency

Modular cannabis grow room designs allow for more adaptable configurations when expanding, relocating, or re-purposing a grow room. Prefab modular grow rooms are cost-effective without the inconvenience of conventional “stick-built” construction. Because components interlock together with no cutting or sawing, a small team can complete the installation on site with minimal interruption of parallel operations. A clean design is deliverable into an operational grow room in just a matter of a few weeks. Design simplicity makes determining the final cost or obtaining blueprints far easier than traditional construction.

Why Are Modular Grow Rooms Ideal for Cannabis Cultivation?

Indoor cannabis cultivation is an intensive process, which generates a large footprint for energy and labor demands. While indoor medical cannabis grows generate faster, more diverse yields, the cost of energy consumption is culturally, environmentally, and economically relevant.

Generally, air conditioning, humidity control, and lighting generate nearly 75% of overhead costs. Because the market price of medical cannabis continues to drive downward, market forces designate the largest percentage of revenues to those with the highest degree of efficiency and lowest overhead costs. Likewise, the evolving regulatory landscape and green-friendly initiatives continue to push indoor cannabis cultivation toward efficiency. Denver’s plan to reduce greenhouse emissions by 2050 to 80% below 2005 levels is a new benchmark for operators of large and multifamily building cultivation facilities over 50,000 sq. ft. 

Figure 1. Breakdown of energy use for indoor cannabis production. Source: Mills 2012.

Grow Room Filtration and Air Filter Design

HVAC Efficiency and Air Quality 

Advanced airflow management and efficiency technology have empowered manufacturing of the worlds most advanced critical products for over a half-century. A key development is the rise of modular, prefabricated grow room components. 

Recirculating air flow cleanrooms exhaust and recycle up to 80% of room air. Recycling and filtering of preconditioned room air is ideal for maximizing efficiency. Instead of outside air that requires full temperature, humidity, and cleanliness conditioning, recycled room air reduces the overall energy tax by reducing redundant heating, cooling, and moisture removal.

Modular cleanroom technology adapts to the rising demand for high volume air use expected within controlled growing facilities. Another popular adaptation to improve efficiency and reduce energy consumption is the use of insulated grow room wall panels.

Why is R-Value So Important for Cannabis Grow Rooms?

R-value is a measure of thermal resistance. The larger the R-value, the more resistant walls and ceiling are to heat conduction. A room that retains more heat requires less energy input, therefore reducing energy cost and consumption.

A core advantage of modular cannabis grows is that each room features custom prefab wall panels with adaptable R-values, thickness, and surface materials. 

Conduction, convection, and radiation are properties of thermal transfer which sabotage tight thresholds of humidity and temperature. Without tight seals between walls, ceilings, and entry points, convection skews temperature and moisture levels. In critical pharmaceutical and electronics manufacturing cleanrooms, every component is designed with great detail to avoid any air gaps and pressure differentials. If air can pass through crevices, so can heat, moisture, odors and contaminants like pests, pollen, spores, and bacterial pathogens.

Convection generates mildew in the nooks, cracks, and crevices such as inside of wall cavities and hard to reach corners. Because cannabis grow rooms are generally water and moisture rich environments, the most problematic concern is the ability of microbes, mites, spores, and pollen to migrate on a jet stream of moist warm air.

Because many grow rooms are externally vented with a significant amount of air pass-through, the air pressure differential may be neutral, if not slightly negative. With a constant vacuum of air from the immediate surrounding area, whether internal or external, a grow room is only as clean as its closest adjacent room. 

Positive pressure is the most effective environment for a cannabis grow. A higher pressure in the grow room ensures that air is not sucked in from adjacent, less clean spaces. Because of the tight seal, the room also supports outstanding heat retention and minimal energy use. 

Insulated Grow Room Wall Panel Design 

Prefab grow room panels allow unprecedented control over the fit, function, and heat properties of each room. Besides providing great insulation value and a perfectly fit seal prevents water, debris, and microbes from congregating in hard to reach places. The outer surface is easily sanitized when a room requires operational cleaning, or when the room is re-purposed for a different strain or growing process.

Standard Grow Room Wall Panel

  • Durable, clean, and has a high level of thermal control for improved energy efficiency. 
  • Polyisocyanurate foam is moisture resistant and one of the most thermally efficient rigid board insulation materials available in the marketplace.
  • Available with durable and easy-to-clean painted steel, FRP or aluminum surfaces.
  • Non-combustible, structurally sound panel.

Fiberglass Reinforced Plastic (FRP) Panel

  • Extremely durable
  • Great thermal insulation, ideal for cleanliness.
  • Polyisocyanurate foam is moisture resistant and one of the most thermally efficient rigid board insulation materials.
  • Fiberglass reinforced plastic (FRP) holds up to regular cleaning and sanitization procedures.

Carbon Filters and Scrubbers for Grow Rooms

Medical cannabis cultivation facilities generate numerous waste byproducts, most of them benign organic plant materials. Fire prevention, pesticide byproducts, water treatment and power efficiency are among the industries foremost challenges. One of its most tangible airborne byproducts is the incredibly pungent odor, accompanied by more threatening VOCs (volatile organic compounds).

Washington medical marijuana laws designate specific requirements for the production and containment of cannabis odors. Regarded as an irritant, usually followed by the suggestion of nearby skunk, HEPA filters and carbon scrubbers used in cleanroom environments mitigate odors completely.

Need Indoor Grow Room Plans or Blueprints?

We build prefab grow systems and electrical designs. Considerations for structural, architectural, and legal compliance is our specialty. Cannabis grow rooms with modular components ease adaptation of adjacent structures, variable growing environments, and expandable floor plans. 

Modular Grow Room Floor Plan

Cleanrooms Improve Local and Environmental Impact of Medical Marijuana Grow Operations

Water Contamination 

Many contaminants reside within unfiltered tap water including chlorine, fluoride, and chloramines. Mineral contamination from naturally sourced water also impacts potency, taste, and overall quality. Minerals impact root growth and the eventual crystallization of resins. Water filters, reverse osmosis systems, and customized water purification systems offer a contaminant free solution for high-volume water supply and recirculation.

Increased Canopy Efficiency on Indoor Cannabis Cultivation

Urban medical cannabis grows in states like Colorado are subject to zoning and land use regulations, which designate commercial areas for cannabis grow operations. The result is generally warehouses that use 100% artificial light (the most energy-intensive option) when compared to traditional or greenhouse grows. 

Custom fabricated modular wall designs and enclosures remain sovereign from preexisting structures and parallel grow, flower, or seedling rooms. This allows a wider and more even lighting across the canopy for mature stages. Whereas shorter ceiling heights provide more efficient temperature and humidity control in seedling or processing rooms. T-grid systems enable customization of each for ideal lighting coverage of any canopy height. 

Tell Us About Your Idea

Production Automation (that’s us) is a proven partner in cannabis grow room delivery and installation. We’ve mastered the ins-and-outs of grow room performance testing, regulatory compliance, and final installation. Instead of fielding countless phone calls and emails, you’ll get back to doing what matters the most (making world class cannabis products). Our engineers work closely with you to answer questions, define specifications, draw blueprints, and provide affordable grow room options. Every quote is free. Every component is sourced from hand-picked manufacturers to ensure you get unlimited design freedom with the lowest possible cost per component. Just fill out the web form, send us a drawing, or explore different grow room modules and tell us about your idea. 

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Mitch Walleser

Mitch Walleser

Mitch works with manufacturing engineers and product specialists to examine new technology and products. His background includes 3D printing, electronics and cleanroom manufacturing. Stay up to date with new insights on automated production solutions by following on Twitter. @Go_to_PAC
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