85858 - Greenhouse Crop Management

Course Unit Page


This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.

Zero hunger Sustainable cities Responsible consumption and production Climate Action

Academic Year 2018/2019

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course the student knows the interactions between the climate outside of a greenhouse and the microclimate inside, the changes in major climatic parameters that affect crop growth and how to manage the microclimate in the greenhouse. The student also knows the main protection materials and technologies. The student is able to understand the main issues related to the cultivation in a controlled environment, also depending on the climate of the area in which is going to operate, and potential climate changing conditions and is able to know how to choose the protective materials. The student is able to define the distribution features, sizing and layout of the main functional units which make up the building system. The student is able to return drawings of design cases developed in the framework of guided exercises.

Course contents

1) Teaching programme (36 hours)

The course will mainly address the engineering aspects of the greenhouses and their interaction with growth and development of crops.

  • General introduction:
    • General introduction to protected cultivation;
    • Objectives and types of protected cultivation;
    • Greenhouse history and current status;
    • Mediterranean greenhouses;
  • Greenhouse technologies for urban horticulture:
    • Innovation technologies for urban horticulture;
    • Innovative business models in urban horticulture;
    • Functions of rooftop greenhouses;
  • Management of the greenhouse climate and available technological solutions:
    • External climate;
    • The greenhouse climate;
    • The plastic greenhouse;
    • CO2 enrichment;
    • Artificial lighting in greenhouse cultivation;
    • Climate management;
  • Greenhouse design and construction
  • Environmental sustainability
    • LCA of greenhouse production;
    • Greenhouse energetic efficiency;

2) Technical visits (4 hr)
Visit company IPOM pellerossa (http://www.ipom.biz/1/chi_siamo_755918.html) with soilless tomato greenhouse cultivation.

3) Practical work (20 hr)
The course includes the following practical activities:

- Critical reading of scientific literature on a related subject and group work preparation of a literature review on main drawbacks and potential for innovation.

- Practical exercise in working groups for the design of a rural greenhouse, a plant factory, a rooftop greenhouse or a vertical farm.


Teaching material

Syllabus and slides available on AMSCampus


Castilla, N. 2013. Greenhouse technology and Management. CABI

Other readings

Kozai, T., Fujiwara, K., Runkle, E.S. 2016. Led lighting for urban agriculture. Springer.

Kozai, T, Niu, G., Takagaki, M. 2016. Plant factory. An indoor vertical farming system for efficient quality food production. AP - Elsevier.

Quaryoti M., Baudoin W., Nono Womdin R., Leonardi C., Hanafi A., De Pascale S. 2013. Guidelines on GAP for greenhouse horticulture in the Mediterranean Region. FAO-UN, Rome, Italy. FAO paper, AGP series, 217.

Orsini, F., Dubbeling, M., de Zeeuw, H., Gianquinto, G., Eds. (2017). Rooftop Urban Agriculture. Springer, The Netherlands. ISBN 978-3-319-57720-3.

Teaching methods

The course consists of theoretical lectures, practical exercises and groupwork in classroom and in greenhouse, technical visits.

Assessment methods

Multiple choice test. Additional points are also available for student taking part in groupwork or assignments whenever they achieve at least 18/30

Teaching tools

Powerpoint presentations, exercise, theoretical and practical workshops.

Office hours

See the website of Francesco Orsini