Grow as you grow: Scaling climate control systems

As cultivators and owners know, building out a commercial sized facility takes a lot of time, patience and money but can be extremely lucrative in the long run. Large-scale commercial facilities that are up and running are generating huge profits, mostly in cash. But this type of revenue takes time. To get to a place where a facility can sustain itself financially, owners first must go through the long and expensive process of licensing, permitting, obtaining land and/or buildings and, of course, choosing lighting and environmental control. 

April 13, 2017

As cultivators and owners know, building out a commercial sized facility takes a lot of time, patience and money but can be extremely lucrative in the long run. Large-scale commercial facilities that are up and running are generating huge profits, mostly in cash. But this type of revenue takes time. To get to a place where a facility can sustain itself financially, owners first must go through the long and expensive process of licensing, permitting, obtaining land and/or buildings and, of course, choosing lighting and environmental control. 

All this is also happening in a world without much access to financing, putting significant pressure on owners to dig into their own savings or bring in outside investors to fund start-up costs. To manage this, many cultivators and investors are opting for a phased approach to building out their facilities. They are choosing to start small with just a few rooms at first, adding more rooms once they begin turning the large profits necessary to support it.

This strategy also offers cultivators and owners a chance to prove their concept and dial in their cultivation techniques on a smaller scale, providing a smaller risk while starting out. Once cultivation practices have been proven, not only can owners attract new investors with real-life data but they can also begin the process of scaling their success with fewer unknowns.

We have seen many of our customers take this route and it has proven successful. But it requires not only a lot of planning, but also choosing the right technology for this kind of growth. Many traditional climate control solutions require each room to be tied to its own cooling system. This means that expansion involves adding more compressors and ducting to accommodate more lights in existing rooms or adding totally new compressors and air handlers to the new rooms.

In contrast, Surna provides a hydronic cooling system, allowing facilities to utilize a bank of chillers that all work together to service every fan coil in the building. This is especially beneficial for cultivators who want to have new rooms flip schedules with older rooms. When these facilities want to expand, they simply purchase additional fan coils but often do not have to purchase additional chillers which can be the largest financial burden. Because the chillers work as a bank, facilities only need tonnage for the maximum heat load at any one time. So, a facility with flipping rooms can use the same exact chillers at different times, drastically reducing costs without compromising performance.

Fortunately, Surna is a one-stop shop for the build out of a cultivation facility. Our team works with owners and cultivators to understand their current and future goals before any plans are laid out or any purchase is made. Surna engineers will then design systems to accommodate future expansion, utilizing piping that ensures no retrofitting is needed later and offering variable frequency drive pumps that will allow the adjustment of flows as needed.

Another benefit of choosing a Surna system is that they are more efficient than other options on the market. First, hydronic cooling uses liquid to remove heat from the space instead of air, offering greater efficiencies. And second, because the chillers and fan coils are separate, compressors do not necessarily have to turn on each time a fan coil does. If the water circulating through the system stays at or below the temperature dictated, the system will be cooling and dehumidifying without engaging compressors. And since compressors consume a large proportion of energy used, this can mean significant savings on operating costs. All of this adds up to mean that the next phase of a build out could come sooner than with other climate control options.

At Surna, we have significant cultivation and mechanical experience, truly making us the experts in environmental control for cannabis cultivation. This expertise affords us the ability to think like a cultivator or owner setting up a commercial facility. We can put ourselves in your shoes and we understand the needs and challenges modern cannabis cultivators face every day. So, if you’re considering a build out, either in phases or all at once, give us a call or request some information. We want to take the time to get to know you and your goals and come up with the right solution for your facility together. We love turning dreams into reality.

Share:

Featured Articles

What is MEP Engineering in Indoor Agriculture?

MEP engineers provide a wide range of engineering services necessary for any construction project, and they are especially critical when designing an energy efficient Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) grow facility. Here is what you need to know about MEP engineering in indoor farming.

5 Common Cultivation Facility Design Mistakes

Indoor agriculture facility design is far more complex than most other construction disciplines. It requires careful planning and support from specialized experts to set a grow up for success and longevity. There are 5 mistakes we commonly see when it comes to cultivation facility design.

Engineering Greatness: Meet Kenneth Loshelder, PE

Surna is extremely thankful for Kenneth and all that his team of engineers do for our company and for our clients. With over 15-years of experience, he has built a career focused on environmental consistency and energy efficiency. He encourages cultivators to engage with experienced mechanical engineers early-on in the buildout process. We asked Kenneth to answer some questions and lend valuable insight into the construction of cultivation facilities.

HVACD MEP Coordination for Cannabis Cultivation

Effective HVACD coordination is a key component in minimizing frustrating and costly construction delays in cannabis facility buildouts. There are a number of considerations your MEP team address in all stages of the project, from pre-design planning, to commissioning and beyond, in order to provide a comprehensive HVACD coordination effort.

Grow Room HVACD Maintenance Plans: Getting the Most Out of Your Investment

Without a proper HVACD system maintenance plan, your energy bill will increase, your equipment could fail, and your plants will suffer. Avoid these problems and keep your climate system in working order with the help of this guide.

5 Reasons Why Your HVACD System Isn’t Performing

Our recognition in the industry as the experts in cultivation climates means that we are often asked to diagnose performance failures in systems not of our design. When we audit these systems, we find there are common themes as to why they aren’t performing as expected. Let's discuss the most common reasons we find for issues with HVACD system performance.
Sign up to receive blogs and other news

© 2021 Surna. All rights reserved.

Surna Scroll to Top