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PostPosted: Sep 23rd, '13, 02:53 
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The material for this PVC conduit hoop house was taking up space in my workshop/"man cave" for more than a year now, I never got to build it and this morning I have decided to put it together in our diveway. I have seen several different designs and plans for hoop houses on websites and I’ve decide to use 20mm PVC conduit pipe that is generally used in electrical circuits for buildings etc.

I have started with the wood frame to which the PVC pipes will be attached to. The wood frame measures 3.6m wide by 4.2m long.

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The 3m long PVC conduit pipes are fixed to the wood frame with x2 steel galvanized saddles at each end.

The conduit pipes are joined by a PVC inspection Tees on the ends of the hoop house and 4 way conduit boxes for the PVC pipes in between with shorter pipes joining the conduit boxes and the tees.

I have decided to experiment with cover materials and I’m going to try a woven polymer material used for frost protection etc. According to the manufacturers it can maintains a temperate micro-climate which I’m going to put to the test now.
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I’m going to build wooden frames for the ends with a door at each end.

Now I have to dismantle the hoop house and move it to my existing vegetable garden area where I’m going to test it to see if it will suffice as a greenhouse for my bigger AP system. :D

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PostPosted: Sep 23rd, '13, 03:54 
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That is sweet. :thumbright: I built a similar thing over my GB's for shade cloth but obviously on a much smaller scale. Nice work, thanks for posting. Looking forward to more pics!


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PostPosted: Sep 23rd, '13, 05:15 
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JI too need to build a hoop house over my grow beds. looking at your instructions and me being from AZ , is 20mm about the same as 3/4"? Looking forward to seeing it complete. Thank you, AzSunGal


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PostPosted: Sep 23rd, '13, 07:25 
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Please keep us updated, as I need all the help I can get. Is it possible to communicate directly with questions I have?


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PostPosted: Sep 23rd, '13, 08:00 
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Post your questiong here Azungal77 - that way everyone can see the answers and hopefully learn all they need from this thread to build their own.

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PostPosted: Sep 23rd, '13, 09:19 
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Was afraid I might be viewed as asking too many questions. I will post here and they can skip over me if question is irrelevant. Was curious what type material is that? Are you doing this for heat or shade? Spacing on the number of hoops is figured how? It appears about 16" centers.


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PostPosted: Sep 23rd, '13, 12:20 
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if it's 4.2m long and there are 7 spaces it would be 0.6m or 2 ft

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PostPosted: Sep 23rd, '13, 15:00 
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Slowboat wrote:
if it's 4.2m long and there are 7 spaces it would be 0.6m or 2 ft

That is correct! :thumbleft: :thumbright:

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PostPosted: Sep 23rd, '13, 15:52 
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azsungal77 wrote:
Was afraid I might be viewed as asking too many questions. I will post here and they can skip over me if question is irrelevant. Was curious what type material is that? Are you doing this for heat or shade? Spacing on the number of hoops is figured how? It appears about 16" centers.


This is information I got from a website about the material:

Frost Guard

Size: 3x10m (9.84 feet x 32.8 feet)

Optimum thermal blanket for all types of plants and surfaces
Creates the ideal micro-climate which prevents frost damage, except ‘black frost’.
Protective blanket for plants
Maintains a temperate micro-climate
Protects fruit and vegetables, seed and plants against frost, birds, and insect damage.
Lightweight, strong, easy to cut and handle.
Porous, water your plants without removing fabric.
Ideal for over wintering container plants.
UV Treated.

The wood frame measures:

3.6m x 4.2m or 11.8 feet 13.7 feet. I have used 36 x 72mm wood purlins (1.4 x 2.8 inches).
The conduit as you mentioned is 3/4 inch PVC conduit pipes.
They are spaced at 600mm centres or 2 feet as mentioned by Slowboat. I’ve decided to use 600mm or 2 feet spacing to give more structural strength to the hoop house.

My goal is to control the climate/temperature inside my greenhouse. The material must also provide shade to some extent because you don’t want the greenhouse to become too hot. I want to experiment now with different type of materials to see what works the best.

