How to Build a Greenhouse with PVC - Greenhouse Construction for Low Income People by Besthubs

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                How to Build a Greenhouse with PVC

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                       Uplifting Living Standards of
                                   People


                H
                        ere below are the steps on how to build a
                        greenhouse with PVC. The choice of PVC pi-
                        ping material as used in electrical conduits
                and water pipes is specifically targeted to low income
                people in developing countries since the PVC mate-
                rials are inexpensive and readily available there. A
                greenhouse is ideal for growing crops in those areas
                where people live and water is a scarce resource.
                With a greenhouse, one can grow crops such as pep-           How to Build a Greenhouse with PVC - Greenhouse
                pers, aubergines, tomatoes, cucumbers, cabbage,              Construction for Low Income People
                spinach, kales, French beans, peas, herbs, etc, etc
                which should go along way in uplifting the living                 Define the Greenhouse That We
                standards of the people as they can feed on the crops                          Need
                they have grown as well as sell the produce to other
                markets to earn some extra revenue.                          We first define what we need as follows:

                       Greenhouse Building Codes                             1. A greenhouse that will withstand average wind
                                                                             speeds of 15 knots and winds that may gust all the
                Greenhouses can be setup just about anywhere only            way up to 50 knots.
                if your local building codes allow this. If your land
                title deed is classified as ‘residential’ or ‘commer-        2. A greenhouse that will withstand heavy rainfall
                cial’, you will need to get permits from your local          of 50mm per hour
                authority and environmental protection authority.
                If your land title deed is classified as ‘agricultural’,     3. A greenhouse that is easy to build and will fit
                you do not need any permits and you are encouraged           within a budget of $350
                to go ahead and put up greenhouses for intensive
                production of your crops.                                    4. A greenhouse that for the most part will be built
                                                                             using locally available materials of PVC pipes which
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                                                                             are cheap and readily available even in remote
                                                                             places of developing countries.
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                How to Build a Greenhouse with PVC


                  Greenhouses Made With PVC Pipes                                           Some Mathematics

                PVC Electrical conduits and PVC pipes are usually            Looking at the diagram above, the radius of the
                produced commercially in maximum length of 20                half-circle is 14/2 equals 7’ which is the hypotenuse
                feet which is equal to 6.1 metres. That is the maxi-         of the triangle shown. The height of our door is
                mum length of PVC pipes you will find in most hard-          6.75’ (equals 2.1 metres) which is the height of the
                ware stores. For a greenhouse to be constructed              triangle shown. We want to calculate the base of
                from PVC pipes and be strong enough to withstand             that triangle using Pythagoras theorem.
                rough weather, and be most economical in terms of
                space, it should have a base width of 12 to 14 feet.         The square of base = (2.15 x 2.15) – (2.1 x 2.1) = 4.62
                We shall make ours to have a base width of 14 feet           – 4.41 = 0.21
                which is equal to 4.3 metres; – the base length of the
                PVC pipes’ greenhouse can be made as long as you             Length of base of triangle = square root of 0.21 = 0.46
                may wish. The other thing is that the greenhouse
                should have a door tall enough for you to fit. Our           4.3 = (2 x Y) + (2 x 0.46)
                greenhouse will have a door of 2.1 metre in height.
                                                                             Y = (4.3 – 0.92)/2
                     Base Width of the Greenhouse
                                                                             Y = 1.69 metres which is equivalent to 5.55 feet
                We shall fold the PVC pipe so that it will curve upward
                like a half circle with a diameter of 4.3 metres. The        Width of the door = 0.46 x 2 = 0.92 metres equals
                diameter of 4.3 metres will be the length of the base        to 3.0 feet
                width of our greenhouse. This PVC pipe arc will be
                supported by the frame of the door as shown in the                      Choosing a Ground Site
                diagram below.
                                                                             Get a ground site which is at least 14 feet in width
                                                                             and with a length of at least 20 feet. The length of
                                                                             your greenhouse should be determined by how long
                                                                             you want it to be. The site should be free from the
                                                                             shading of trees and buildings as they will obstruct
                                                                             the lights that go into the greenhouse. Make sure
                                                                             the site chosen allows for good drainage and it’s not
                                                                             mash or soggy. Prepare it as you would prepare a
                                                                             garden so that you do away with weeds as weeds
                                                                             can latter become a big problem in the greenhouse.

