Revitalizing MSU greenhouses

Michigan State University (MSU) stands as a pioneer in greenhouse research. However, its aging infrastructure presented limitations to further research advancements.

The MSU greenhouse complex spans 90,000 square feet, mostly constructed between 1955 and 1978. MSU's plant scientists tackle global challenges like increasing food production and addressing climate change impacts. Recognizing the aging infrastructure's limitations, the university acknowledged the urgent need for modernization to maintain its dedication to excellence and innovation.

To address these challenges, MSU initiated a revitalization project, hiring Prospiant, the largest North American provider of large-scale commercial greenhouses. The goal was clear: revamp the aging greenhouse infrastructure to improve energy efficiency and precision climate control, crucial for advancing research and meeting evolving agricultural needs.

Substrate Selection: ACRYLITE® acrylic verses Glass
The greenhouses are located near the Great Lakes, an area known for its frigid temperatures and lake effect snow, averaging 51 inches per year. For this project, both diffused glass and acrylic were considered but, ACRYLITE® Resist multi-skin Clear Diffuse (0RS07) acrylic stood out as the preferred choice. Its outstanding qualities, particularly its suitability for northern climates, set it apart. Acrylic outperforms glass in cold conditions, crucial for maintaining ideal greenhouse environments. Additionally, acrylic's strength exceeds that of glass, making it more resilient to heavy snow loads. Its lightweight nature simplifies installation and reduces support needs, improving cost-effectiveness and efficiency.

Light Distribution
ACRYLITE® Resist multi-skin Clear Diffuse (0RS07) panels offer superior light transmission, which is essential for areas in Michigan with limited sunlight exposure. These panels contain acrylic diffusion particles that evenly disperse light, promoting consistent plant growth and increasing productivity by scattering light throughout the greenhouse and reaching deep into the plant canopy. Even during low-angle sunlight in the morning and evening, these panels enhance light penetration, ensuring optimal growing conditions throughout the day. Additionally, the strong rigidity of the panels allows them to cover large areas with fewer supports, reducing shading and maximizing light levels.

Unmatched Glazing Assurance

ACRYLITE® Resist multi-skin acrylic is backed by a warranty which includes 10 years of guaranteed light transmission, 10 years against hail damage, and 30 years of non-yellowing.

Larger Sizes Improve Leak Points and Installation Time

Due to its exceptional rigidity, ACRYLITE® Resist multi-skin sheet enables the rapid and efficient glazing of large areas. In fact, a single sheet of ACRYLITE® Resist can replace between 8 to 10 pieces of lapped glass, thereby substantially reducing the number of potential leak points in the structure.

With these upgrades, MSU's greenhouse complex is now better suited for advanced research. The updated facilities will allow MSU's plant scientists to keep addressing major global issues, such as boosting food production and combating climate change, while upholding the university's commitment to excellence and innovation in agricultural research.

Explore more case studies featuring ACRYLITE® acrylic panels for greenhouse glazing by clicking here.

Featured products

ACRYLITE® Resist multi-skin


More Institutional Greenhouse stories

ACRYLITE® At Como Park Greenhouses

ACRYLITE® Proves Itself At Canada’s Largest Botanical Garden

Ditching Traditional Spray Shade & Glass for an All-In-One Acrylic Greenhouse Solution

Revitalizing MSU greenhouses