A solar greenhouse incorporates solar glazing for heating and plant growth, and thermal mass to store daytime heat for release at night.

To prevent one-sided plant growth, it is common to provide some opposite wall glazing to admit backlight onto the plant canopy.

Guidelines for greenhouse design:

  • Solar glazing – In cold and temperate climates, elongate the greenhouse along the east-west axis and make the solar façade (facing the equator) and roof of double-wall or triple-wall glazing.
  • Thermal mass – Build the floor and solid walls of thermal mass materials and incorporate additional thermal mass inside the greenhouse when feasible. Insulate all mass walls on their exterior face.

For other greenhouse shapes and configurations, admit sunlight through solar facing roof glazing.