Stinky Business: 5 Best Practices for Odor Control

Among the many (many) regulations cultivators are faced with, odor control is often overlooked until well into the construction process. However, because odor control regulations in many municipalities are extremely aggressive, and in most municipalities, odor control complaints can result in large fines and even license revocation, cultivators would do well to emphasize odor control during construction planning...
March 31, 2020

Among the many (many) regulations cultivators are faced with, odor control is often overlooked until well into the construction process. However, because odor control regulations in many municipalities are extremely aggressive, and in most municipalities, odor control complaints can result in large fines and even license revocation, cultivators would do well to emphasize odor control during construction planning.

And It’s Not Just the Odors

Odor control in cannabis facilities has historically been considered a nuisance issue although not to everyone—some of us really love that smell! But recently we are learning that it’s not just the odor that’s the issue. The terpenes that produce that dank smell are volatile organic compounds (VOC’s), and when released into the atmosphere they can react negatively with other gases in the air and produce excessive ozone (and possibly other issues). Refer to this article for more information about what we’re learning, and about the City of Denver’s research efforts (Westword article).

5 Best Practices for Odor Control

With all of that in mind, we thought it would be prudent to talk about best practices for odor mitigation, and how you can protect your business while protecting the air we breathe (and doing a solid for your neighbors who don’t have the fondness that the rest of us share for that skunky, piney, diesely, citrusy aroma).

Pro tip: Consider odor control at the earliest phases of facility design planning, even before permitting. Effective odor control is a lot more than a bunch of carbon filters in a grow room.

Learn More: Grow Room Odor Mitigation | Surna Cultivation Technologies

1. Odor control considerations start at floor plan development, in very early stage design planning. Designing workflow and traffic patterns in your facility to optimize odor control means isolating cannabis specific areas from office and common areas. Ensure that commonly used doors (where the bulk of traffic is coming in and out of the building) is as far away from cannabis specific areas as possible.

2. The more tightly insulated your building is, the better. The better of a job you can do eliminating cracks, crevices and leak points, the less opportunity odor has to sneak out. This also allows for better biosecurity, giving bugs, fungus and pathogens fewer opportunities to enter the facility.

3. This is a big one, and probably the single most important odor control move you can make. Ensure your mechanical (HVAC) plan specifically addresses odor control, and ensure your mechanical engineer has the experience to design for an effective odor control strategy.

  • Pressurization strategies must consider odor control.
    For instance, if you choose to positively pressurize cultivation spaces with no equalization in adjacent spaces, you have no control over where that air goes (cracks, crevices, open doors).
  • Exhaust air must consider odor control.
    Limit room exhaust to only what is absolutely necessary and ensure that exhaust air is effectively filtered (at the maximum expected CFM). This will also conserve CO2, and minimize contamination from outside air entering the building, as every CFM of air that leaves must be replaced. Recirculating odor control is helpful, but those terpenes are constantly renewed. Managing what’s leaving your facility is far more important than minimizing the odor of what’s in your facility. Exhaust air can be treated with carbon, ozone, chemical deodorizers, or natural alternatives. But we find that carbon is extremely effective when properly sized, and other options only become necessary when massive amounts of exhaust are in use (as with certain greenhouse applications).

4. Drying and especially trim rooms are usually bigger sources of odor pollution than cultivation spaces. Don’t forget about them! Trim rooms also typically have high ventilation requirements due to dense occupancy during a harvest, so you have a double whammy of high terpene/odor density combined with a lot of air leaving the room.

5. Recirculating odor control strategies are most effective when utilized at high density near critical entrances or transition points. For instance, near entry doors, near the entrances to cultivation and processing areas, and in hallways serving those areas.

Effective odor control is much easier if it’s considered at the beginning of the build, and far more difficult if you’re trying to plug fingers in a leaking dam after your facility is already built. Take these strategies into account and you’ll have a leg up. Hopefully, it all makes scents now!

Need an Odor Control Plan? Contact Us.

Contact Us

Ready to get started or learn more about how we can help your facility succeed? Fill out the form and a company representative will be in touch.

Area of Support*

Share:

Featured Articles

Evolution Pharms [Case Study]

Discover how a 4000-square-foot grow room is scaling operations for the future and beyond.

How to Prevent Mold Infestations in Cannabis Grow Rooms

The best way to prevent mold outbreaks in your grow rooms is to maintain a consistent environment and follow certain best practices. Let's discuss how humidity spikes and other factors can contribute to the risk of moldy cannabis, how to identify a mold problem in your plants, and how to mitigate the risk of mold.

What Type of Grow Light is Best?

Your lighting selection will have a huge impact on your farm. With so many options available on the market, it's important that you understand what the options are and how you can find the best grow light for your indoor plants.

Building a Grow Facility: Tips From a Grow Room Architectural Designer

The average starting cost for a cannabis grow facility can vary dramatically. From geography to labor costs to design and technology selections, it’s difficult to pin down exactly what the costs will be until you really start diving in. In this article, discover tips from a grow room architectural designer.

The Best Benches For Indoor Agriculture

Choosing the right benching and racking systems can help you increase productivity and yield. But with so many options, where do you start?

Things You Need to Know About Industrial Dehumidification for CEA

Proper dehumidification is essential to create the ideal environment for plants to grow. Without adequate dehumidification, the air inside a greenhouse or indoor farm can become too moist, leading to problems like mold and mildew growth.
Sign up to receive blogs and other news

Footer

© 2022 Surna. All rights reserved.
Surna
Scroll to Top