                Base Width of the Greenhouse - Determine where                             Marking the Ground
                the door frame will support the PVC pipe arc.
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                                                                             By use of a measuring tape and wooden sticks, mark
                                                                             the ground as shown in the diagram below.
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                How to Build a Greenhouse with PVC


                                                                                Use Crowbar to Dig Deep Holes on
                                                                                            Ground
                                                                             By use of a crowbar, dig four 2 feet deep holes
                                                                             as shown and marked in the ‘ground markings’
                                                                             drawing above. You should then have bought the
                                                                             following:

                                                                             1. 4 pieces of 4”x 2” timber each with a length of 2.71
                                                                             metres (allow an extra 0.2 metres for error which
                Greenhouse - Marking the Ground with a measuring             you can cut or dig more deeper if its too much)
                tape and wooden sticks.
                                                                             2. 2 pieces of 4” x 2” timber each with a length of
                       Get Yourself Some Tools - a                           0.92 metres (allow an extra 0.1 metres for error
                        Hacksaw and a Crowbar                                which you can cut if its too much)

                Once you have finished marking the ground, get                   Key Support to Entire Greenhouse
                yourself some tools namely a hacksaw for cutting                            Structure
                timber (lumber) and PVC pipes, a crowbar for dig-
                ging holes on the ground and a steel file or abrasive        Place the four pieces of timber in each of the four
                paper for which you will use to smooth the sharp cut         holes such that each is 2.1 metres above the ground.
                ends of timber and PVC pipes. These sharp ends of            Take care to reduce that height by about 2” as you
                timber and PVC pipes if not smoothed out can tear            will be placing another timber bar with a thickness
                the greenhouse polythene sheet which is expensive.           of 2” on top of the four timber posts. Put the soil
                                                                             back on the holes and make it firm so that the posts
                                                                             will be strong and firm. It is however important to
                                                                             ensure that the part of the timber that is dipping in
                                                                             the soil is treated with fungicides or used engine oil
                                                                             to protect it from being damaged by insects. Using
                                                                             4” nails, fix a 0.92 metres long timber bar on top of
                                                                             the two posts on each of the front and back sides.
                                                                             By use of a hack saw, cut the end of the post where
                                                                             the horizontal bar is fixed to the vertical post. Cut it
                                                                             from the outer side such that you will cut a wedge
                Build a Greenhouse - Get yourself some tools - a             that is 1” deep and 1” wide as in B, shown in the
                hacksaw and a crowbar                                        diagram below. The cut part will be the support for
                                                                             the 1.5” thick Sch 40 PVC pipe. This will now be the
                                                                             door frame which will act as the key support to the
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                                                                             entire structure of your greenhouse. Latter on, as
                                                                             you grow your crops in your greenhouse, you will
                                                                             find the two door frames very useful as support for
                                                                             strings that you may add for support to your crops
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                                                                             inside the greenhouse.



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                How to Build a Greenhouse with PVC


                                                                                              PVC Connectors

                                                                             PVC pipes have connectors that are used in exten-
                                                                             ding the pipes or in curving and connecting the
                                                                             PVC pipes round corners. The same are available in
                                                                             PVC conduits. When you are using 1.5” pipes, you
                                                                             connect the pipes using 2” PVC connectors. Check
                                                                             for the corresponding sizes for your pipes with your
                                                                             dealer.




                Building Cheap Greenhouse - fixing the door frame
                to fit with PVC pipes

                         Buying PVC Pipes for the
                              Greenhouse
                The roofing PVC pipes are 1.5” thick and 20 feet long.
                The spacing between one roofing arc pipe and the
                next is 3.5 feet. The length of our greenhouse is 20         Build Cheap Greenhouse - PVC connectors you will
                feet. This means we need 7 pieces of 1.5” thick PVC          need.
                each 20 feet long; so we need to buy the following.
                                                                                     Buying PVC Connectors and
                1. 7 pieces of 1.5” thick PVC each 20 feet long.                           Ground Stakes
                2. Add 2 more pieces of 1.5” thick PVC each 20 feet          You will need to buy the following connectors and
                long for the two horizontal lengths.                         ground stakes:

