Ovaltech III Greenhouse

January 28, 2003 - 12:42

The real story of the product and how it worked for these companies.

The Ovaltech III from Harnois is low-maintenance, easy to erect,
covered in polycarbonate film and includes a number of other features that lead
to higher-quality plants. The Ovaltech III is the newest in the Ovaltech
series. It was introduced in 1999, offers more light transmission than previous
Ovaltech models and features straighter sides for maximum growing capacity.
Here are some more details that will help you make an educated decision on
which type of greenhouse structure might be the right fit for your growing


The Ovaltech III's gothic shape, combined with the use of
curved purlins, makes the structure virtually dripless. It provides a large
growing environment, with the highest light transmission of any of the Ovaltech
models, and resists snow and ice accumulation. The Ovaltech III provides more
usable space than other structures because of its straighter sides, allowing
for more productivity and profitability.


This greenhouse is made of galvanized, large oval tubing,
which, according to Harnois, is stronger than equivalent round tubing. The
galvanized finish includes GatorShield and galvalume (steel protection
coatings), and it can be customized according to use and location. All parts
are pre-drilled and swedged for faster and easier assembly. "The structure
is very easy to erect. One of the best features of the Ovaltech III is the
complete plans, good inventory and easy-follow blueprints," said Rock
Keitzer, owner of Keitzer Farms in Hartford, Mich., and owner of more than 50
different Ovaltech models since the mid 1980s. Available in widths of 25, 27,
30, 32 and 35 feet, it can be installed on a variety of foundations. The
Ovaltech III also costs less per square foot than other Ovaltech models.


The Ovaltech III emphasizes natural ventilation. The
combination of roll-up sides and ridge ventilation directs hot, contaminated
air outside the greenhouse, much like a chimney. Roll-up models can be up to
300 feet long and up to six feet tall at the ridge on side- or butterfly-type

According to Paul Connelly, owner of Connelly Greenhouses in
Thorndike, Maine, and of three other Ovaltechs in the series for more than 12
years, "You need to break the vent in — it is a little stiff at
first, but overall it is very useful." This system, combined with the
greater air volume of the greenhouse, provides a more even climate, with less
temperature variations than traditional forced-air ventilation. In the
construction of the structure at Keitzer Farms, a heater was added, but the
rest of the materials were part of the package. Furthermore, natural
ventilation, whether motorized or manual, requires less energy and will help in
preventing the spread of diseases and pests. Natural ventilation is better for
the crops and costs less to operate than traditional mechanical ventilation.


With a clearance of a little more than nine feet from ground
to cross-tie, the Ovaltech III has ample headroom for comfortably working
inside the greenhouse, even with baskets hanging on the cross-ties. Connelly
says, "There is very little maintenance with the Ovaltech III, but make
sure to change the film every four years. I have polycarbonate film in the
first 24 feet of my greenhouse, and it seems to hold up the best within the
first four years." The structure can be covered with single or double
polyethylene film, or with corrugated, 8-mm polycarbonate sheets. "The
quality of this unit, simplicity of the structure and the delivery are the most
important characteristics of the Ovaltech III," said Keitzer. The Ovaltech
III is more than 25 percent stronger than regular round-tube structures,
according to Harnois.

Final Words

According to the manufacturer, the Ovaltech III is viewed by
many growers around the world as the simplest and most efficient greenhouse
they have ever had. Growers say the Ovaltech III embodies perfectly the
philosophy that animates Harnois Industries: being innovative, daring to be
different and providing simple solutions to create perfect growing environments
for each specific customer. "Overall, Harnois is a good company with a
reliable product and organization, quality and delivery that is far better than
other greenhouse structure manufacturers," says Keitzer.

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