After the finishing work was complete on the interior it was time to move onto the next phase which was preparing the room for the special environmental attributes it would be facing for years to come. All of my decisions on products were based on both cost effectiveness and reflectivity. My first step was to have the floor covered. I have seen many different choices over the years from loose gravel to a bare pad. I wanted to choose something that I could continue into my home that was cost effective, reflective, and durable.
My final decision was ceramic tile I purchased was from Lowe’s and was manufactured by The Huntington Tile Group; it was roughly .60 cents per tile. I had the floor and the first three courses of block tiled as well. The surface is a bit slick when humid, but increased the light levels in the room dramatically over the concrete. In addition, ceramic tile is an excellent temperature conductor and allows the room to benefit from the cool concrete in the summer months. To the right is a photo of the tiled floor with the particle board wall and sockets, which I ran every 3 feet.
Below is a close up shot of the tile work. The next consideration was the ceiling. Traditional structures don’t have to worry about this much. They range in everything from translucent fiberglass to plastic. Since this is an addition, I went with a half gable roof, vaulted inside, and three skylights. The ceiling is water resistant green board. Based on my past 6 years I know that even green board will eventually fall apart under the right conditions. Searching high and low I found a product from Pittsburgh Paints (PPG) which was designed for indoor pools and spas. The paint is a two part epoxy and the color can be made to match and sample anything you bring in. The two parts were about $70 dollars and provided enough coverage for 250 square feet.
The paint is available at specialty paint stores. After mixing the two parts with the other two parts, the paint needs to cure for 45 minutes before applying the first coat. A second coat is essential and a waiting period of 24 hours is required between the two. I chose a sky blue color, not optimum for reflection but reminiscent of both water and sky. The paint is a bit cumbersome to work with, however it provides and excellent barrier for this humid environment.
The next installation was a bit out of order, but I wanted to have the ceiling finished in one step. Circulation is a critical element in the design of a farm for both cooling through evaporation, and overall water quality. In addition to a ventilation fan, I chose to install overhead outdoor fans which run on a timer. The blades are reversible and provide heat and cooling exchange during the appropriate months. I purchased these models at Lowe’s as well, for $45 dollars each. The exhaust fan will not be installed until next season, since its primary use is cooling and Fall is approaching. The shot to the left highlights the installed fans and the finished ceiling.