                3. The two horizontal widths will need 2 pieces of           1. 4 pieces size 2” 3–way PVC connectors for the
                1.5” thick PVC each 14 feet long.                            four corners as shown by C in the greenhouse plan
                                                                             shown below.
                4. Buy 7 pieces of 1.5” thick PVC pipes each 3.5 feet
                for use at the top as shown by E and F in the green-         2. Another 2 pieces size 2” 3-way PVC connectors
                house plan below                                             for use in the two top ends as shown by F in the
                                                                             greenhouse plan shown below
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                5. Buy one tube of PVC glue
                                                                             3. 5 pieces size 2” 4-way PVC connectors for the 5
                6. Buy these items from your local hardware store            top connections as shown by E in the greenhouse
                that is dealing with PVC electrical conduits or PVC          plan shown below. You can substitute each of the
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                water pipes. Buy the PVC pipes that are gray in color.       4-way connector by two T- connectors if the price
                When you are in that PVC store, buy the PVC glue             is lower for the two.
                from there.

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                How to Build a Greenhouse with PVC


                4. Buy 14 pieces 12” long ground stakes/ground an-           Greenhouse -Laying the PVC Pipes and Stakes on
                chor for holding the horizontal PVC pipes firmly on          the ground.
                the ground, or you can improvise yours locally by
                using wood or timber. Below is an image of a ground              Laying the Ground PVC Pipes and
                anchor that you can have a look at to fabricate yours.                        Stakes
                5. Buy 0.25 kilogrammes of assorted nails 1”, 2”,            Now lay the ground pipes as illustrated in the
                4”, and 6”                                                   diagram above and do not forget to include the
                                                                             appropriate PVC connectors at the right spacing.
                                                                             Then fix the ground stakes but give room for final
                                                                             adjustments once you are through with fixing the
                                                                             greenhouse’s roofing PVC pipes.

                                                                             Fold the front PVC pipe as shown in the drawing
                                                                             and fix it to the 3-way connectors on the ground.
                                                                             By use of nails, fix the pipe in position G so that the
                                                                             pipe is firmly in place. And by use of a file, smooth
                                                                             the tops of the nails so that you do not have sharp
                                                                             end that can cut the PVC polythene sheet that will
                                                                             be put on top. Repeat the same for all the other
                                                                             PVC pipes just as shown in the drawing. Perhaps
                                                                             you may need someone to help you here. Use your
                                                                             ingenuity wherever you can. Finally, you will have
                                                                             everything in place as shown in the diagram below.




                Greenhouse - Ground stakes or anchors that you
                can buy or improvise by fabricating similar ones
                from local waste materials.
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                                                                             Building cheap greenhouse - putting the entire
                                                                             structure in place.
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                How to Build a Greenhouse with PVC


                       Make Greenhouse Door and                              the door to the greenhouse supporting posts/frame
                               Windows                                       using small sized hinges. The door should be fixed
                                                                             on the front side of the opening. On the rear side,
                After this you need to make the greenhouse door and          put two widows (one on top of the other) instead of
                greenhouse windows. You will need to buy cheap               putting a door on that side. Two windows will give
                and thin timber size 0.25” thick by 2” wide that will        you a better flexibility in controlling the humidity
                fit the dimensions of the door which are 6.75’ x 3.0’.       and temperature inside your greenhouse.
                Total length of this timber should be (6.75 + 6.75
                +3 +3) x 4 equal 78 feet since the door and window
                will needs double timber, with the UV protected
                polythene sheet being placed in between.




                                                                             Snap Clamp - use snap clamps to attach the UV pro-
                                                                             tected polyethylene to the PVC pipes.

