8 Cultivation Facility Design Tips for Indoor Growers

Jamie Jacobs
Jamie Jacobs joined APX Construction Group in June of 2020 specializing in interior design, marketing, event planning, and business development.
  • While the key ingredient to any successful cannabis cultivation business is a master grower, he or she won’t do you any good if the layout of your cannabis grow facility is a mess. Cultivation facility design is crucial to not only attracting the right cannabis growers and other talent to your grow facility but also to the overall success of your daily operations.

    Of course, there’s a lot that goes into cultivation facility design, especially when we’re talking about a cannabis facility. From mechanical equipment to cultivation spaces, we’re going to dive into the cannabis industry’s top eight tips for facility design and warehousing.

    Follow these tips and you’ll find that your indoor plant cultivation will do nothing but thrive:

    1. Start With the Right Location 📍

    Location, location location — it’s true what they say. Your location is everything as it’s the jumping point for your cannabis cultivation facility. 

    Your cannabis business space will impact the following:

    • The potential size of your cannabis facility
    • Logistics and portability of your cannabis, to and from wholesalers, dispensaries, etc.
    • Your access to an adequate power supply
    • Your access to an adequate water supply
    • Your capacity to handle wastewater and discarded materials
    • Your capacity for optimal plant growth

    There are tons of factors to take into consideration when choosing a location for your indoor cannabis facility, especially when it comes to federal, state, and local ordinances. Choosing the wrong location is the first step in wasting a ton of time and money, so choose your location wisely!

    2. More Height Equals More Light 📏

    Shorter ceilings and limited lighting space are a cannabis grower’s greatest enemies. It’s incredibly difficult to grow healthy cannabis plants with limited vertical space that gives way to cramped spaces and no room for the necessary lighting. 

    When it comes to cultivation facility design for cannabis, always invest in higher ceilings and adequate grow space. Giving the cannabis plants room to grow and breathe — with the space for proper lighting — will always yield the best crops without issue. 

    3. Be Consistent With Flower Room Sizing 🌸

    The design of your cultivation facility will directly impact your daily operations. This is important to consider as everything will be based on your flower rooms — which ideally should all be the same size and have the same canopy space.

    This is a design feature that will:

    • Allow you to plan out your vegetation rooms much easier
    • Create more efficient drying and curing areas
    • Leave less room for error during the cultivation and harvesting processes
    • Establish consistency among all flowering cannabis for an end product that delivers each and every time

    The key word here is consistency — and maintaining adequate and equal flower room sizes for each part of the production pipeline will make your life a whole lot easier and your read-for-sale cannabis that much better.

    4. Embrace Automation 💻

    Part of your cannabis facility design plan should absolutely include the optimization of labor efficiencies wherever possible. This is a complicated way of saying that you need to set up an automatic logging system to monitor the room temperatures and humidity ranges to ensure — once again — that everything remains consistent. 

    If you rely on manually recorded inputs (as in, human recording) you leave too much room for error when it comes to checking in on your grow-room vitals. The more tools you give your growers to streamline their processes, the more they’ll be able to make rightfully informed decisions and focus their energies on other areas of operations and workflows.

    5. Always Utilize Separately Sealed Rooms 🚪

    Always plan for the worst — bugs, fungus, pathogens, etc. 

    While you may be utilizing indoor cultivation which has inherent benefits such as minimizing the risk for potential plant disease and pests, these issues can still occur. Therefore, you want to divide your grow rooms and make sure they’re tightly sealed. This will prevent the spread of any microbial issue that occurs, mitigating the risk of losing an entire crop in one fell swoop.

    6. Design For Limited Access ✏️

    You want to keep clean-room protocols in mind when it comes to cultivation facility design. All production areas should have limited access to minimize possible contamination.

    However, limited access does not mean a limited view of the daily operations. It’s a good idea to have specialized viewing windows installed to allow managers, growers, investors, inspectors, and other necessary individuals to safely access your facility and plants.

    7. Implement Contaminant-Reducing Technology 🪭

    While you may have specific HVAC systems in mind, you want to ensure that they involve the right air purification technologies to reduce instances of airborne and surface contaminants such as:

    • Mold
    • Bacteria
    • Viruses
    • Other microbial pathogens

    You can also opt for separate air purification systems that are designed to line the corridors and rooms of your facility. You can also have them installed inside of your HVAC ducts to kill any pathogens flowing through your HVAC system — which will also help with odor control to a certain extent.

    8. Consider Working With an Experienced Consultant 👷

    It’s incredibly easy to throw money at an architect and have them create a layout for your commercial grow room design. However, without the extensive experience and knowledge that comes with designing cultivation spaces with maximum efficiency, they may as well be speaking a different language.

    Consider hiring an experienced cannabis facility design consultant to communicate with the architect, contractors, and engineers as they understand the following regarding the cannabis industry:

    • The importance of grower-owned cannabis facilities and their functions
    • How to properly plan for and design grow spaces
    • How to plan the proper placement of HVAC systems and air purification systems
    • How to maintain cost efficiency — for example, keeping your HVAC systems closer to your transformers can save larger grow facility owners tens of thousands of dollars in energy costs
    • The importance of a climate-controlled environment with safety and contamination protocols
    • Daily operations and workflow regarding cannabis cultivation and logistics

    Cannabis facility design is no easy feat — and it certainly isn’t cheap. Having the right design and construction team on your side will go a long way in the success of your future operations and ability to scale your cannabis production business.

    Let the team at APX Construction Group help you with your cannabis cultivation facilities. Get in touch with us today to learn more about our teams and services and start planning your new cannabis production facility from the ground up.

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