On the morning of December 15th, during a blizzard, Russ’s greenhouse collapsed under the estimated weight of 195,000 pounds of snow. (For perspective, that is the weight of 2, full-size, diesel pickups on each 6’ section of greenhouse.) We had looked at the greenhouse the afternoon of the 14th; there was a little accumulation in two places.
The morning of the 15th, Russ called and said there was some damage to the greenhouse; we went out to evaluate the situation. Interestingly enough, the 2 arches that were built under our current manufacturing techniques and engineering were still intact. In visiting with Russ, he told us that in the 35 years of the greenhouse being in this location, he had more than twice the amount of snow in his yard then he had ever seen before. There are currently snowdrifts over 12’ deep where you can easily step down, off the snow drift, and onto the roof of the shop.
Russ’s greenhouse was unique; he had cut the steel and welded the seams to make his arches. That is where the initial failures occurred. All of the greenhouses that Russ has sold use the later, formed arches – rather than cut and welded. Our greenhouses are engineered with 50% more snow load than most ag buildings and shops in our area.
We are still available for tours in the New Greenhouse. Russ’s greenhouse will be greatly missed and was a joy to see for all that came to visit. If you have any further questions and/or concerns, please contact Allen at 308-760-9718.