Following on from the legalization of marijuana in the states of New Jersey and New York, the opportunity for marijuana growers operating within the USA is seemingly increasing with every passing day. Already, organizations are rapidly moving to take advantage of the commercial opportunities quickly becoming available, yet, to fully grasp at this newfound potential there’s an imminent need for the development of efficient facilities to locally grow marijuana at scale. Unsurprisingly, this is far easier said than done.
There are a number of very important factors which must be considered when trying to ensure a good yield of high quality marijuana, including everything from the use of UV lighting to control microbial growth through to managing carbon dioxide levels in the air and maintaining the perfect balance of temperature and humidity across the growth of the crop. Much like is the case in scientific facilities and data centers, HVAC represents an integral cog in the production machine to ensure that marijuana growing facilities can operate in an efficient, productive, and safe manner. As such, we spoke with Gil-Bar, one of the industry’s leading HVAC specialists within HVAC-critical environments – i.e. those projects where precision HVAC controls are integral to system integrity.
With offices across New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania, Gil-Bar is regarded as among the industry’s premier specialists in precision HVAC systems throughout the states and beyond. The organization has completed a vast range of projects across the commercial, hospitality, residential and institutional sectors, but is perhaps best known for its work within technology-driven environments such as medicine, science, and data centers. It’s within these particular environments that the firm’s nigh-on unrivaled level of expertise and collaborative working with the customer has allowed for Gil-Bar to truly stand out from the pack.
Especially across complex projects, Gil-Bar works closely in partnership with engineers, owners, contractors and other relevant parties to develop bespoke solutions which typically prioritize flexibility and acute systems control. Understanding that humidity, temperature, or air flow levels for today may not be suitable tomorrow, or even in an hour, the firm works with manufacturers to ensure that clients are able to adapt to whatever essential variables they need to monitor in a live environment. All of this works to provide the end customer with the controls they need to ensure their own success, based upon their own HVAC needs and requirements.
Commenting on some of the factors which should be considered from a HVAC perspective and how Gil-Bar approaches these challenges, Matthew Neumann, COO of Gil-Bar NJ/PA explained: “Working in the cannabis industry involves a lot of precision controls incorporated in the HVAC equipment we sell which we’ve been working on for years, across data centers, labs, and those kinds of systems which critically require precision-controlled air conditioning. We’ve been doing intricate designs, especially for data centers, for over twenty years and we’ve been able to optimize everything within those spaces. It’s this that we’re transferring over to the cannabis industry, since they need different temperatures and humidity levels for different stages of the growth of the cannabis; when the plant is just starting out, you may want as high as 70% humidity, but when it starts budding you will need to lower that humidity in precise incremental stages.”
“It’s about working with the growth facilities and with the engineers to work out what type of plant is being cultivated or what the crop will be and working with our HVAC manufacturers to determine the right kind of control sequencing for all of the HVAC systems,” added Matthew Neumann. “One reason you want to do that up front is so that, when you design the systems, the manufacturer has all the different components talking to each other and responding to information from one section of the facility, all the way through to the others.”
Already well underway with a project at Lakewood, New Jersey, Gil-Bar is truly hitting the ground running and transferring its well-established HVAC expertise into this new, developing market across New Jersey and New York. The firm is ready and raring to get involved with new facilities, offering its expertise out to the industry. We look forward to reporting further on the firm’s activity within these markets as the industry develops.
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