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Optimize Operations through Commercial Grow Facility Design

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If you’re trying to determine where the highest return on investment is in your commercial cultivation facility, the answer is simple: start with the design.

Your systems should, of course, work together, but that’s just the beginning. Equipment sizing and specification, facility layout, CAPEX vs. OPEX, how long you intend to operate in the facility, and more are all key considerations to take into account in the planning stage. The highest yields and best crop quality are made possible by holistic design that integrates all of your key systems (lighting, fertigation, benching, HVAC, water/wastewater, and ongoing facility optimization). 

While a light company might give you a free lighting plan when you purchase their kit, will it be coordinated to work in collaboration with your mechanical system? By itself, does a lighting plan take into account your fertigation schedule? Buying systems without systems integration expertise reduces your probability of success. In this blog post, we’ll cover the ways that a turn-key design approach will improve overall operations at your commercial grow facility.

Why does commercial grow room design matter?

A commercial growing facility isn’t like other types of designed environments. Designing a commercial grow facility is like throwing a data center into a pool in terms of energy consumption and environmental complexity. The technical demands of indoor growing are intense—every factor is critical, from lighting intervals to vapor pressure differential (VPD).

Streamlined operations start with streamlined design. A poorly coordinated design forces you to play catch-up out of the gate and will drain budget and resources. On the other hand, a well-integrated design can get you to market (and profitability) faster. If you can’t control your environment, you can’t control your yields. A good grow room design is one where the environment is consistently optimized for peak plant performance.

Commercial grow room design plans should be holistic.

When system designs are developed separately, the result is a piecemeal system where, at best, systems are not working optimally, or worse, in conflict with one another. While the upfront investment in holistic design (meaning plant and building systems) may seem unnecessary when you can get it for “free” from the manufacturer, the fact is that once construction is underway, the cost of change orders can be staggering. Or say you make it to market only to realize a few years down the road that you need to retrofit your facility in order to remain competitive in a margin-compressed environment.  The most efficient and best value approach to holistic design is to do it right the first time by adopting a plant-focused design approach from day one. 

How do I start designing my commercial grow facility?

When you are ready to begin your facility design, it’s important to work with an experienced team of planning and design professionals with indoor controlled environment agriculture experience. Because of the environmental complexity of commercial grow rooms, it’s important to understand how to incorporate architectural and engineering design with systems integration for an optimized, high-performance facility. 

When evaluating a  commercial grow room architect, you should bring solid numbers to the table, including your budget and construction timeline, and work together to define the scope of work based on your long-term production goals. An experienced design professional can work within your parameters and offer creative, tested solutions to create a fully integrated plan that is optimized for success. 

Creating a commercial grow facility is too complex to leave critical details to chance. Ask any grower whose project has been delayed as the result of change orders if they could go back and start over. The upfront investment in design pays dividends once the project gets underway. Consulting with professionals to achieve a holistic design will streamline operations, giving you a powerful advantage over competitors. urban-gro has the expertise to design, engineer, and integrate your facility and grow room systems to deliver an efficient and profitable grow facility. Our team of professionals can design, integrate, procure, commission, and optimize the equipment and systems you need to construct the most efficient grow facility possible.

Ready to bring your grow facility to life? Contact urban-gro to start designing your new facility or optimize an existing one today.

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