16 mm ACRYLITE® Resist diffused clear (0RS07) multi-skin sheets
European immigrants, Ludolf and Wilhelmina Wierenga, started Wierenga Greenhouses in the early 1960’s. From a small property in Port Dalhousie, Canada, their humble beginnings slowly but surely grew overtime. By the mid 1970’s, the business was incorporated and moved to Fenwick in the Niagara Region of Canada. With multiple greenhouse additions, it has now grown to over 7,000 square meters of gutter connected production area.
Operations are currently run under the leadership of Dan VanGeest and Jason Wierenga, along with their spouses, as the third-generation owners in this ever-growing family business. Prior to their new roles, both Dan and Jason earned degrees in horticulture and had nearly a decade each of employment as growers at other wholesale producers of ornamental plants in the Niagara region.
The use of acrylic sheet was introduced to Wierenga Greenhouses in 1985 during a renovation project. Their existing Cyprus and single paned lapped glass roof was replaced with ACRYLITE® using a thermally broken, gasketed aluminum glazing bar and cap system.
Acrylic was chosen at the time because it offered high light transmission rates, low heat transfer, and a long-life span. The combination of these traits was not available in other glazing materials and was unrivaled by other commercially available glazing options. “Energy efficiency and environmental stewardship have been key values in the operation where outdoor temperatures can drop lower than -20 degrees Celsius in the winter”, says Jason Wierenga.
As the greenhouse operation and production area expanded under the previous leadership of brothers Pete and Lloyd, new additions were built by Frank Jonkman using ACRYLITE® acrylic on wide span ridge vented houses.
Recently, ACRYLITE® was the chosen material again when the decision was made to add more production area in 2020 and 2021. In both additions, 16 mm ACRYLITE® Resist diffused multi-skin sheets were used on A-frame ridge vented houses which were supplied by Jonkman Greenhouse Systems.
Along with industry research showing the benefits of diffused light, guidance from the supplier, installers, and direct conversations with other growers in the area whom also conveyed its advantages, helped lead to the decision to use this material.
The Growing Will Continue in More Ways Than One
ACRYLITE® acrylic as a greenhouse glazing material has proven itself at Wierenga Greenhouses. For over 35 years the benefits of high light transmission, low thermal conductivity, and longevity have been an advantage to the crops and to the operation of the company.
Potted ornamentals are produced and sold year-round including a selection of premium ferns marketed under the registered trade mark of Fern Fascination. Additionally, a substantial component of their sales is channeled through Niagara based wholesalers and exporters, but Wierenga Greenhouses directly supplies garden centers in Southern Ontario. With a recent addition of more production area, the business is situated to continue to provide quality products to a variety of customers for years to come.