The NMU greenhouse is a 166 square meter (1790 square foot) glass covered greenhouse split equally into a "research" side and a "teaching" side.
Each side is heated by 2 Vulcan steam furnaces year round. Backup heat is supplied by steam radiators that run the length of the outside wall. Heated air is circulated in the sides by way of two 50 cm (20 inch) circulation fans.
Each side is cooled by an 8 square meter swamp cooler, which cools by evaporation of water from water absorbing fins and a vent to the outside. Two exhaust fans are placed opposite the swamp cooler to pull air though the vent. Each side also has two full length peak vents which let in fresh air from above.
Extra light is supplied by 12, 400 watt high intensity discharge (HID) lamps per side. Motorized mylar shading is used to block sunlight when it is too intense and to help cool the greenhouse.
The research and teaching sides are individually computer controled by EnviroSTEP computers built by Wadsworth Controls. These computers automatically keep the temperature, humiditiy and light of each side at our predetermined set points by turning on and off equipment when necessary. The computers log all this information as well as equipment run statistics, and outside weather conditions, which can later be retrieved using a normal desktop computer located in the greenhouse prep room.
Teaching Side Plant Collection
The teaching side of the greenhouse currently contains approximately 70 species of plants, from desert succulents to rainforest trees. The plants are used to help teach botany/biology classes.
Currently half of the teaching side is watered automatically using a hanging mist and drip system. This allows for a period of absence for the plant care takers.