Ever wonder where your food comes from or how it’s been processed before it ends up at your table? With a Ceres greenhouse, you can stop wondering and start becoming more self-reliant and earth-conscious by growing your own fruits and vegetables right in your backyard.
We aim to build resilience against growing threats to our food security by providing growers with their own efficient growing environment that will produce food sustainably all year long, in any climate. We’ve built greenhouses for clients from Arizona to Alaska and design all our structures to local wind and snow loads.
We want to empower individuals and communities to create local food economies. Let us help you find a long-lasting and abundant greenhouse solution that is right for you.
Ceres Backyard Kits are engineered for local conditions by our structural engineers and are built to last with galvanized steel framing. Our Backyard Kits allow growers to be more self-reliant and sustainable by providing a space to grow food all year long. Sizes range from 120ft²-540ft² and are perfect for smaller growing spaces like residential properties, community gardens, urban plots or school grounds. All structural materials are pre-fabricated and shipped directly to the job site for easy installation.
We provide consulting, design and architectural drawing, and engineering services for custom greenhouses. Custom greenhouse designs are based on our passive solar design principles. Size and potential complexity of a project are determining factors for how customized a project can be. We also work with clients’ existing architects or engineers.
Want to Do It Yourself?
Ceres Proven Year-Round Design Features
Take the guesswork out of building a year round greenhouse with our standard building plans. Plans include:
- Insulated, wood framed walls with R-14 insulation minimum
- Water and mold resistant siding
- Double-pane glass windows on South, East and West (East and West windows are operable)
- Window and door trim
- Insulated fiberglass door
- Triple-wall polycarbonate roof, fastening system (creates water-proof seal) and aluminum trim
- Structural Engineering: Structure and roof framing engineered for 40 lbs / sq. ft. snow load and 160 mph wind load.
Purchase Standard Greenhouse Plans
Sizes: 10’x12’, 12’x16’, 12’x20’ and 12’x24’
- Construction blueprints (framing plans) including elevations and wall sections
- Quality Engineering: Standard greenhouse plans are designed for 160 mph wind gusts and 40 lbs./ sq. ft. snow load. (Plans can be engineered for higher snow and wind loads and / or stamped by an engineer. Additional charges may apply.)
- Materials list and sourcing information (you can also purchase greenhouse-specific materials, such as roofing materials, through us)
- Instructions on installing polycarbonate roofing
- Optimized integration for GAHT™ system (sold separately)
With our Ground to Air Heat Transfer (GAHT™) system, the greenhouse is also naturally heated and cooled year round by storing excess heat in the soil underground. This plan package combines building plans for the greenhouse, and our plans / instructions for installing a GAHT™ system on your own.
Standard Plans: $750
with GAHT™ System: $1150
Finance Your Greenhouse
Looking for financial help?
We can help you find funding for your greenhouse project.
Frequently Asked Questions
The cost of a year round greenhouse depends on a lot of things, primarily the size, how you source the materials and who builds it. To give you a general idea, some growers use recycled materials and do all the work themselves and spend as little as a few hundred dollars for a residential solar greenhouse. More commonly, growers buy new materials that will last longer, and outsource some or most of the work. A common range is to spend $5,000 to $30,000 for a durable and energy-efficient backyard greenhouse. Ceres greenhouses are often $70-75/sq. ft for materials.
This varies greatly by location, and what you are trying to grow. In areas with mild winters, passive solar greenhouses can grow year-round without any back-up heating. Greenhouses in cold areas can even grow very hardy crops year-round without heating. However, to grow a wider variety of crops, in most cold climates an energy-efficient greenhouse will require some back-up heating. This is usually turned on during a few very cold nights a year — the extreme cold snaps — when a GAHT™ system, thermal mass, or phase change material is not sufficient to keep temperatures high enough.
Residential growers typically add an electric heater for the coldest times of the year. Commercial growers typically integrate propane or electric heat. We can help you integrate a back-up heater when designing your commercial greenhouse.
Yes! Attached greenhouses have many advantages, such as provide passive solar heating for the home. However, they require specialized materials and air exchanges for an energy-efficient structure. Depending on the project, we will sometimes team with architects and local contractors in building durable, beautiful and efficient greenhouses.
Many solar greenhouse designers recommend using a roof angle that is perpendicular to the angle of the sun in the winter. While this does indeed maximize light transmission in the winter, the effect of a lower angle is not severe. We explain this relationship much further in our blog, Choosing the Best Roof Angle for your Greenhouse. Furthermore, there are a few logistical challenges to creating very steep pitch — you cannot use glass view windows on the south; it can reduce headroom or create an awkwardly tall greenhouse. Due to these pros and cons, most of our residential growers are built with a shallow angle roof. If you have a need for a steeply pitched roof, just ask us.
Yes, we work with clients all over the world. Our standard greenhouse plans, and custom designs can be applied to greenhouses in any location. We often customize the greenhouse to optimize performance for year-round growing in your climate.