underground green house?


New member
Ok, ive got a idea to throw out. Since the main benefit of a greenhouse prop system is natural sunlight, but it is also very hard to control the temperatures also. Why not build a greenhoue into the ground, so that you use the geothermal properties to help cool the prop system during the summer and warm during the winter.

Couldnt you just dig say a 10x20 footprint about ten feet into the ground, and place a dome of dual sheet plastic over for the roof? Wouldnt this make a much more stable system?

you would of course have to deal with rain, but installing retaining walls and drains would cure that right?

This could also help people in hurricane territory, since it can't easily be blown away?

just an idea, trying to see what i can stir up, please post your thoughts:D
Might be just a tad cost prohibitive... And one of the unfortunate coincidental factors of being in Hurricane territory is that typically the ground water table is very shallow, which means basically no basements or similar structures, they float up out of the gorund... You dig a hole.. it fills with water overnight!
well, you can rent a bobcat and have the hole dug in two days and leveled in another two, and it will only cost you a couple hundred to rent it. If the water table wasnt a proplem, it would be a good idea. Also, the light coming in from the sides isnt a big deal, its just diffused light. Direct sun light is much more powerful and benefical.

just my two cents

keep it comming
I think you would have to build/pour a cement block/concrete wall to retain the soil on the sides. Just a thought. Not even possible where I am... Water table.
Im designing a 3,000 sq.ft sunken greenhouse now.It will be 4ft. concrete walls with a concrete floor.Just for the crete work im looking at at least
$25k. So instead of spending money on 8' or 10' concrete walls for cooling I will have the holding tank down another 4' with water circ. through it.

thats kinda what i thought, figured that cinder blocks and mortar would work. Scratch that idea. So how deep did you dig your sunken greenhouse?
oops, didnt see that, disregard the last comment. Are you using an tarp style greenhouse, or are you using the rigid acrylic pannelling?
From what ive learned most acrylic panels block alot of uv light that corals need.Im undecided but researching glass panels now.
Just out of curiousity, how do you know the lighting from the sides is not important. I'm not saying you're wrong, but why do all greenhouses have light-penetrating covering?
as far as i know, since the sun is point-source illumination, the clear siding allows for reflected light to enter. I meant that i believe that direct illumination is more important. The reflection might improve total coral light exposure eliminating bicolor/ uneven growth, but a tank with a diffusing bottom such as sand should do the same thing.
Also, does UV-B or C reflect?
If you want an effective greenhouse, try looking up a Passive Solar Greenhouse. It maximizes sunlight and still is effective in retaining heat overnight utilizing a water wall. Many other people have worked on these problems and the solutions are out there.
how did you do that

how did you do that

how did you get so smart sam ? nice pics dude:D what does being yourself get you ? :mad2: :lol:
water spout

water spout

hey nice pic of a water spout ..... oh my mistake it was just your mouth spoutn off again
someone has too much time on their hands. :rolleye1:

jrod's post was very interesting. i actually misread at first and thought he was talking about a pool-like structure. but that got me thinking whether or not that would work too. (but enclosed, of course)

basically, it seems this topic is very much like the geothermal aquaculturing fish ponds noted in the recent fama issue. couldn't something like that work as well? cooling is still the issue but northern/western hemisphere also has heating issues for half the year as well.

some of the same cooling concepts may be applied too. evaporative cooling and titanium coil contact cooling via cooling towers. that gets into heavy money though and common chillers might be more cost effective but the cooling towers really allow large-scale cooling ( i use similar setups for industrial purposes though).

i still think an active cooling and heating element/backup would be needed just in case. the majority of the heating and cooling could be handled by the earth dams/holding container walls.

some fisheries use concrete holding pens and greenhouses, you could apply the currently popular in-laid pipe cooling/heating within the concrete as you lay it for radiant heating and cooling(?). maybe that's already done. any contractors know if that's (cooling) applicable?