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Why Polycarbonate Is Better Than Glass For Greenhouses

Why Polycarbonate Is Better Than Glass for Greenhouses

If you’re planning a greenhouse, you’re probably giving careful consideration to the materials you’ll use in its construction. Traditionally, greenhouses were built out of glass because glass is transparent and allows an optimal amount of light for plant growth. But with this obvious pro comes many cons, including the heavy weight of glass, its easy breakability, and its cost. To solve all of these problems, more and more greenhouse builders are turning to polycarbonate as their material of choice. Here’s a closer look at why polycarbonate is better than glass for greenhouses.

  • Polycarbonate weighs significantly less than glass. When comparing a 1/8-inch-thick square foot of glass to an equally sized amount of polycarbonate, polycarbonate weighs about half as much. The difference in weight is actually much greater than this because polycarbonate is so durable that it doesn’t require the same degree of thickness as glass to provide equal or better performance. The lower weight requires less orchestration and fewer handling considerations during installation, and it also requires less structural support, which can reduce the overall cost of construction.
  • The durability of polycarbonate not only allows an overall reduction in the weight of the material but also virtually eliminates replacement costs. Polycarbonate is up to 250 stronger than glass, so it can have a significantly longer life because it can withstand the elements of wind, snow, ice, hail, and even the randomly tossed rock.
  • Polycarbonate can diffuse light. By diffusing the light entering the greenhouse, growers can better protect plants from hot spots and burning during periods of direct sunlight.
  • The insulating properties of polycarbonate can allow greenhouse owners to get their growing seasons started sooner because the material works to keep heat in markedly better than single layer glass, which has extremely poor insulating properties. Longer growing seasons can also mean more growing cycles.
  • Polycarbonate can provide more design options. The material is available in a variety of colors and comes in solid and multiwall Multiwall panels are available in 2-wall, 3-wall, 4-wall, X, and honeycomb structures, which can add a patterned aesthetic to the overall look of the greenhouse. The material is also easy to bend, cut, and shape using basic construction tools.

For help with choosing the best material for your greenhouse project, contact Ug Plast at 717-356-2448 or To learn more about polycarbonate materials, visit

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