Designing Extraction Facilities – 7 Special MEP Factors to Consider
Designing Extraction facilities and building cannabis production compounds is not an easy task. It does not matter if you are a small-scale production facility or a large one; the task is complex. You have to consider many things, including extraction machines, planning process flow, and even getting your permits approved.
When people want to construct a cannabis production facility, most of them tend to overlook certain things, and that is when things start to go wrong. For instance, if you underestimate the equipment, you will need to chill the facility, the results can be disastrous. Therefore, we will take a look at design considerations that can help you came up with an exceptional cannabis production lab.
Prepare for appropriate plumbing
When preparing to build a cannabis extraction facility, as part of its MEP design, you should make sure that you plan for proper plumbing. Most people who want to build such a facility often start with a small-scale design. Even if you want to start small and expand later as business picks up, remember that it is important to make sure that your plumbing plans account for future expansions.
Most people make the mistake of underestimating plumbing requirements, and when they want to expand the facility, they find themselves facing the possibility of redoing the whole plumbing system to support a bigger operation.
Another common mistake people make is failing to estimate the drainage capabilities of the plumbing system. The results are a system where the drainage is slow or even total failure leading to excessive saturation or potential flooding. It is also worth noting that poor drainage can also affect the humidity in the facility.
Choose the right lighting
There are many lighting options available out there. It does not matter if you grow the plants in a greenhouse or indoors; you must choose the right lighting. It is vital to ensure that proper lighting is maintained through every stage of the growth process.
It would be best if you remembered that correct lighting affects the plant’s terpene and cannabinoid levels as well as the plants’ biomass. Also, choosing the right spectrum matters a lot. This is because it determines how the plant will grow through the various growth levels.
Nowadays, lighting manufacturers invest a lot of money and resources to come up with the best devices possible to use in a cannabis production facility.
Choose the best devices to control the environment
You should consult with your HVAC engineer regarding your facility’s HVAC design. You should convey to them the cooling requirements that you expect the facility to have. If you underestimate cooling requirements, the outcome can be disastrous. Make sure that you choose the correct size of the chilling units because it can make the difference between a successful facility and a total failure of the entire project.
You should also know that all the equipment you choose to control the environment should be capable of handling the coldest and hottest days of the year. Therefore, make sure that you communicate any information relevant to heating or cooling the facility to the relevant engineers.
Use a reliable power supply
It is important to talk to your power supplier so that you will be aware of power availability. It will also help you know all you need to know about the costs of upgrading your equipment if you decide to upgrade. Another advantage of talking to your power supplier is that you will install a power supply system that is compliant with the set standards.
It is also important to consider additional requirements such as if you will need extra wiring, additional poles, and even a transformer. You should also take into account the fact that if the location you are setting up the facility will need excessive resources to get the power there. If you think it is too much, then you can consider changing the location to another place.
Install sensors/controllers to control humidity
Most people who have no experience building or running cannabis facilities place sensors that control humidity on the floor. You should not that this is not the right position to put them. You should note that when the heat rises, it takes moisture along with it, which makes the ceiling warm. It is advisable to place the dehumidification units on the ceiling. Also, you should place the humidity sensors at the canopy level. If the airflow is good, then you can be sure that humidity will be maintained at the best levels for proper plant growth.
Maintain proper CO2 levels
Make sure that you maintain proper CO2 levels as well as maintaining good parts per million levels. Some people use CO2 tanks that need to be refilled at a different location. That reduces the efficiency of the CO2 and also a poor use of resources and labor. The best thing is to install a big tank outside the facility whereby when the need to refill comes; it is refilled on location without interrupting the flow of CO2. The system should also be designed in such a way that it works together with the HVAC units.
Choose equipment suppliers carefully
Be careful when choosing where you buy the equipment. Currently, there is a lot of research and developments in the field of cannabis. Buy the equipment for your facility from companies whose products are modern. Also, make sure that they have passed tests to prove their efficiency. Do not always assume that the most expensive types of equipment are the best. You may get good equipment at fair prices.
Making mistakes is easy when building or upgrading a cannabis production facility. There are many factors to consider and many choices to make, and in the process, they may overwhelm you. However, if you follow the points outlined here, your chances of making your facility a fiscal success will improve dramatically.