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Insulated glass minimizes shadow in new Syngenta facility

May 21, 2013  By Brandi Cowen

Syngenta celebrated the grand opening of its new Advanced Crop Lab on May 17. (Courtesy of Syngenta.)

Syngenta’s new Advanced Crop Lab houses 30 climate-controlled growth environments in all-glass greenhouses and insulated glass walls that provide a nearly shadowless indoor environment.

The new facility will allow Syngenta to simulate conditions from Iowa in one room and from Africa in the room right next door. This flexibility will let the company’s researchers focus on developing agricultural traits that optimize crop yields, use resources efficiently and resist various stresses that farmers around the world face every day.



“Our new Advanced Crop Lab allows us to bring together components of all research where we can create environments for multiple crops from multiple regions — simultaneously,” said Michiel van Lookeren Campagne, head of biotechnology for Syngenta. “Individual controls of temperature, light and carbon dioxide levels, as well as humidity control in many growth chambers, provide tailored environments that allow our talented researchers to work on specific grower challenges.”


According to coverage of the facility’s grand opening in the News & Observer:


“High-tech glass specially made for Syngenta in the Netherlands disperses light in all directions. Combine that with the highly reflective stark white floors in the corridors outside the 22 greenhouse rooms, and shadows nearly disappear. The glowing result is other-worldly.


“It’s all part of the company’s efforts to maximize the region’s sunlight, supplementing it with artificial lighting as needed, to simulate the growing conditions of any climate in the world.”


The new facility also includes a liquid “fertigation” system to feed and water the plants and an automated roof-washing system. The building is Green Globe certified, which recognizes the company’s sustainable construction processes. In constructing the new facility, Syngenta reclaimed a former industrial site and recycled more than 85 per cent of those materials.

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