Greenhouse Policies & Procedures

The Clemson University Greenhouse Complex is a support facility for basic and applied plant research housed in the Biosystems Research Complex.

The facility contains over 40,000 square feet of greenhouse space and an approximately 16,000 square-foot headhouse. The greenhouse facility is comprised of two ranges of greenhouses each aligned along a central corridor.

Together the ranges contain:

  • 24 greenhouse 4 bench zones measuring 36’ x 35'
  • 8 greenhouse single bench zones measuring 12' x 35’
  • 4 covered growing areas

The headhouse contains all of the support facilities for the greenhouse including:

  • Preparation area
  • Demonstration room
  • 4 Temperature-controlled storage rooms
  • General laboratory
  • Level 3 containment laboratory
  • 7 growth rooms
  • Reach-in growth chambers
  • Shop
  • Pesticide and fertilizer storage and mixing areas
  • Autoclaves
  • Emergency utility equipment

Technical Specifications

Each greenhouse section is individually controlled and monitored through the central Argus environmental control system. Adjustable environmental parameters include perimeter heat, under bench heat in the propagation sections, ventilation, evaporative cooling, supplemental lighting, shade screening/heat retention and a black cloth light control system. Archived data includes greenhouse temperature and humidity monitoring, and outside environment monitoring.

The complex is completely utility-self-sufficient with backup boilers and an electrical generator available during utility outages.

Hours of Operation

The normal working hours for the greenhouse complex are 8:00 am to 4:30 pm Monday through Friday.


Access to Greenhouse Complex is limited to authorized faculty, staff and students. Visitors must be accompanied at all times. Children must be under adult supervision and may not enter greenhouse sections under any circumstances.

Greenhouse Advisory Committee

The Greenhouse Advisory Committee is composed of department chairs who have faculty utilizing facilities at the complex, and the Director of the Biosystems Research Complex. The Greenhouse Advisory Committee meets annually to:

  • Review the greenhouse budget
  • Make recommendations on policy
  • Review and make recommendations on large or unusual expenditures
  • Review the fee schedule
  • Review requests for user supplied specialty equipment
  • Respond to policy issues raised by users including resolution of assigned space appeals
  • Undertake strategic planning for future improvements to the Greenhouse Complex

Permanent Staff

Biosystems Research Complex Director

  • The BRC Director is responsible for all daily operations and maintenance of the Greenhouse Complex. The BRC Director operates under the supervision of the Chief Operating Officer of the Clemson Experiment Station. The BRC Director:
  • Is responsible for implementing policies of the Greenhouse Advisory Committee
  • Coordinates space assignments
  • Receives and reviews work requests
  • Coordinates facility repairs and maintenance
  • Coordinates ordering to maintain a stock of common supplies
  • Is responsible for supervision and training of greenhouse staff
  • Provides mandatory training for new greenhouse users
  • Assists faculty with development of research projects
  • Consults with other University operated greenhouses
  • Maintains a record of space allocations and compiles a summary report for the Greenhouse Advisory Committee
  • Works with Greenhouse users and Staff to promote the successful operation of the Greenhouse Complex
  • Programs and monitors Greenhouse Environmental Control System
  • Maintains a database of environmental controls and conditions
  • Provides historical environmental data to users per request
  • Adjusts Environmental Control System for optimum efficiency of operation

Greenhouse Foreman

  • The Greenhouse Foreman supervises and participates in the proper care of plants grown in the Greenhouse Complex. The Greenhouse Foreman operates under the supervision of the BRC Director and:
  • Instructs greenhouse users on operational procedures
  • Trains and supervises part-time workers
  • Assists with the activities of greenhouse users
  • Provides pesticide recommendations and makes application of pesticides when required
  • Performs routine maintenance
  • Maintains a stock of common supplies

Greenhouse Users

The Clemson University Greenhouse Complex is available for use by University faculty, professional staff, or students, and affiliated USDA personnel. Users are responsible for the planning, implementation, maintenance and successful completion of projects conducted in Greenhouse facilities. Users should plan to interact frequently and directly with Greenhouse Staff.

Faculty members are responsible for the organization and supervision of their students’ use of Complex facilities. All first-time users of the Greenhouse Facilities are required to schedule an orientation covering Greenhouse Services, Greenhouse Policies and Procedures and participate in EPA mandated Worker Protection Standard Training.

Responsibilities of Greenhouse users:

  • Submit a request for space well in advance of the anticipated experimental start date
  • Obtain non-stock materials and supplies that are required
  • Submit written work requests to the Greenhouse Foreman indicating any special requirements
  • Maintain their projects in a professional manner following accepted greenhouse standards for neatness and sanitation
  • Follow proper procedures for the termination of the project and cleanup


  • All greenhouse space is provided for a fee.
  • The fee for a 36’ x 35’ greenhouse section is $250.00/month.
  • The fee for the 12’ x 35’ greenhouse sections is $100.00/month.
  • The fee for the outside growing area is $200.00/year

Growth chambers and Growth rooms are available to University investigators on a first-come-first-served basis. Priority will be given to University faculty. Current rental fees are $30.00/week for the 15 square foot reach-in chambers or 100 square foot growth rooms. The minimum rental period is one month with increments of one week after that.

Fees are assessed on a monthly basis. For users with space requests totaling 10 months or more, payment should be made at the beginning of each fiscal year. Account numbers to be charged need to be established before occupying any greenhouse/growth chamber and before the contract renewal date. Fees accrue from the date the space is assigned. Payment should be made by IDO for the amount of the entire fee. Multiple users may share greenhouse space. However, charges will only be assessed to a single account.