‘Topped up’ greenhouses they are called, the research greenhouses on the roofs of four buildings located in the technology park Zwijnaarde in the Belgian city of Ghent. The greenhouses were created by Deforche Construct. At Thermoflor, they normally don’t concern themselves with projects like these, but this mindset has now changed.
After last year’s bankruptcy, Deforche has made a fresh start in which Thermoflor will remain as a brand name for garden center greenhouses. “But, Deforche’s expertise in the field of research greenhouses can now also be brought to the Netherlands”, says Ben of Thermoflor Construct.
In the middle of April, Deforche posted an example of one such research greenhouse on LinkedIn. Not just any greenhouse, mind you, but one on top of a roof. These are the type of projects that fall right in Deforche’s area of expertise, says Ben. “These types of greenhouses with multiple departments and specialist techniques used are the ones Deforche is really good at. Projects for breeders and pharmaceutical companies, of which many can be found in Ghent, as well as turnkey projects with heating, screening, electricity, lighting and every other installation imaginable.”
A research greenhouse like the one in the LinkedIn video, though relatively small at only 46 by 12 meters and having only one department, doesn’t necessarily have to be on the roof. “Building on the ground is a lot cheaper and easier to do, but the appearance is also important. For biotech companies, it’s also more convenient to be able to perform their research close to their office. In that case, a greenhouse on the roof is a good option.” In this case, it is the best option for the Flemish Institute of Biotechnology and Aphea.Bio, which is also a biotech company. Together they perform research in the greenhouse on the roof.
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