Original Article as seen in MG Magazine
An industry-wide shift to sustainability and efficiency sounds great on paper, but for many indoor cultivators the best solution for the indoor grow rooms doesn’t always seem within reach.
However, the long-term benefits of a sustainable growing environment that’s consistently able to produce healthy plants will lead to better profitability with lower monthly bills and higher output. In fact, according to a Preservation Green Lab study, indoor farmers who retrofit properly can expect energy savings of up to 46 percent.
Retrofitting—turning an existing, structurally sound building into a properly insulated, energy-efficient facility—is becoming an increasingly popular option in the cultivation sector. Retrofitting decreases the capital investment required to launch construction projects and may help operators generate 80 percent less construction and demolition waste compared to building a new facility. The process requires closely examining cost, materials, and the overall design and build process, which can be overwhelming for cultivators trying to focus their limited energy and resources on growing top-quality plants.
That’s where PermaTherm comes in.
PermaTherm has been in the controlled-environment business since 1987, well before cannabis legalization was on anyone’s horizon. With decades of experience working primarily in the food-production and -processing industry (including cold storage), the company segued into cannabis with the knowledge necessary to optimize cultivation output with custom insulated panels, which are energy-saving, budget-friendly, and highly efficient.
“When the cannabis industry first began to legalize, our background in the agricultural industry offered a competitive advantage,” said Marketing Director Sheryl Boddie. “We understood the environmental nuances that cultivators and producers needed to address because, in a lot of ways, those requirements are the same as those in food production.”
Today, the company offers value to growers, investors, building owners, architects, and facility designers, employing core values that prioritize community, hard work, and lifelong learning.
In 2015, the company made its cannabis industry debut providing its insulated metal panels to a New Hampshire cultivator in need of an innovative solution for updating his grow rooms while increasing sustainability.
“We helped the client harvest his first crop in less time than other growing structure methods,” said Paul Casola, PermaTherm’s sales director. “We have been advancing our solutions for customers in the cannabis space ever since.”
With sustainability and cost-effectiveness at the forefront, PermaTherm provides a thorough cultivation design process that’s helping create a viable future for an energy- and resource-intensive sector. A team of specialized project managers and consultants walks each client through the entire building process, providing renderings, bills of materials, instructions, and ongoing technical support well beyond the company’s manufactured panels.
Although the panels aren’t the only thing PermaTherm offers, they’re a staple of the business and a favorite among cultivators. Based on the client’s project specifications, the team designs customized insulated metal panels that can help cultivators establish a contained, controlled environment; panel solutions that provide protection from extreme temperatures; and custom panels to meet almost any requirements.
“For cannabis clients, we produce an atmosphere conducive to effective and efficient crop output, processing operations, final product packaging, and storage,” Casola said. “We also make suggestions based on other indoor grow projects we’re working on that may help an entrepreneur better leverage their space or achieve more than they originally imagined.”
Beyond the concept and panel package design service, PermaTherm works with vetted teams of contractors, installers, and architectural and design firms that can optimize every aspect of the finished product.
The company is devoted to building operations that are sustainable and environmentally sound, both of which are increasingly important in all industries. PermaTherm’s experience in the food industry helped mold how the company approaches cannabis, allowing its teams to view the cultivation process through a unique lens.
“When you’re working in cold-food storage, you’re building ice cream freezers the size of three Walmarts,” PermaTherm President Keith DeVore said. “With projects at that scale and scope, you have to think about how to keep things cold without running your power constantly and incurring costs so great that no one can afford the ice cream.”
General Manager Chris Lake added, “This is why we began seeking out products that not only provide superior insulating properties, but also draw fewer resources from the power grid. Environmental sustainability goes hand in hand with efficient manufacturing—not only because of an altruistic goal, but because unsustainable processes aren’t sustainable for businesses trying to turn a profit, either.”
According to DeVore, “People want products that will last and have no maintenance. Our panels, installed properly, will provide customers with years of not having to replace or repair their facility.
“Cannabis growers and cultivators are seeking to be as efficient as possible, from the fertigation systems they incorporate to the environment in which the crop is grown,” he added. “The better you can control variables like temperature, humidity, pests, and light, the quicker you can perfect your product.”