                                                                                                 Snap Clamps
                                                                             Before you cover your greenhouse with the UV pro-
                                                                             tected polyethylene, you need to have enough snap
                                                                             clamps. You will use snap clamps to attach the UV
                                                                             protected polyethylene to the PVC pipes. Below is
                                                                             a picture of a snap clamp. You need to buy about
                                                                             100 pieces of these from you PVC hardware store
                                                                             or you can make your own. By using a short piece
                                                                             of a 1.5” pipe, just cut out horizontally about 1/3 of
                                                                             the 1.5” PVC pipe and the remaining 2/3 part of the
                Build cheap Greenhouse - Making Greenhouse Door              pipe can be used to attach UV protected polyethy-
                and Windows.                                                 lene on 1.5” PVC pipes. But you have to ensure the
                                                                             cut edges are smoothed to remove any sharp end
                     Use UV Protected Polythene on                           that can tear the UV protected polyethylene. It is
                          Doors and Windows                                  however recommended you buy better ones from
                                                                             the manufacturers rather than making your own
                Cut the timber to fit the size of the doors taking into      which may not work well as you would want.
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                consideration the thickness of the outer frames of
                the doors which we had fixed earlier on. Cut the UV             Buying UV Protected Polyethylene
                protected polythene sheet equal to the size of the                          Sheets
                frames made, and superimpose the polythene sheet
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                in between the two frames, and by use of small nails         To complete building your greenhouse, you need
                or screws join frames and UV protected polythene             to cover it with a UV protected polyethylene sheet.
                to make a door. Do the same for the windows. Fix             There are those UV protected polyethylene sheets

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                How to Build a Greenhouse with PVC


                which are 4 mil and will last for 3 years. And there                    Laying the UV Protected
                are those UV protected polyethylene sheets which                       Polyethylene Sheet on the
                are 6 mil and will last for 4 years. The 6 mil UV                              Structure
                protected polyethylene sheets offer better value for
                money. Our green house has a top surface area of             When you attach the PVC pipes with connectors,
                20’ x 20’ equal 400 square feet. We need to add an           you do not use the PVC glue. This is because you
                additional 30% to cover the front and rear sides,            want your greenhouse to be easy to dismantle as
                the size that will hold it to the ground and wastage.        you may in future need to move your greenhouse to
                This means we need about 520 square feet of UV               another site. The PVC glue is hardly used here, only
                protected polyethylene sheets.                               in a few instances where you may fall short of a PVC
                                                                             pipe length and you may need to extend the pipe
                UV protected polyethylene sheets are usually sold            with an additional short pipe. Lay the UV protected
                in width of 24 feet and you are charged per one foot         polyethylene sheet appropriately to the structure
                length of the 24’ wide sheet. A sheet of 4 mil will          you have build and attach it firmly to the pipes using
                cost about $2.5 per feet and a sheet of 6 mil will cost      snap clamps. Your ingenuity and flexibility is called
                about $3.0 per feet. If we divide 520 by 24 we get 21        upon here. The UV protected polyethylene should be
                feet. This means we need to buy 21 feet length of the        firmly straightened up without leaving sinks that can
                24’ wide sheet of UV protected polyethylene for the          hold water (or snow) when it rains. And finally you
                size of our greenhouse. At the price of $3.0 per feet,       have your UV protected polyethylene in place. Leave
                we should be prepared to spend $63 on UV protected           about 2 feet of the excess UV protected polyethylene
                polyethylene sheet for our greenhouse. You will buy          covering on the ground which should be covered
                UV protected polyethylene sheets from your local             with soil or bricks to secure your greenhouse in
                stores that are dealing with greenhouse, polythene,          place. This should be done after you have done the
                plastic and insulation supplies.                             final tightening of the ground anchors.

                                                                                Recapping What You Need To Buy
                                                                               To Construct a Greenhouse for Low
                                                                                        Income People

                                                                             We now recap what you need to buy to construct
                                                                             a Greenhouse for Low Income People. The prices
                                                                             indicated are approximate based on living standards
                                                                             in developing countries.

                                                                                       A Greenhouse for $253.90
                                                                             The materials to build the 14 feet by 20 feet Green-
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                Constructing Greenhouse for Low Income People -              house is $253.90. This cost can be reduced by making
                Your your UV protected polyethylene Greenhouse               some of the items yourself. Things such as snap
                is finally in place                                          clamps and ground stakes/ground anchors can be
                                                                             made from waste materials which you may get free
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                                                                             from your backyard or whatever. Investing $253
                                                                             for a greenhouse for the low income people in semi
                                                                             arid and dry areas is worth the prices as they can

