The demand for safe food which is locally produced is increasing globally. This is reflected by the requests for 'Adaptive greenhouse design simulation'. This model allows different greenhouse designs to be simulated for a specific location in the world providing information on the production, water use, energy use and other operational costs.
The model can be seen as a virtual greenhouse using the local climate conditions as a input parameter. By incorporating the investments costs related to the design the most economic design can be determined.
Plastic or a glass greenhouse
One of the parameters often addressed in these studies is the choice between a plastic or a glass covering material. The initial investment costs of a plastic greenhouse as less than a glass one, but in the long run this analysis does not hold since the plastic cover has to be replaced regularly. Economic future outlook is often not considered international explaining the majority of plastic greenhouses. Only when sophisticated acclimatisation and irrigation system is used a glass greenhouse is selected since then the investment in the greenhouse structure is a smaller share and the installation needs to be protected properly.
An important issue to consider when implementing complex technology, is knowledge. Costly high tech horticultural projects have failed in the past since the people needed to work with the technology did not have the expertise.