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PostPosted: Sep 23rd, '13, 17:07 
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This morning I've stopped at a business that sells used farm equipment. I've been eyeing this IBC for a while now.
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The most ironic thing is the country where this IBC originated from. :D


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PostPosted: Sep 23rd, '13, 18:43 
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Are you going to anchor it to the ground some way? I'd love something like this but I fear the wind sweeping it away


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PostPosted: Sep 23rd, '13, 20:17 
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tojo wrote:
Are you going to anchor it to the ground some way? I'd love something like this but I fear the wind sweeping it away


I'm going to use about 8 L-shaped rebar about 10mm in diameter as ground anchors with the long leg 500mm long and the short leg about 50mm. The idea is then to drill holes into the wood frame and then to drive these ground anchors into the ground through these holes.
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I’m keeping in mind that the soil into which I’m going to drive the ground anchors into will be wet most of the time due to irrigation for a conventional vegetable garden for the time being. I’m considering excavating holes at each of the anchor points about 600mm deep by 200mm in diameter and then use a soilcrete plug (mixing part of the soil excavated with cement) with the same type of ground anchor.

Once the soilcrete has dried the holes will be backfilled and compacted and you will then have a solid anchor.

The wood frames at the end of the hoop tunnel will also have guy wires to give additional support to the structure of the hoop house.


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PostPosted: Sep 23rd, '13, 20:55 
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This is an excellent design and greenhouse,if you go to you tube and search for DIY poly tunnels.there is a guy that has built this design hurricane proof,well worth watching.

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PostPosted: Sep 23rd, '13, 21:08 
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Thank you. I will definitely go and watch it.

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PostPosted: Sep 25th, '13, 18:39 
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We had a public holiday here in SA yesterday, so I used the time to continue with the greenhouse. I’ve bought some additional material to complete the wood frames at the ends of the greenhouse. Then all of the sudden we had a power outage for almost 2 hours just when I got started.

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I only have 10 gold fish in my little barrel system so I was not concerned. It was then that I realised that such a situation will be a disaster for my bigger system. (I got myself an IBC Monday night! :D :D :D )
So I decided to make use of the situation and see if I can at least get the barrel system’s little 220V 3-4W aerator pump running. I got out a 20W solar panel, 12V 7.0AH battery, solar charge regulator and a 180W inverter I’ve bought a while back to play around with and connected it all to the aerator.

The first problem I encountered was is that the battery was almost fully drained. I don’t know how it happened, but I believe it was the inverter that has drained the battery even though it was switched off. It was careless of me to have left the inverter connected to the battery without the solar panel connected. So the first problem was 100% my mistake.

The second problem was clouds. All of the sudden at that moment, we started to get clouds moving in from the south west. Luckily we had power again after 1.5 hours and then after a half hour we had another short outage for about another half hour.
Due to all the time I’ve lost I’ve decided to move the green house base frame to our front garden where with a spotlight I’ve managed to finish the wood frames partly about an hour after sunset.

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Yesterday morning I also came up with a solution for the clamps that I will use to fix the material to the greenhouse frame. About 5 days ago I’ve seen two youtube videos where the guys used PVC conduit pipe to make clamps out of it to fix or clamp the material to the structure.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b_qew1WD-LI
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yXPdRs1vd1g

My hoop house’s PVC conduit pipes are 20mm dia. so I used 25mm dia. conduit pipe about 80mm long for the clamps. After some cutting with a dremel tool I came up with two different prototypes. I’ve decided that it is too much of an effort to try to file or grind out all the sharp edges where I’ve cut out the sections. So I used 2 layers of isolation tape on each edge to prevent it from tearing the material when you clip the clamp over the structural conduit pipe. The tape actually increased the amount of force I needed to get the clamp off again so I decided to measure the amount of force it took get the clamps off the smaller diameter pipe with a length of material clamped in. I used a fishing scale and measured a few times the force it took to get the clamps off in kilograms to get more or less an idea of the amout of force it will take to get these clamps off.
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The more open clamp with 1/4 cut out of the 25mm pipe's side measured between 3.4 and 3.5 kg (7.5 - 7.7 lbs) and the more closed clamp with about 1/5 cut out of the pipe's side measured bewteen 9.5 and 10.5 kg (20.9 - 23.1 lbs). I'm planning to use a combination of these two type clamps at different areas of the green house.
My brother recons I'm getting too technical. :funny1:

But I see it as a way to share my experience and knowledge with the world and anybody that is interested in what I’m trying to achieve at the end of the day.

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