The use of plastics has a chance of success only when obvious advantages can be expected in comparison with the materials used until now.
In glasshouse building the advantages of steel, aluminium and glass can be found in price, strength and light transmission.
Although the reinforced glass-fibre polyester resins can now be produced with suitable colour stabilisers so that yellowing is prevented, considerations concerning the advantages or disadvantages of diffuse light for plant growth remain.
The light-spreading effect of the polyesters is dependent on the different refractive indices of polyester and glass fibre and of their bond.
For corrugated material there is also the influence of the configuration of the surface, which can be determined by measurements on the light measuring equipment.
The high tensile and bending strength of the materials and their local buckling and impact resistance calls for self-supporting building parts of special forms, the advantages and disadvantages of which are explained.
Mechanical mass-production of such prefabricated construction parts is not yet possible at the moment, but conceivable.
Building parts are described and construction proposals are discussed as to how far it is possible to make a comparison in price between a polyester glasshouse, using self-supporting prefabricated parts, and a normal glasshouse.
The difference in price of polyester sheets (in USA about 10 DM/m2, in Germany about 19 DM/m2) suggests that there are still reserves available, especially when we dissociate ourselves from the usual penthouse roof shape.