Building desert greenhouses (Desert Greenhouse BV / DGH)


The Dutch company Desert Greenhouse BV (DGH)

I received a message from Dr. Tim Rasmus Kiehl (Toronto, Canada) recommending a high-tech approach to building greenhouses anywhere :


In the past 100 years, the Dutch greenhouse industry has spent millions in research and development to improve greenhouse systems. Driven by the limited space available in a small and densely populated country like Holland, this research has already resulted in the highest productivity results per sq. meter in the world. Currently, the limiting factor to further increase productivity is the scarce amount of sunlight in the Netherlands.

The Dutch company Desert Greenhouse BV (DGH) has developed a new greenhouse concept to further improve productivity. Combining the large experience on greenhouse know-how in Holland with modern cooling- and climate technology, DGH has developed a Greenhouse system especially designed for hot and extreme climates. These greenhouses will benefit from the amply available sunlight in ‘hot’ regions, and will improve productivity by at least 60 % compared to the best greenhouses in the Netherlands. Development and testing of Desert Greenhouse systems have been carried out since 2001. As from now, DGH’s technology is commercially available.

Desert Greenhouse BV was established by 4 existing companies, each having more than 10 years experience in their respective fields of construction and realization of greenhouse projects, consultancy in crop growing optimisation, energy efficiency and international project- and business development. Desert Greenhouse BV has the sole right to commercialize the Desert Greenhouse concept.

The Concept:
Greenhouse solutions for extreme climates

Desert Greenhouse combines technological solutions and specific greenhouse knowledge into a novel, closed and high-tech greenhouse system. Optimum growing conditions in the greenhouse environment are ensured by a total climate control system. Extensive know-how on growing methods, plant behaviour and yield optimization is provided: greenhouses are managed by DGH’s own specialists, supported by own cultivation advisors.

The closed DGH-greenhouse is a high-tech facility, optionally combined with a ‘water farm’ or sweet water production unit. Special plastic foils are used to filter sunlight, favouring ‘growing light’ frequencies and blocking heat-generating (IR-) radiation. A specific hot and cold air-distribution system, developed by DGH’s own engineering department, combined with special absorption coolers and air conditioners, provide full climate control. Gas turbines or power engines generate power.

A typical Desert Greenhouse Project will cover 20 hectares (50 acres). At first, during the development phase, a feasibility study is carried out. This includes identification of most profitable crops, selection of business partners in the overall value chain, financial aspects, permits, specific local technical requirements and project planning. In many cases, Desert Greenhouse BV can arrange substantial external co-financing. A typical Desert Greenhouse agri-company generates an annual Return on Investment (ROI) of 25 % (minimum: 20 %).

On the website :

Contact Information

Desert Greenhouse
Visiting Address: Brugsteen 5, 4815 PL Breda
Postal Address: PO Box 8719, 4820 BA Breda
Phone: +31 (0) 76 5433 560
Fax: +31 (0) 76 5433 561


Published by

Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.