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                How to Build a Greenhouse with PVC


                be able to feed themselves and their families, as               Get Money from Kiva to Build Your
                well as creating an income from selling the produce                    Own Greenhouse
                produced from their greenhouses.
                                                                             Kiva is a global micro finance whose main aim is
                  Banks Do Not Like Poor People, But                         to connect people, through lending, for the wor-
                         With a Good Reason                                  thy cause of alleviating poverty to the low income
                                                                             people in the global community. Kiva supporters
                Crude as it may sound - $253.90 is a huge amount of          include corporate such as Paypal, Google, Intel, Ya-
                money that can not be afforded by the low income             hoo, Facebook, Microsoft, Purex, Cisco, Starbucks,
                people in developing countries. So what? Should              etc, on one hand and institutional supporters such
                they remain hungry and poor just because they can            as Clinton Global Initiative, Skoll Foundation, Hal-
                not afford $253.90? Actually, that is their problem,         loran Philanthropies, Draper Richards Foundation,
                and it’s our problem too. Banks have all the money           Microcredit Summit Campaign, Microfinance In-
                people can borrow. Banks makes a lot of profit by            formation Exchange, Unitus global microfinance
                lending money to the people. Unfortunately, banks            accelerator, etc, on the other hand. Kiva will lend
                do not like poor people but with a very good reason.         you money, usually small amount ranging from $100
                If a bank was to lend out small amounts of $253.90,          to $ 1000 for you to improve on any project, such
                the bank will spend a very high cost per unit dollar         as building a $253.90 greenhouse, for low income
                in trying to manage such small loans. This means             people. Kiva’s money lending is free of interest but
                that the low income people have been denied cre-             the money is not free as it has to be paid back. Kiva’s
                dit by natural circumstances, perhaps beyond their           field partners will disburse a loan to you as soon as
                control because they do not have the know-how.               you may need the loan. Kiva’s field partners are all
                                                                             over the globe, and it may be that person/NGO in
                     Small Money Transfers Using                             your locality. Check Kivas website here if you might
                    Mobile Phones for Small People                           be interested in such kind of money.

                Vadafone of UK, investing through Safaricom in                   Staring at the Blue Sky Waiting to
                Kenya, may have proved commercial banks very                             Die from Hunger
                wrong when they embarked on ‘small’ money
                transfer using mobile phones. The Safaricom mo-              If you live in some wealthy localities, you may won-
                bile Money, popularly called M-PESA, is a mobile             der why one should allow himself or herself to go
                phone application installed on a SIM card that allow         through such a cumbersome system like that of Kiva,
                users to hold cash account with amounts ranging              but if you reflect again on what goes on some parts
                from zero dollars to a few hundred dollars and               of this planet, you may agree with Kiva that to very
                that money can be withdrawn anytime, anywhere                many people in this world, getting financial credit
                and can be transferred from one handset user to              is indeed a very difficulty experience. When you
                another, 24/7. Within just a few years, that systems         live in a community where you do not have money,
                is handling more money than the total amount of              and your neighbor does not have money, and the
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                money handled by all commercial banks combi-                 next person does not have money, there is very little
                ned in that country – meaning that there is a huge           you can do to yourself and your family, other than
                amount of small money that is usually held by the            stare at the blue sky and wait to die from hunger.
                low income people that usually does not find its
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                way to commercial banks.                                     The aim of this article was to attempt to give the
                                                                             low income people the know-how on how to build
                                                                             a cheap greenhouse, grow crops to feed themselves

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                How to Build a Greenhouse with PVC


                and their families, sell some crops to generate fund,
                as well as find cheap financial credit for small
                amounts of money ranging from $100 to $1000
                which commercial banks are finding very expen-
                sive and risky to loan to the low income people.
                Good luck.

                        New 2010 Greenhouse 12’ X 7’
                        X 7’ Large Green House Garden
                                    Outdoor

                If you are in USA, you can try the “New 2010 Green-
                house 12’ X 7’ X 7’ Large Green House Garden Ou-
                tdoor” as a start before moving on to make your own
                greenhouse. This Greenhouse is an easy installation
                that should take you 5 Minutes to install and no tools
                will be required. It may cost you $60 at Amazon.

                The Author’s page is designed to help beginners and average readers make some money

                as an extra income to supplement what they may be earning elsewhere - details of which

                you can find in
                                  My Page, if you will.
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