As part of the renovation of the University of Texas at Austin Welch Hall, the new research Greenhouse on Norman Hackerman Building is scheduled to open this fall. The project will expand the College of Natural Sciences greenhouse facilities while becoming the new home for the plant life in the current Welch Hall greenhouse.
The exterior envelope of the greenhouse is currently in progress as aluminum mullions, glass, roof vents and sidewall vents continue to be installed. The enclosure system is designed to keep the compartments free from birds and insects including the tiny plant-eating insects known as Thrips. A special accordion Thrip screen is utilized at all vents to allow for ventilation without compromising plant health.
The eight separately controlled compartments will allow researchers to dial in unique settings for experimentation, allowing customization for the various research crop types including: arabidopsis, cotton, corn, cacti and grasses. The installation of fans and utility lines to heat and cool the Greenhouse will commence within the next few months along with supplemental growth lighting that will offer longer growing days and seasons.
Additional experimentation space will be provided by three walk-in growth chambers and six smaller reach-in growth chambers in the Headhouse. The growth chambers provide highly controlled environments with moderated lighting, additive CO2 levels, humidity and temperature control for precise testing. The remainder of the Headhouse, which is nearly enclosed, includes large window and skylight openings bringing natural light to the open lab space for mixing soils and transplanting experiments.
Groundbreaking at UT Austin Welch Hall
Closer to the Sun