These greenhouses have had a full interesting life. For approximately 30 years the greenhouses were located at a prominate orchid nursery on the Big Island. Their function was to house young orchids to maturity before being shipped around the world for personal gifts and expanding orchid collections. Unfortunately, on August 7th, 2014 hurricane Iselle hit the Big Island causing substantial damage to the Puna district in particular. Many flower nurseries were severely damaged incurring major plant losses as well as greenhouse damage ranging from minor component replacement to full building failure.

I was the leading specialist on constructing and maintaining agricultural structures at the time of the hurricane. Approximately seven months after the storm I got the approval to dismantle 3 - 108' long collapsed greenhouses for demo. and disposal. After some negotiation I got permission to salvage and up cycle / recycle any pieces or parts that were worth saving.

Up cycling or recycling a 30 y.o. greenhouse that's been through a hurricane is no small task. Out of the 3 original 108' long buildings I salvaged enough parts to build 2- 36' long structures. The process involved assessing uniformity in shape, structural integrity, rust and scaling, and how many of this can make that. Luckily, in my years of greenhouse construction I tucked away odds and ends that I thought may one day be useful. These misc. parts coupled with my up cycled components started to take shape into full buildings. Also, it finally justified that my hoarding and pack ratting would one day make sense and I don't need therapy, just more shelves:)

Since the structures were nearly 30 years old in the wet, corrosive rainforest environment some minor rust was starting. The rust was wire wheeled, grinder, and sanded then painted with a industrial grade metal paint. This process took about 90-100 hrs but was easier while dismantled and a one time deal. So if you look up and see a small inconsistency in a arch, perlin or component know it was massaged by Iselles hand as she made landfall. Now in a new up cycled / recycled life our greenhouse is going to house our garden, guests, creativity, mosaic art workshops/classes and laughter.

mainhouse 2
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