Dji Fly Greenhouse construction

A greenhouse construction made of steel

The steel structure of a Dutch Venlo greenhouse construction consists of the following primary construction elements: columns, trusses, beams, purlins and braces. Together, these elements cope with the forces exerted on them by the weight of the greenhouse, wind, snow, the crop and the installation loads. Due to the importance of light in the greenhouse, all steel structural elements are carried out as light as possible whilst complying with the structural regulations. 

Structural Components of a Greenhouse

As an agricultural building, greenhouses are designed to be as lightweight as possible. Fine-tuning the structural calculations can lead to significant differences in the amount of steel needed for a similar building.

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Braces and Beams

With only columns and trusses, the greenhouse structure is strong enough to handle loads at a 90 degree angle. To ensure the strength of the steel structure for forces applied from any other angle, braces are applied. The main function of cross braces is to transfer horizontal loads in the gutter direction to the foundation. To prevent the foundation from tilting at the load points, a bridging beam is mounted to the foundation posts or concrete dollies and connect to the columns. During engineering, the positions of these cross braces are determined to serve their function without interfering with cultivation or logistical operations.

White Coating

All steel elements are galvanized to prevent oxidation. This gives the steel structure a grey exterior. To improve the light characteristics of the greenhouse, the columns and tellis are often coated white for less light absorbance within the greenhouse. Besides serving this light reflection properties, it simply looks better.

Interior of a cannabis grow facility with controlled environment


The common steel grade utilized in Dutch greenhouses is S235, a low-carbon manganese steel known for its good impact resistance and weldability. Elements like posts, trusses, and foundation posts are made from hot-rolled hollow steel profiles of this S235 grade. These profiles offer robust structural integrity, resist distortion during the galvanization process, and provide the flexibility needed for welding and cutting.

The main steel components of greenhouses are trusses, columns, cross-braces and supporting beams. At places where doors are located, steel provisions are made to eliminate distortion in the overall structure.

To improve the light efficiency of the greenhouse, the columns and trellises are frequently coated in white, reducing light absorption inside the structure. In addition to improving light-reflective qualities, this white coating also enhances the aesthetic appeal of the greenhouse.

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