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Exactum greenhouse

The Exactum greenhouse is located on the roof terrace of the Exactum building on the Kumpula campus area. The building houses several university departments, including the departments of Computer Science and Mathematics.

As such, Exactum is open to the general public during the following hours:

  • June 28th to July 27th: Mon-Fri from 07:45 to 16:00
  • rest of the year: Mon-Fri from 07:45 to 19:00

An updated list of recent events is available from the page Timeline. For the full list of public pages, see Home.

Background

The early phases of the project started with a previous experiment which hosted a number of servers in a tent located on the roof terrace. The purpose of the experiment was to figure out whether direct, free air cooling of the server equipment (PDF) was feasible in the harsh Finnish winter. Turned out that it was.

Some of the same servers have been running outside on the roof of the Exactum building since February 2010. We later replaced the tent with a custom-built enclosure named as the Helsinki Chamber (HC). Time has shown the HC to be rather good at cooling the servers. But what to do with their wasted exhaust heat?

In July 2011 we got in contact with the neighbouring Fifth Dimension about doing a co-op project. This project turned into the greenhouse heated by the HC and surrounded by the experimental green roof. We are still adding additional plants to make the Exactum terrace even more enticing for our co-workers.

Time-lapse video of construction

Greenhouse construction was finished on Dec. 5th, 2011. However, we are constantly making changes and improvements.

Both the main strength and weakness remains the exhaust heat. We measure the temperatures with our own Sensors, further described on their own page.

Citations and press

The following materials may be of further interest.

Exactum green roof

The greenhouse is surrounded by an experimental green roof maintained by the Fifth Dimension - Green Roofs in Urban Areas project. 

Green roofs could essentially improve the living environment in cities, as they can easily be anticipated to produce regulating, provisioning and cultural ecosystem services such as improvement of microclimate, balancing of hydrological cycle, CO2 sequestration, habitat provision, active cooling/insulation, dust filtering, opportunities for gardening and local food production in kitchen gardens, aesthetic improvement, additional green space and recreational services and educational services via e.g. nature paths on the roofs.

The cross-disciplinary research group of the Fifth Dimension studies the quantity and quality of ecosystem services that could be provided by green roofs.

The Fifth Dimension – Green Roofs in Urban Areas ‐research program was part of the World DesignCapital Helsinki 2012 curriculum.

Experimental sections

Smaller sections within the green roof installation include experimental design with certain plants and substrate. Different treatments are separated (biochar, microbes, water flow, pollination). The experimental design includes two types of green roof moisture layers and two types of substrate, different thickness, substrate with biochar and without. And further: two types of vegetation (sedum-herb-grass mat + seed mixture and seed mixture + plug plants). Different experiments take place at different parts of the year, e.g., the bug-catching equipment used in June, 2012.

Experimental roof POSTER

Plants list

Perhaps the most often asked question is "So, what are you really growing?", accompanied with a smirk and a growing smile. Currently, our greenhouse contains no plants, as we are preparing to plant new sprouts for the year 2013. As you may deduce from this, we usually begin an answer with a "No, we don't grow that".

Each pot is numbered. The plants below are listed as number, name in Latin, cultivar, name in English. Note that some fields may be missing.

Plants for year 2013:

 

  1. Capsicum annuum, Apache #32, chili pepper 2012-10-09
  2. Capsicum annuum, Apache #32, chili pepper 2012-10-09
  3. Capsicum annuum, Apache #12, chili pepper 2012-10-09
  4. Capsicum annuum, Apache #32, chili pepper 2012-10-09 + ?
  5. Capsicum baccatum, Aji Cristal, chili pepper
  6. Capsicum annuum, Short Yellow Tabasco, chili pepper 2012-10-09
  7. Capsicum baccatum, Aji Cristal, chili pepper 2012-10-08 #13
  8. Capsicum annuum, Thai Rawit, chili pepper
  9. Capsicum annuum, Thai Rawit, chili pepper
  10. Capsicum chinense, Red Habanero, chili pepper
  11. Capsicum baccatum, Aji Andean, chili pepper
  12. Capsicum baccatum, Aji Cristal, chili pepper
  13. Capsicum chinense, Trinidad Moruga Scorpion, chili pepper
  14. Capsicum annuum, Black Scorpion Tongue, chili pepper
  15. Capsicum annuum, Thai Rawit, chili pepper 
  16. Capsicum baccatum, Aji Cristal, chili pepper
  17. Capsicum baccatum, Aji Cristal, chili pepper
  18. Capsicum annuum, Apache #12, chili pepper 
  19. Capsicum annuum, Apache #32, chili pepper
  20. Capsicum annuum, Bolivian Rainbow, chili pepper
  21. Capsicum annuum, Apache #12, chili pepper 2012-10-09
  22. Capsicum baccatum, Aji Cristal, chili pepper
  23. Capsicum annuum, Thai Rawit #11, chili pepper
  24. Capsicum annuum, Short Yellow Tabasco, chili pepper
  25. Capsicum chinense, Naga Morich, chili pepper
  26. Hylocereus undatus, Pitaya, dragonfruit
  27. Capsicum baccatum, Aji Cristal, chili pepper
  28. Capsicum baccatum, Aji Cristal, chili pepper + Capsicum annuum, Thai Rawit #11, chili pepper + ?
  29. Capsicum annuum, Thai Rawit, chili pepper
  30. Capsicum annuum, Thai Rawit, chili pepper
  31. Capsicum baccatum, Aji Cristal, chili pepper
  32. Capsicum annuum, Bolivian Rainbow, chili pepper

Pictures


Susanna and Gosia installing green roof (full gallery)


Exactum greenhouse during winter (full gallery)


Lassi working with the plants (full gallery)


Transparent wall for easy visibility (full gallery)

More information

Much more information is available as separate pages in this listing: Home.

Credits

A number of people and companies have dedicated their time and efforts into helping us. Due to the rapidly growing list of names, we have included the full list on a separate page.

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